Gone, but never forgotten. GENERAL HOSPITAL will pay tribute to the late John Reilly with a special episode dedicated to him and his iconic character, Sean Donely, later this spring, according to Variety. The beloved actor, who played the WSB agent from 1984 until 1995, passed away over the weekend at the age of 84.
GH executive producer Frank Valentini told Variety that Reilly “was a huge part of the GH history and will be honored in an upcoming episode that the writers are working on now.”
The veteran actor began his acting career in the 1960s with guest spots on DEATH VALLEY DAYS, APPLE’S WAY, and GUNSMOKE. His daytime debut came in 1974 when Reilly was tapped by CBS as a recast of Dan Stewart on AS THE WORLD TURNS. He played that role for two and a half years before being replaced by his predecessor, John Colenback. Coming off of a recurring role as Roy Ralston on DALLAS in 1983, Reilly was cast by GH to play WSB agent Sean Donley, a role he would play for a decade.
In 1997, Reilly was cast as Del for a special guest-star role on the first six episodes of SUNSET BEACH and later returned to the NBC soap on several occasions. He joined the cast of supernatural soap PASSIONS in January 2005 as a recast of Alistair after the tragic death of portrayer David Bailey that November, playing the role of the wealthy Crane family patriarch until May 2008. The actor would twice more reprise his role of WSB superspy: in October 2008 for the second-season finale of GH’s SoapNet spin-off, NIGHT SHIFT, and in 2013 during GH’s year-long 50th anniversary celebration. The character was mentioned in 2019 when Jordan called Sean looking for help with Ryan Chamberlain, but he did not appear.
Reilly also played Kelly’s absentee father, Bill Taylor, on several episodes of the FOX teen drama BEVERLY HILLS, 90210, the Marquis of La Cinega in a 2001 episode of DAYS OF OUR LIVES, and Mortimer on web soap THE BAY.
He is survived by his wife, Liz, and three daughters, including actress/comedian and social media star Caitlin Reilly.