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General Hospital

Daytime Star John Reilly Dead at 84


Veteran actor John Reilly, best known as Sean Donely on GENERAL HOSPITAL, has died at the age of 84. “John Henry Matthew Reilly, AKA Jack,” wrote his daughter, Caitlin on Instagram. “The brightest light in the world has gone out. Imagine the best person in the world. Now imagine that person being your dad.

“I’m so grateful he was mine,” she continued. “I’m so grateful I got to love him. I’m so grateful I made it in time to hold him and say goodbye. I honestly don’t know what I’m going to do, but I know he’ll be with me. I love you forever, Daddy.”

John Reilly Daughter Caitlin
Reilly’s daughter shared this vintage photo of them together.Instagram

In the comments, GH star Finola Hughes (Anna) mourned the loss of her former co-star and friend. “Oh, Caitlin, I am so sorry,” she wrote. “He was indeed the best. The kindest person, most generous and loving actor. Most supportive man in every way. Please send my love to Liz and to your family.”

Chicago native Reilly began his acting career back in the mid-‘60s with guest roles on DEATH VALLEY DAYS, APPLE’S WAY, AND GUNSMOKE. He made his daytime debut in 1974 as a recast of Dan Stewart on CBS sudser AS THE WORLD TURNS. After numerous television roles in the ‘70s, Reilly landed a recurring role on the primetime soap DALLAS in 1983. And the following year, he was cast as WSB agent Sean Donely on GH, a role he played until 1995. 

GH Sean Luke
Reilly brought Sean back for GH’s 50th anniversary.ABC

He returned to daytime as Del on NBC’s SUNSET BEACH in the late ‘90s and in 2005 took over the role of Alistair Crane on PASSIONS. Reilly reprised the role of Sean Donley on GH’s primetime spinoff NIGHT SHIFT in 2008 and then again in 2013 for GH’s 50th anniversary.

Our thoughts are with Reilly’s friends and loved ones during this difficult time.

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