During his extensive career in daytime, Roger Howarth has spent over 10 years at GENERAL HOSPITAL, in three different roles. In 2012, he moved his ONE LIFE TO LIVE character of Todd Manning to Port Charles, but legal difficulties forced the soap to recast him in a new role, so he began playing Franco Baldwin the following year. In 2021, the soap killed off Franco and soon brought Howarth back as the brand new character, Austin Gatlin-Holt. But then that character also met with a violent end, bringing a close to the actor’s run on the soap.
“Several weeks ago I got a phone call from somebody I’ve known for a very long time who I love very dearly [GH executive producer Frank Valentini, who also produced OLTL] telling me that when my contract was up at ABC I would not be offered a new contract and that the character of Austin would be killed, and that this was something they both wanted and needed to do to move story,” Howarth revealed to Soap Opera Digest after taping his final episode. “And it took me a minute to kind of adjust, to kind of hear the news; it took a second for me to let that settle in.
“And then, immediately, I realized how lucky I was to have been able to do something I really love doing for more than a decade with people who I really enjoyed working with,” he continued. “I’m a lucky guy. I had a great run and this was a decision made by people who make these kinds of decisions for a living. For me, I felt it was very much like that scene in Moneyball and Jonah Hill had just told me I’ve been traded. I feel very respected and supported. For a long time, I’ve enjoyed coming to work, learning lines, and saying them with really cool people.”
While Michael Easton still holds the record, playing four separate characters on GH (OLTL’s John McBain, Caleb Morely/Stephen Clay, Dr. Silas Clay, and now Dr. Hamilton Finn), Howarth is right behind him. “I can’t tell you how thankful I am that I was supported by writers and producers who had enough faith in me as an actor to ask me to play three different parts,” he expressed. “Think about that! Lucky me. That’s pretty great.”
Who knows, maybe there will be a fourth in his future and he can tie Easton’s record!
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