When Jagger returned to GENERAL HOSPITAL, not only did he have a new face but he’s going by a new name! So it’s perfectly understandable if fans might be a little confused. But that’s where we come in! John “Jagger” Cates first appeared back in 1992 and was played by Antonio Sabato, Jr. until 1995, though he reprised the role in 2008 for the GH spinoff NIGHT SHIFT. When the character resurfaced in Port Charles again in February 2024, he was being played by Adam Harrington. Here’s what you need to know about his past:
Jagger was one of a group of thugs who broke into Kelly’s in 1992, but when he attempted to try and protect the owner, Ruby, he got shot. As he recovered in the hospital, the cops wanted him to snitch on the rest of his gang but he refused. It’s there that he met Karen Wexler, who convinced him not to try and make a run for it. Jagger was put in jail but released when Ruby declined to press charges. She also forgave him for the robbery and even gave him a job and a place to live. While working at Kelly’s Jagger went to school and developed feelings for Karen.
Karen had been dating Jason Quartermaine, so it was kind of awkward when Jagger, Karen, and Jason were all stranded on an island together. Then they ran into Cal Atkins and his brother, Joseph, who had broken out of jail. Cal believed Jagger had turned him in to the police for the Kelly’s robbery. When he attempted to rape Karen, Jagger rushed to save her, and Cal was knocked over the cliff to his death. The trio vowed never to speak of it again, but Cal survived and tried to take revenge. Thankfully, he ended up in jail again.
When Brenda Barrett arrived in Port Charles, she was instantly drawn to Jagger and naturally clashed with Karen. As he found himself torn between the two women, Jagger hired Felicia Jones and Mac Scorpio to find his younger brother, Mike “Stone” Cates and the siblings were finally reunited. Tormented by memories of being abused as a child, Karen broke up with Jagger and began working as a stripper at the Paradise Lounge, owned by Sonny Corinthos.
Jagger was shocked to discover Karen’s new career, and when he found her in bed with Sonny, beat up the mobster! Sonny put out a hit on Jagger, but Marco Dane, who managed Jagger’s boxing, offered him a cut of Jagger’s winnings instead of his life. As Karen’s family and friends helped get her life back together, Jagger refused to throw a fight and left town with her.
In 1994, Jagger gave up boxing to pursue a career as a police officer and Karen began studying medicine. The couple then got engaged and were married, leaving Port Charles to start a new life in San Francisco. Jagger returned the following year to visit Stone, who was dying from AIDS. When Karen came back to town to work at GH, she tried to be faithful to her husband but after discovering he had been having an affair, ended their marriage.
Jagger visited Port Charles again in 2008, this time with his five-year-old son, Stone, named after his late brother. Dr. Robin Scorpio suspected that Stone was autistic and suggested he have the boy tested. Although initially in denial, Jagger eventually had Stone’s Autism confirmed and they returned to San Francisco.
In 2024, Jagger visited Kelly’s, introducing himself to Carly Spencer as John, and later tried to help Leo settle, explaining to Olivia Quartermaine that his son was also on the spectrum. He and his fellow agents then interrupted Anna Devane and Jordan Ashford’s attempt to bust some gun runners, and Anna was surprised to recognize Jagger.
Stay tuned to see how his story continues!