Brando’s death on GENERAL HOSPITAL came as a shock to the audience since most viewers thought that Sasha’s husband would pull through after being attacked by The Hook. But the gruesome murder was also a shock for the character’s former portrayer, Johnny Wactor, who found out on a Friday in late July that GH would not be picking up the last cycle of his contract.
Speaking with Soap Opera Digest, Wactor recalled that he was headed to New York that day to shoot a movie he was also producing when he got the call from his manager that his contract wasn’t being renewed. “Later, I read the scripts and it was like, ‘Okay, they killed me off,’” he said. “The following week, I wrapped my movie on Tuesday, flew back [to Los Angeles] Wednesday morning, got tested for COVID at GH on Wednesday, and then I filmed 60 pages on Thursday and 55 pages on Friday. That was my last six episodes of GH.”
Between his hectic schedule with the movie and then cramming in six scenes worth of episodes into two tape days, Wactor didn’t have a lot of time to dwell on his exit. “I didn’t really have time to process it. These are just the circumstances in my life and the circumstances in the story,” he confessed. “Because I was filming so many pages, I didn’t really have time to kind of think or be emotional or reflect on anything.”
After wrapping his final scene, Wactor gave “a little speech” to his co-stars. “I was a little emotional,” he admitted. “It was strange, you know? Saying goodbye to people and it happening so fast. I’d been there for almost three years.”
Wactor also had one last chat with executive producer Frank Valentini. “I won’t share all the details, but he had a lot of kind words to say,” the actor reveals. “It was a positive experience. I’ve got no bad blood and I wish everyone at GH the best, and Frank and all the producers were like, ‘You never know! You might come back.’ That’s soaps, you know? I could die and be back in a few months.”
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