Today, General Hospital characters are paying tribute to the late Sean Donely, the part played by veteran soap star John Reilly. The actor passed away earlier this year and GH has now written Sean’s death into the show. Longtime star Leslie Charleson took some time to share with Soap Hub her thoughts on her long-ago co-star.
Leslie Charleson Pays Tribute To Her Former Leading Man
Longtime GH fans recall that back in 1986, the show’s writers paired Sean with Monica Quartermaine, whose marriage to Alan (Stuart Damon) was daytime’s version of War of the Roses.
“I was reading something my fan club had put together,” Charleson shared. “It was called ‘War & Peace: the Tumultuous History of Alan and Monica Quartermaine.’ I looked up the Alan/Monica/Sean era — we were busy!”
While both Charleson and Reilly spent time on New York-based soaps before coming to GH, she says that the two met for the first time in Port Charles. “I hadn’t known John before he came to the show,” Charleson recalls. “We had some mutual friends. I just adored him. I got to know him and his family.”
Charleson gives kudos to the show’s current regime for doing the tribute episode to Reilly and his character. “One of the nice things about doing the memorial for John was having his daughter [Caitlin Reilly] play Sean’s daughter, Annie, on the show,” the actress says. “I was very impressed with that. She was very good, too!”
Monica and Sean encountered one another at General Hospital after he turned up with a bullet wound infection. “We gradually got together,” Charleson recalls. “Edward [David Lewis] and Alan planned to fake Alan’s death and then frame Sean and Monica for his murder. Jimmy Lee [Steve Bond] ratted them out. I remember Edward hired Tiffany [Sharon Wyatt] to win Sean away from Monica.”
Monica’s house (Alan gave it to her!) was the location for Sean and Tiffany’s wedding in 1988. It remains one of soap’s most memorable because, during the ceremony, Sean learned from the officiator that his bride’s legal name was “Elsie Mae Crumholtz.” Hilarity ensued, but it was Monica who had the last laugh.
While her house was jam-packed with wedding guests and a bickering bride and groom, Monica was away from it all, putting in a shift at the hospital. Smart lady, right? “Absolutely,” Charleson chuckles. “Absolutely!” General Hospital (GH) airs weekdays on ABC. Check your local listings for airtimes.