The late John Reilly, who died on January 9, was a mainstay on General Hospital for over a decade as secret agent turned police commissioner Sean Donely. So, it’s only appropriate that the ABC soap is planning to do an on-air tribute to the actor and his character.
Tribute to John Reilly
Variety reports that GH will celebrate both Reilly and Sean with an episode dedicated to him this spring. Executive producer Frank Valentini told the trade publication that Reilly “was a huge part of the GH history and will be honored in an upcoming episode that the writers are working on now.”
Reilly joined GH in June 1984 as Robert (Tristan Rogers) and Anna’s (Finola Hughes) WSB pal. He took part in the Aztec treasure storyline that helped establish Frisco (Jack Wagner) and Felicia (Kristina Wagner) as a supercouple.
Sean played a bad guy for a while, kidnapping Holly (Emma Samms), but later, he switched back to the side of the good guys. He had an affair with Monica (Leslie Charleson) but was eventually paired with the woman who became his true love — Tiffany Hill (Sharon Wyatt). Eventually, Sean became the Port Charles Police Commissioner.
One of Reilly’s most dramatic stories was when Sean and Tiffany wanted to adopt Lucas (Matt Trudeau), the son of Tiffany’s late sister Cheryl (Jennifer Anglin). However, Cheryl, thinking Tiff didn’t want kids, wanted Bobbie (Jacklyn Zeman) and Tony (Brad Maule) to raise the boy instead. After a bitter custody hearing, a judge declared that Bobbie and Tony would raise Lucas.
Sean and Tiffany left town so that he could get proper medical care after he’d been caught in the crossfire between Luke (Anthony Geary) and mobster Frank Smith (Mitchell Ryan).
Donely reprised Sean both on General Hospital: Night Shift 2 and later, on GH. Sean and Tiffany share a daughter, Anna, named after their dear friend. GH has done tribute shows to other cast members who have passed on, including Norma Connelly (ex-Ruby) and Peter Hansen (ex-Lee). General Hospital airs weekdays on ABC. Check local listings for airtimes.