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Antonio Sabato Jr.: ‘They Can Still Bring Me Back If They’re Smart Enough’

Jagger’s predecessor speaks out now that Adam J. Harrington is playing the part.

general hospital alum antonio sabato jr.Antonio Sabato Jr.
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General Hospital has brought back the character of John “Jagger” Cates, who is now being played by actor Adam J. Harrington. Antonio Sabato Jr., the former Calvin Klein model who originated the role of Jagger, shares his reaction to seeing his part be recast with another performer.

Jagger’s Edge

Sabato posted a video of himself in which he discussed his feelings about not being asked to reprise Jagger and what may have led to that decision. X (formerly Twitter) user BeckySlaysGH shared the tweets, which Soap Hub presents here.

“At the beginning of my career, I started on a character that I truly, truly adore that I created with Wendy Riche, the executive producer, and an amazing team of writers,” Sabato said. “I was on General Hospital from ’92 to ’94 playing a character by the name of John ‘Jagger’ Cates. (Editor’s note: Sabato actually played Jagger into 1995.)

“I’ve been asked by the fans, by millions all over the world, not just in America and in North America, but all over the world about coming back to General Hospital for 30 years now,” the actor adds. “I’m doing very well. I’m not begging to go back on the show. This is not about that.

“I have many careers. I’m still acting very well,” he says. “I have a movie coming out. I have a lot of things coming out, and I’m very proud of [them]. So I’m not begging. OK, it’s not what this is about. Plus, I don’t beg for anything. This is about the truth and the fans need to know what’s going on. I never been asked to come back on General Hospital for 30 years.” (Editor’s note: While Sabato hasn’t reprised Jagger on GH, he did play the part in the short-lived 2008 SOAPnet series General Hospital Night Shift 2. That’s when viewers learned that Jagger has a son, Stone Cates, Jr., played by the late Cameron Boyce.)

“So now they started a new character by the name of John,” Sabato continues. “They don’t even call him ‘Jagger.’ They call him ‘John’ because they know that the character has only been played by me because it’s part of who I am. It’s my life, the character that is really a big part of, of my soul that I dedicated my life and that’s what turned out to be great because I gave everything I have to that character, and I was still with you.”


Sabato goes on to address the theory that he was not invited back to GH due to his political views. However, he feels that should have no basis in terms of hiring decisions. “I should be hired on my merit on my acting abilities because that works,” the performer insists. “I work with people in the industry who I might disagree on political views, but I don’t talk political stuff when I’m on set. I don’t talk about religion when I’m on set. Those are my private views. When I’m on a set, I talk about performing. I talk about what I really love to do.

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‘I Can Play This Character Better Than Anybody’

“So if the producers — and you know who you are — didn’t want to hire me or call me because of my political views, that shows who you really are, and then it shouldn’t be about that,” Sabato says. Call him modest, if you will, but he feels uniquely qualified to step back into Jagger’s shoes. “I can play this character better than anybody. It’s me. It’s who I am. So to all the fans around the world, this is the truth. In my opinion, I can probably speculate or guess there’s a few reasons why they didn’t hire me.

“One obviously, like I said, political views, and two, because they don’t like me for some reason. I haven’t seen anybody at General Hospital nor did I ever talk to anyone in the executive…the executive producer, you know who you are, in 30 years,” he maintains. (Editor’s note: In GH Night Shift 2, Sabato shared scenes with Kimberly McCullough’s Robin and Jason Thompson’s Patrick.)

‘They Can Still Bring Me Back’

“So this is on them hiring a new person which is fine, they could do whatever they want,” continued Sabato, adding that he does not agree with the speculation that he has harmed his career. “I’m gonna leave this out there for you to see,” he says. “[I]n the world of soap operas, as you know, they can still bring me back if they’re smart enough, and I would bring the show to number one just like I did before.” (Editor’s note: Starting in late 1988, The Young and the Restless took the No. 1 spot in the ratings where it has remained.)

“Why am I so confident about that?” Sabato asks rhetorically. “Because I know my fans, and I know my character, and I know how hard I work, and I know how it works….I’m not begging for anything. They could do whatever they want, but I just don’t wanna go throughout the day going wondering what people are talking about and speculating.

“But just like Mick Jagger on stage…you can replace Mick Jagger, and just like this Jagger, you can change him up, give them a different look, but it’s never gonna be me,” Sabato offers. “I have a lot of things going on, and nobody will ever stop me. Not Hollywood, not selfish people, not political people. I’m an independent. I make up my own mind.”

Sabato’s upcoming films include DragonMan: The Adventures of Luke Starr, Snow White, and Grace by Night. Since exiting GH back in 1995, his numerous credits include Melrose Place, The Outer Limits, Becker, Destination: Infestation, Ally McBeal, Bones, and Fatal Error.

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