The General Hospital company is mourning the loss of a beloved producer. Nneka Garland, a Daytime Emmy winner for her work on GH, died at 49.
Nneka Garland: In Memoriam
At press time, a cause of death hadn’t been revealed, but GH personnel and others in daytime who knew and loved Garland have been posting tributes on social media.
“With the heaviest heart MY DAUGHTER N’neka died,” William Garland posted on Facebook. “My first proud Baby Girl would have been 50 April 11…I wanted the world to know this angel.”
“Nneka Garland you were a shining star — your smile lit up the room and your laughter brought so much joy — you had the gift of making everyone feel like THEY were your favorite,” Laura Wright (Carly) shared on Instagram. “I feel so so lucky to have known you. I will miss sitting on your couch, telling stories — calling you weekly trying to get my schedule early and seeing your name pop up on my phone because I always knew we were gonna have a fun conversation and giggle.
“You truly cared about everyone,” Wright continues. “You asked about everyone — I’ve never met a person with a bigger heart and a smile to match. My heart is really really sad tonight. And those who knew Nneka — they understand.”
Remembering A Kind Soul
“I am in total shock and my heart is broken,” posted Michele Val Jean, a writer for The Bold and the Beautiful and a former scribe for many years on GH. “I can’t even absorb this. Way, way too soon.”
Garland first came to GH courtesy of former executive producer Jill Farren Phelps. “I’ve worked with your beloved Nneka for over 20 years,” shared Phelps on her father’s post. “I brought her to LA [to] General Hospital. I will never get over her loss. My thoughts are with you and the rest of the family. I loved her with all my heart.”
Garland continued to work at GH following Phelps’s exit. She worked in various positions at the show, starting as the assistant to the executive producer. She later worked at GH as an associate producer, producer, and coordinating producer.
One of Garland’s duties at GH was to coordinate submissions for the Daytime Emmys. Max Gail (ex-Mike) told Soap Hub that Garland was helpful in putting together his Daytime Emmy-winning reel. Steve Burton (ex-Jason; Harris, Days of our Lives) has also praised Garland’s Daytime Emmy expertise. However, people are remembering Garland most for her kindness.
Nneka Garland: Beloved Friend
“She kept everyone and everything a float and made them feel appreciated and supported,” shared actress/singer Lisa Donahey, who recurs on GH as Nurse Lisa. “A loving caring soul! A few weeks ago as my family was going through a trying time, she took the time to pull me aside and tell me she was praying for me and my family and gave me [a] dove medallion to hold close as a reminder of her love and prayers.
“In that moment, her kindness meant the world to me as I teared up and hugged her,” Donahey adds. “She gave so willingly all the time. That was Nneka and the person so many of us will miss on this earth. I am holding [the] medallion [she gave me] close to my heart all day today as I remember her and her grace.”
A Daytime Emmy Champion
A representative for the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences/The Daytime Emmys shared the following statement regarding Garland: “Besides performing her plethora of responsibilities in increasingly higher-ranking positions within GH, Nneka Garland was also the show shepherd for the Daytime Emmys. For more than two decades, she worked with the administration team to create and submit the entries, promote judging, and work with on-site talent.
“Nobody was more knowledgeable about the process, and nobody performed it with as wide a smile as Nneka,” the statement continued. “Every duty she performed – and there were so many – was done with a joy that radiated from within. The Daytime Emmys team mourns this sudden and tragic loss. We will miss her presence tremendously, and send our continued sympathies and condolences to Nneka’s family, friends, and GH team.”
In 2021, GH honored Garland by creating a character named after her. Arlondriah Lenyéa joined the cast as NNeka, who works as a bartender at Curtis’s (Donnell Turner) club, The Savoy. She wrote on Facebook, “The producer who my character is based off of on General Hospital, just passed away today🕊️☹️ Sending out my most heartfelt condolences to Nneka Garland’s friends and family.”
Garland graduated from Hampton University in 1995 with a BA degree in Mass Media. Prior to working in soaps, she was an office manager for Easter Seals. Soap Hub sends its deepest sympathies to Garland’s family and friends and her GH family at this difficult time.