Several co-workers and friends reported the untimely passing of actor Jay Pickett on his Facebook account. Although Pickett was no stranger to daytime fans, having appeared on Days of our Lives as Dr. Chip Lakin, General Hospital as Detective David Harper, and Port Charles original cast member, Detective Frank Scanlan, it was cowboy films that had hold of his heart.
Jay Pickett: A Cowboy Rides Off Into The Sunset
“Yesterday I lost a good friend and the world lost a great person,” shared fellow actor Jim Heffel from the set of Treasure Valley, which was written and produced by the late actor. “Jay Pickett decided to ride off into the Heavens. Jay died sitting on a horse ready to rope a steer in the movie Treasure Valley in Idaho. The way of a true cowboy. Jay wrote the story and starred in it. He was also a co-producer with myself and Vernon Walker. He will be truly missed. Ride like the wind partner.”
His on-screen brother on Port Charles and friend in real-life, Michael Dietz, posted on his Facebook account, “My greatest friend has sadly left this world. We met when we were cast as brothers on Port Charles many many years ago. He played my big brother on TV but that carried over into real life and an amazing friendship that was one of a kind. He was an incredible husband, father, friend, and Godfather to my daughter. Everyone that knew him loved him. I love you, Jay. Keep smiling my friend. All my love to his family who truly became our family as well. You will be forever missed. until I see you again….”
“The sudden passing of my pal Jay Pickett Is very sad,” shared former PC co-star, Kin Shriner, on Twitter. “He loved acting and Westerns, and when we got together we laughed a lot . R.I.P. Jay.”
“This is one of the most difficult posts I’ve done,” wrote former PC castmate, Marie Wilson (Karen Cates) on Instagram. “My heart is broken to hear that this incredible person has passed. Words cannot describe how much you touched my life….your friendship, advice, and support made me feel so grateful and lucky. My first day on the set was with us having a water fight ….and the fun adventures continued from there. So happy to have shared all those moments with you. I will miss you my friend🥺💔💔💔”
Kelly Monaco (Sam on GH, ex-Livvie on Port Charles) is normally quiet on social media but reached out on Instagram to those closest to her beloved former castmate with condolences. “My heart goes out to the family and friends of Jay Pickett,” Monaco added. “If you knew him, you loved him. Words can’t describe… 😇🙏🏻”
“I am so so so heartbroken to find out so suddenly of the untimely passing of a great human being and friend,” wrote stunt man Ardeshir Radepour of his friend, “Jay, you will always be with us and we will always be with you. Thank you partner for your friendship and your mentorship. What an honor to work with you and call you a friend. Rest In Peace brother.”
Soon the news spread and many other co-stars and friends reached out like business partner Michael Feifer. “My great friend, business partner, favorite actor, big brother, true cowboy, and much, much more, Jay Pickett, went to heaven yesterday,” wrote Feifer. “Not only has Jay been in 15 of my movies, but I made my best movie with Jay ten years ago. We co-produced and co-wrote Soda Springs and made movie magic in his home state of Idaho. While Jay may not be on earth, Soda Springs will always be with us, thankfully. I’ll miss you and love you. See you soon, cowboy!”
His Dream Career Realized
Jay Harris Pickett was born in Spokane, Washington, on February 10, 1961, but grew up in Caldwell, Idaho. He earned a B.A. in Acting at the Boise State University and continued his studies in California, earning an M.F.A. from UCLA.
In 1985, he married Elena Marie Bates. Two years later his acting career took off with TV roles on such shows as Rags to Riches, China Beach, Dragnet, Jake and the Fatman, Matlock, Saving Grace, The Mentalist, NCIS: Los Angeles, Dexter, Desperate Housewives, and Rosewood.
He also began tacking on film credit such as Guts and Glory: The Rise and Fall of Oliver North, Eve of Destruction, Drifter: Henry Lee Lucas, Kidnapped: The Hannah Anderson Story, and Unstable.
Eventually, Pickett was able to have it all. A loving family. Steady work as an actor in the career he loved. A chance to combine his love of the arts and his love of all things cowboy in films such as Soda Springs, A Soldier’s Revenge, The Siege At Riker’s Station, Catch The Bullet, Heart Of The Gun, Shooting Star, and his current project that was dear to his heart, Treasure Valley.
“Our hearts are breaking that the world has lost an amazing man, Jay Pickett.” Theresa Ofstad wrote. She summed it up best with, “We send love, hugs, and support to his family who we love dearly. The Ofstad Family to the Pickett Family.”
“Rest In Peace Jay Pickett. My thoughts and prayers go out to your family.” Actor and Director Greg Worley signed off with a loving, “God Speed.”
A vision of him on his horse, with that trademark dimpled smile, that fans loved so much, riding off into the sunset seems appropriate. He left a legacy of solid work, friendship, and a network of family and friends. Soap Hub sends our sincere condolences to his wife, Elena, their three children, the rest of his family, friends, and fans.
— Kin Shriner (@kinshriner) August 1, 2021
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