John Reilly, best known to General Hospital fans as secret agent Sean Donley, has died. He was 84.
John Reilly Passes Away
The actor’s passing was shared on Instagram by his daughter, Caitlin, who wrote: “John Henry Matthew Reilly AKA Jack. The brightest light in the world has gone out. Imagine the best person in the world. Now imagine that person being your dad. I’m so grateful he was mine. I’m so grateful I got to love him. I’m so grateful I made it in time to hold him and say goodbye. I honestly don’t know what I’m going to do, but I know he’ll be with me. I love you forever Daddy.”
Reilly joined GH in June 1984 as Sean Donely, a longtime pal of Robert Scorpio’s (Tristan Rogers). They shared many adventures including a search for an Aztec treasure. Sean remained in Port Charles to help protect Scorpio and his family from Mr. Wu. Paired romantically with Sharon Wyatt’s Tiffany Hill, Donely and Tiffany’s wedding ceremony is fondly and hilariously remembered as the moment when the former movie actress bride revealed her true name — Elsie Mae Crumholz.
Born on November 11, 1936, in Chicago, Reilly’s early credits on television included Death Valley, Gunsmoke, and Apple’s Way. He took over the role of Dr. Dan Stewart on As the World Turns in 1974 from John Colenback. He exited Oakdale a few years later and returned to the west coast, appearing in numerous series. He played Mary Richards’ date on an episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show.
On the big screen, Reilly appeared in the Barbra Streisand/Ryan O’Neal movie The Main Event in 1979. The actor also had recurring roles on the primetime soaps Dallas, Paper Dolls, and Beverly Hills, 90210.
In 1983, Reilly played Jay Mortimer in the TV-movie The Hamptons, which was executive produced by GH boss Gloria Monty, who later tapped Reilly for the ABC daytime soap opera. Reilly (and Wyatt) exited GH in 1994 following a new creative regime coming onto the show. In 2008, Reilly reprised Donely on the GH spinoff Night Shift. He came back to GH as Sean, briefly, in August 2013.
The actor is also known for his runs as Del Douglas on Sunset Beach and as villain Alistair Crane on Passions. He first appeared on the show in 2000 and then became a regular on the NBC program in 2005. He also played the part of Mortimer on The Bay.
Reilly’s career also delved into the superhero world. He voiced the character of Hawkeye aka Clint Barton on the animated series Iron Man in the 1990s.
Soap Hub sends sincere condolences to Reilly’s family and friends at this difficult time. General Hospital airs weekdays on ABC. Check local listings for airtimes.
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