Jonathan Jackson Leaving ‘General Hospital’

Jonathan Jackson (ABC)

Jonathan Jackson (ABC)

General Hospital” is losing one of its most popular actors. Multiple Daytime Emmy winner Jonathan Jackson, who played Lucky Spencer, has opted to leave the soap. Jackson returned to the show with great fanfare in late 2009. Since then, his character has discovered that his childhood love was cheating on him with his brother, lost his son to a car accident, married a woman he barely knew only to have her murdered several months later, and relapsed into drug addiction. Jackson won his fourth Daytime Emmy, for Best Supporting Actor, for his work in 2010.

Though many fans hoped that Jackson’s return would be a chance to recreate the magic that he and his co-star Becky Herbst had as teenagers, the show opted to break up the characters of Lucky and Liz. (Liz technically cheated on Lucky when another actor, Greg Vaughn) was playing the role.

Soap Opera Digest broke the story. TV Guide later expanded on it, reporting that Jackson is choosing to leave because he was exhausted after playing so many dark storylines and the show refused to lighten his workload. The magazine also claims that Jackson unsuccessfully lobbied for a Lucky and Liz reunion. Jackson will tape his final scenes November 17th, and will last appear in late December.

There is no word on whether the show plans to recast the role or write off the character. Vaughn recently booked a potentially recurring role as the ex-husband of one of the main characters on ABC’s midseason series “Good Christian Belles,” while the other actor who played Lucky, Jacob Young, recently rejoined the cast of “The Bold & the Beautiful” after starring on “All My Children” for several years.

GH is currently fighting for its survival. With ABC prepared to give its timeslot to Katie Couric’s new talk show in September 2012, the show is duking it out with new cooking show “The Chew” and upcoming makeover show “The Revolution” for a spot on ABC’s daytime line-up. Recently, it has been beaten in the ratings by canceled soap “One Life To Live,” which will air its finale in January 2012. Losing Jackson does not seem like a good omen for the show’s future.

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