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ARTICLE: Roger Howarth Exits ‘General Hospital’; “Storyline-Dictated” Decision Cited As Reason for Departure


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Roger Howarth, Austin Gatlin-Holt, General Hospital, GH, GH ABC, #GH, #GeneralHospital

After a Friday cliffhanger that left fans wondering who shot Austin on the Friday, November 17 episode of ABC’s “General Hospital,” portrayer Roger Howarth has formally announced his exit from the daytime drama series after the network reportedly declined to offer him a new contract. Howarth first joined the cast of the show in March 2012 when he and his “One Life to Live” character relocated to the West Coast.

In a post on Instagram, Howarth shared messages for the show’s fans and to the cast and crew, first saying, “​​Daytime fans are lovely and amazing and supportive and dedicated and I am deeply grateful to each sparkly one of them.” He added, “I enjoyed my time at ‘General Hospital’ and wish the cast and crew the best and continued success. It was a pleasure working with you all. Life is amazing. We just don’t Ever know what’s gonna happen. How great! Turn toward the light. Always. Huge thank you to you all.”

Speaking with Soap Opera Digest about his exit, Howarth revealed that he was informed by “General Hospital” executive producer Frank Valentini ahead of time about the network’s decision not to renew his contract when it came up for renewal. He said, “Well, several weeks ago, I got a phone call from somebody I’ve known for a very long time who I love very dearly telling me that when my contract was up at ABC, I would not be offered a new contract and that the character of Austin would be killed, and that this was something that both wanted and needed to do to move story.

“And it took me a minute to kind of adjust, to kind of hear the news; it took a second for me to let that settle in. And then, immediately, I realized how lucky I was to have been able to do something I really love doing for more than a decade with people who I really enjoyed working with. I’m a lucky guy. I had a great run and this was a decision made by people who make these kinds of decisions for a living. For me, I felt it was very much like the scene in ‘Moneyball’ and Jonah Hill had just told me I’ve been traded. I feel very respected and supported. For a long time I’ve enjoyed coming to work, learning lines and saying them with really cool people.”

Having joined the series’ cast in March 2012, shortly after concluding his run on “One Life to Live,” Howarth went on to play a recast Franco Baldwin, a role first portrayed by James Franco, due to his being forced out of the Todd Manning role after ABC was sued by Prospect Park Networks, which had licensed the character for its online reboot “One Life to Live.” Several years later, Franco was killed off and the show once again decided to bring Howarth back as another new character, this time as Austin Gatlin-Holt.

“I don’t feel like I’ve been slighted in any way or that there was bad juju around these decisions,” Howarth said to Digest of the show’s writers and their decision to write out his character. “I think that the writers and the producers and the directors work really hard to entertain a really loyal and dedicated audience and I hope that they succeed in thrilling the audience for another 60 years. I will say this: I’m really proud of myself — like, totally truthfully, honest to God, I always tried my hardest. So for me, ultimately, there’s no loss. I know I did everything I could.”

When asked if he’d ever want to play another role in daytime, Howarth notes, “One hundred percent. Thanks for asking [laughs]. Yeah! I’m an actor. I love acting. If somebody’s gonna ask me, I’m gonna go! I’m gonna get in the car.”

For more from Howarth on his exit from “General Hospital,” including his comments on each of his three characters, check out his exit interview with Soap Opera Digest by clicking here.

Check out Howarth’s Instagram post below.


Note: The post Roger Howarth Exits ‘General Hospital’; “Storyline-Dictated” Decision Cited As Reason for Departure appeared first on the Soap Opera Network website.

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