clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

John Reilly, actor on ‘General Hospital’ and ‘Passions,’ dies at 86

Chicago native was a ‘consummate professional,’ co-star Finola Hughes writes.

John Reilly in 2006.
David Livingston/Getty Images

Veteran soap actor John Reilly, a Chicago native who starred as Sean Donely on ABC’s daytime drama “General Hospital,” has died. He was 86.

His daughter, actress Caitlyn Reilly, announced his death Sunday on Instagram, but did not share a cause of death.

“John Henry Matthew Reilly AKA Jack. The brightest light in the world has gone out,” she captioned her Instagram post, which included a childhood picture of her father embracing her. “Imagine the best person in the world. Now imagine that person being your dad.”

The official “General Hospital” Twitter account posted a tribute Sunday saying the show’s family was “heartbroken to hear of John Reilly’s passing. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his loved ones. Rest in peace,” the tweet said.

Born Nov. 11, 1934, the handsome actor with leading-man looks and a cleft chin starred as Dr. Dan Stewart on “As the World Turns” in 1974.

He joined “General Hospital” in 1984 as Donely, a run that lasted 11 years and followed several story arcs. He continued to make appearances through August 2013 on the daytime drama, as well as be seen on the spinoff “General Hospital: Night Shift.”

Finola Hughes, who starred opposite Reilly in “General Hospital” as Anna Devane, posted an Instagram tribute calling the actor a “consummate professional.”

“John’s sensitivity and kindness was most apparent with his family and friends,” Hughes wrote. “I am so happy I got to experience and see that love firsthand. One of a kind. Fellow Irishman, God speed. Love you #JohnReilly.”

Kristina Wagner, Felicia Jones on “General Hospital,” posted a Polaroid featuring Reilly from their time on the show on Twitter. ”Rest in peace John Reilly. YOU were a treasure,” she wrote.

Reilly voiced the archer Hawkeye on the animated “Iron Man” series from 1994 to 1996. He appeared as Bill Taylor, the father to Kelly Taylor (actress Jennie Garth), on “Beverly Hills, 90210” from 1996 to 1998 and Del Douglas on “Sunset Beach” from 1997 to 1999.

On the NBC soap opera “Passions,” Reilly starred as Alistair Crane from 2000 to 2008.

Reilly is survived by his wife Liz and three daughters.