James Patrick Stuart Releases The Apple Tree

Image: Jill Johnson/JPI

Our hearts go out to Valentin’s portrayer.

Usually, when we think of General Hospital star James Patrick Stuart on social media, we think of the laughs, the good times, the epic hair-off that Valentin’s portrayer recently had with castmate William deVry (Julian). But there was nothing funny at all about Stuart’s tweet of August 30.

Grappling with the same dire situation in which we all find ourselves, the actor wrote: “I’ve known people who have survived… but unfortunately now find myself having lost a friend of 25 years to it.”

That in and of itself would have been devastating enough. However, Stuart was left with a case of the what ifs. Would his friend be as right as rain today, had the situation been handled differently? “Hard not to wonder if he’d still be alive,” he wrote, “if we’d collectively been given more coherent direction earlier on and all been willing to follow it.”

Among those reaching out to offer support and condolences was Stuart’s General Hospital colleague, Briana Nicole Henry (Jordan). “Sorry for your loss,” she tweeted. “Sending love your way.”

Sigh. One of these days, we’re going to have some real, actual good news to write about. Until then, maybe you’d like to cheer yourself up by checking out the below photo gallery which revisits the forgettable — and quite possibly forgotten — soap debuts of 15 stars who are now among your favorites. And no, of course, Stuart isn’t on the list — he kicked butt his first time out, back when he was playing All My Children’s nasty Will Cortlandt.