John Reilly"Passions" SetRadford StudiosStudio City11/14/05©John Paschal/jpistudios.com310-657-9661

John Paschal/JPI

The popular actor passed away on January 9 at the age of 86. 

Although there is no word as to when it will air, General Hospital is planning a special episode which will pay tribute to the late John Reilly and his Port Charles alter ego, Sean Donely. Executive producer Frank Valentini told Variety that the actor “was a huge part of the [show’s] history and will be honored in an upcoming episode that the writers are working on now.”

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Given that headwriters Chris Van Etten and Dan O’Connor work on the show weeks in advance, it’s unlikely that the episode will air before early spring. Although many of the actors with whom Reilly’s Sean interacted are no longer on the canvas, several — including most notably Finola Hughes (Anna), Tristan Rogers (Robert) and Genie Francis (Laura) — still figure prominently.

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Introduced to the canvas in the summer of 1984, Reilly’s alter ego was almost immediately thrust into some of the show’s biggest storylines. Sean’s romance with and eventual marriage to fiery Tiffany Hill (as played by Sharon Wyatt) made the pairing the kind of couple who would have, in modern times, earned them a rabid Internet following.

GENERAL HOSPITAL, from left: Sharon Wyatt, John Reilly, (1990), 1963- , ph: Jerry Fitzgerald/©ABC /Courtesy Everett Collection

Might General Hospital introduce Sean and Tiffany’s daughter?

While Reilly appeared on a number of other shows in both daytime and primetime, he was best known for two characters who were about as opposite in personality as one could imagine. In fact, it’s easy to picture a crossover in which (mostly) good-guy Sean attempts to make Passions‘ infamous bad boy Alistair Crane pay for his many, many sins.

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Although the character of Sean was last seen on screen in 2013, he was mentioned as recently as last year. And should General Hospital decide that they wanted to keep his legacy alive, they could introduce to the canvas his and Tiffany’s daughter, Anna, who was named after — who else — the British spy currently engaged to Finn.

Who are you hoping might be convinced to return to General Hospital to take part in the special tribute episode? Share your thoughts in the comments, then visit the gallery below to relive the adventures of a man we’re certain will be involved, Robert Scorpio.