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Paul Skipper/JPI, ABC/Courtesy of the Everett Collection (2)

Working on the soap was “his favorite place to be.”

It’s never easy to report on the passing of an actor, but it’s particularly difficult when the actor in question was practically a part of our collective soap opera family. So it is with heavy hearts that we relay the news that Stuart Damon — who will forever be Dr. Alan Quartermaine to us — died following a years-long struggle with renal failure.

The news first broke via the Twitter feed of George Pennacchio, the entertainment reporter for Los Angeles’ ABC7.

As loved as Damon was by the General Hospital audience, the feeling was most definitely mutual. In fact, the actor’s son, Chris, told Pennacchio that being on set was “his favorite place to be. He loved playing Alan and was always so appreciative of that role and that job. It was his passion.”

GENERAL HOSPITAL, Leslie Charleson, Stuart Damon, (1992), monica alan -

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Give that he played the part of Alan for over three decades, it’s easy to see why so many associated him with that particular role. For others, however, he will always be Prince Charming, a character he played first on Broadway and later on television, opposite Lesley Ann Warren.

Although Damon would appear on As the World Turns (as shady businessman Ralph Manzo) and Days of Our Lives (as Governor Jim Ford)it’s almost impossible for soap fans not to think of him as Alan, not only because of his longevity in the part but because of the incredible stories he got to play.

More: Beloved ABC legend dead at 93

Picking a favorite Alan storyline is like asking a parent to name their favorite child. Was it the time Alan tried to blow up wife Monica and her lover Rick, or perhaps his short-lived but unforgettable marriage to spitfire Lucy? Then there was the love/hate dynamic between Alan and his sister Tracy, not to mention the doctor’s tragic demise… a storyline twist many fans still call one of the biggest mistakes in the soap’s history.

GENERAL HOSPITAL, David Lewis, Stuart Damon, Anna Lee, Leslie Charleson, 1963-. photo: Craig Sjodin / © ABC / Courtesy: Everett Collection

Damon leaves behind his wife of 60 years, Deirdre Ottewill, and their two children… not to mention literally millions of grieving fans who will never, ever forget the talented, charismatic actor and what he brought into their lives.

As we mourn Damon’s passing, why not take a moment to share your favorite Alan moment in the comments section. Then visit the photo gallery below to reflect on some of the other great stars we’ve lost so far this year.