Daytime Mourns the ‘One of a Kind’ Soap-Hopper Taken From Us at 84 Years Old: ‘The World Lost a Great One’
Jill Johnson/JPI (2), Aaron Montgomery/JPI
Since the news broke that John Reilly had passed away, friends and colleagues have taken to social media to share their fond memories.
As all of us who enjoyed the work of John Reilly — and will never forget the mischievous twinkle in his eye — are still processing his passing on January 9 at the age of 84. And we are not alone. So, too, are his former castmates.
“Darling John Reilly,” began an Instagram post by Finola Hughes, who played Anna Devane opposite his Sean Donely on General Hospital. “One of the first days I walked on the set, this tall, handsome man in a leather jacket sauntered towards me. In his deep, all-American growl, he welcomed me to the show and told me he would be there for me should I ever need anything.
“Boy was he true to his word,” she continued. “A consummate professional, I would run lines with him each day we worked — we worked a ton.”
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Reilly and Hughes weren’t just pals and co-stars, they were, in a way, neighbors, too. “His dressing room was two doors from mine,” recalled the Emmy winner. “Many the day I would lounge on the floor in the hallway — don’t ask me why — and we would break down scenes. The three of us — Tristan [Rogers, Robert], John and me — would tear things apart until we were happy with the result and then go on set and perform.”
There, Reilly had a ritual that Hughes will never forget. “At the end of each scene, John would do one of two things. He would either bellow his contagious laugh, or he would get a quizzical expression on his face and ask, ‘Was that it? Did we get it?’ Brilliantly intuitive, yet he was always concerned with the outcome.”
But it wasn’t Reilly’s talent for which Hughes most adored him. “John’s sensitivity and kindness was most apparent with his family and friends,” she wrote. “His love of his wife, Liz, and their gorgeous daughters was legion. I am so happy I got to experience and see that love firsthand.”
Hughes’ on-screen daughter, Kimberly McCullough (ex-Robin), seconded those emotions. “Gonna miss you, ‘Uncle Sean,’ she wrote. “John Reilly you were one of a kind. Much love to John’s family and friends on this sad day.”
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John J. York (Mac) called Reilly “such a good man, husband and father. Sooo many wonderful memories! God’s speed, my friend.”
Such a good man, husband and father! Sooo many wonderful memories! God’s speed my friend🙏❤️ https://t.co/2TZprXO3Fv
— John J York (@JohnJYork) January 10, 2021
Added Ian Buchanan (ex-Duke): “I have been thinking about John Reilly all day. Actually for quite some time. And always with John the great ladies in his life and his enormous love and support of them… a gentleman and a hugely generous mentor.”
I have been thinking about #JohnReilly all day. Actually for quite some time. And always with John the great ladies in his life and his enormous love and support of them. His mother, Liz and his wonderful daughters. A gentleman and a hugely generous mentor. I love you.
— Ian Buchanan (@KilttripUSA) January 11, 2021
Trying not to be sad about the loss, Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis) shared that she was “thinking lovely thoughts about my fellow General Hospital thespian and charming, lovely gent John Reilly.”
— Nancy Lee Grahn (@NancyLeeGrahn) January 11, 2021
Kin Shriner (Scotty) noted that Reily was “always the life of the party” — and shared a photo to prove it with Jacklyn Zeman (Bobbie) and Lynn Herring (Lucy).
— Kin Shriner (@kinshriner) January 10, 2021
Galen Gering (Rafe, Days of Our Lives) couldn’t help but flash back to Reilly’s stint as the villainous Alistair Crane on Passions. “Always loved working with you and the chats we had,” wrote Gering, who played Luis Lopez-Fitzgerald on the supernatural soap. “The world lost a great one.”
Rip John-Always loved working with you and the chats we had. The world lost a great one. https://t.co/UOOz4xyYMK
— Galen Gering (@galengering) January 10, 2021
Nobody needed to tell that to Gering’s Passions leading lady. McKenzie Westmore (Sheridan) tweeted that she was “heartbroken at the passing of my on-screen dad. May he rest in peace.”
Heartbroken at the passing of my onscreen dad – John Reilly. May he Rest In Peace 😢🙏🏼💔 pic.twitter.com/S71KFkQsdK
— McKenzie Westmore (@mckenziewestmor) January 10, 2021
Finally, Tristan Rogers, whose Robert was always in the thick of things with Reilly’s Sean and Hughes’ Anna on General Hospital, found himself trying to wrap his brain around the fact that “my good bud is gone. I’ll never have the pleasure of enjoying a cocktail while just ‘shootin’ the [bleep]’ and listening to his comments on past times.
“RIP, my friend,” he concluded. “Know you’re missed.”
My good bud John Reilly is gone. I’ll never have the pleasure of enjoying a cocktail while just “shootin’ the shit” and listening to his comments on past times. RIP my friend, know your missed.
— tristanrogers (@tristanrogers) January 11, 2021
While you’re here and perhaps in need of a little cheering up, perhaps you’d like to distract yourself with the below photo gallery, which sheds a little light on soap stars… who married other soap stars.