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Credit: CBS, ABC/Courtesy of the Everett Collection, Howard Wise/JPI

General Hospital fans may not have realized it on December 7, 2005, but on that day, they got a glimpse of an actor who would quickly become one of their — all of our — favorites.

It’s a funny thing, perspective. When Jason Thompson first aired on General Hospital 16 years ago, he probably didn’t imagine how popular Patrick Drake would become. He probably didn’t imagine that he’d become part of Scrubs, one of the ABC soap’s most enduring supercouples. And he almost surely didn’t imagine that he’d eventually trade that role for arguably an even juicier one, that of Billy Abbott on The Young and the Restless.

More: Young & Restless’ missed opportunity for Abby and Chance

Looking back, though, the Emmy winner is awestruck and grateful. “Time flies when you’re having fun,” he tweeted. “Thank you to all daytime watchers, supporters and colleagues.

“I consider myself very fortunate for your support and friendship. You all hold a special place in my heart,” he added. “And cheers to two fantastic characters I’ve had the honor of playing.”

The Canadian native began his showbiz career as a model. In fact, you can get a peek at him singing the virtues of saffron in this catchy clip for Gap from 1999.

After making the rounds as a primetime guest star, Thompson scored his big break in soaps when he was cast as the son of Rick Springfield’s Dr. Noah Drake on General Hospital. Though it wasn’t exactly love at first sight for Patrick and Robin, you could definitely see sparks flying, even in their first encounter. Check it out…

After a decade making the rounds at General Hospital, Thompson told Edmonton Global News that “it felt like it was time to kind of change things up.” So he changed the channel, so to speak, and made his own the oft-recast role of Young & Restless pot stirrer Billy. Hear what he had to say about his then-new gig below…

Thompson doesn’t yet make the list of daytime’s longest-serving actors — but he’s getting there. Find out who actually has been with their show the most years via the photo gallery below.

Video: YouTube/JenThomson, Jazlyric 78, Jason Thompson Fandom