Though initially unconfirmed by ABC at "post time," All My Children has since confirmed a report made by Soap Central last week that Vincent Irizarry (David Hayward) will be leaving All My Children within the upcoming weeks. The decision to fire Irizarry may come as a shock to fans, but from a budgetary standpoint the network has been paying the high caliber actor for little on-screen time.
"He is a wonderful actor and a true gentleman and I thank him for his years of dedication to the show," said AMC's executive producer Julie Hanan Carruthers. "The decision to write the David character off the canvas was both financial and storyline based. [Irizarry] is a wonderful actor and a true gentleman and I thank him for his years of dedication to the show."
Irizarry joined the cast of All My Children in November 1997 and, as planned, remained with the show on a short-term basis through March 1998. However, fans and network execs were so taken by Irizarry's portrayal of the dastardly Dr. Hayward that the actor was offered a long-term contract in July 1998, just a few months after his exit. The news of his exit was confirmed in a message on Irizarry's official web site.
In recent months, though, the two-time Daytime Emmy nominee has been relegated to the sidelines. Irizarry's alter ego is seldom seen and has not had a front burner storyline of his own since the departure of his on-screen love, Finola Hughes (Anna Devane) in September 2003.
Before joining the cast of All My Children, Irizarry enjoyed a run on CBS's Guiding Light in not one, but two different roles. From 1992 to 1996, Irizarry portrayed Nick McHenry Spaulding and from 1984 to 1986 he tackled the role of Brandon "Lujack" Luvanoczeck. In 1985, Irizarry earned a Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Younger Man.
In 2002, Irizarry earned his second Daytime Emmy nomination. This time around, the All My Children star was nominated in the Outstanding Lead Actor category.
With the resolution of the "Who Killed Greg Madden?" storyline coming in the weeks ahead, some fans are already wondering if Irizarry's exit will in some way be tied to that story.
Since the exit was fueled by budget and storyline reasons, the role of David will not be recast. A final airdate for Irizarry has not been made public.