Thursday's episode was an extremely exciting one for General Hospital viewers, who were surprised with the return of Roger Howarth, who is no longer playing the role of Franco Baldwin. The fan favorite actor has scrubbed in as a brand-new character: a doctor named Austin!
Back in March, viewers of the ABC soap opera were extremely disheartened when the powers that be killed Franco, which seemingly brought Howarth's time on the show to an end. However, not long after his death scenes, the actor assured his fans that he was not done at General Hospital and was just taking a short break.
"I'm really excited. I have great faith in the people who think of these things," the Emmy-winning actor shared at the time "I've been in good hands so far."
As promised, Howarth returned during Thursday's episode in scenes in which his new alter ego came to the rescue of Maxie Jones (Kirsten Storms), who went into labor in the woods after escaping the clutches of evil Nurse Chloe (Kimberly J. Brown), who was hired by Peter (Wes Ramsey) for a kidnapping plot meant to keep Maxie and their baby by his side.
This is just the beginning of the drama ahead for Maxie, as well as for Austin, who GH head writers, Chris Van Etten and Dan O'Connor, tease will play a huge part in summer storylines.
"Roger's new character has an interest in a prominent Port Charles family," the writers preview in the new issue of Soap Opera Digest. "He'll shake up the canvas in surprising ways as summer unfolds."
Roger Howarth got his start on soap operas by playing the role of Kent Winslow on Loving in 1992. He also played the role of Guiding Light's Jory that same year. He took on the controversial character of Todd Manning on One Life to Live in 1993 and brought the character to GH following OLTL's cancellation in 2012. He began playing the role of GH's Franco in 2013, after ABC and Prospect Park entered into a lawsuit over OLTL characters. Some of Howarth's other credits include playing Paul Ryan on As the World Turns, Professor Greg Hetson on Dawson's Creek, and Mason Bridge on The Flash.
What do you think about GH bringing Roger Howarth back to the canvas as a new character? What are your first impressions of Austin? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.