For nearly three years, Johnny Wactor has called Port Charles home. That all came to an end last month when his alter ego, Brando Corbin, fell victim to a hook-wielding attacker. Wactor shared that he learned he was being let go back in July -- but the news of how his character would exit didn't come until later.
"I found out on Friday, July 29th that I was not going to be renewed for the end of my contract. That day, I was flying to New York to shoot a movie that I was producing. My manager told me to call him and he was like, 'Hey, this is what's happened,'" Wactor told Soap Opera Digest. "I was like, 'Oh, okay. Well, I wasn't expecting that today, but I'm about to hop on a plane. I'll deal with it when I get back.' Later, I read the scripts and it was like, 'Okay, they killed me off.' The following week, I wrapped my movie on Tuesday, flew back [to L.A.] Wednesday morning, got tested for Covid at GH on Wednesday, and then I filmed 60 pages on Thursday and 55 pages on Friday and that was my last six episodes of GH."
The news of Brando's death took Wactor by surprise, but it caught many of his co-stars off-guard as well. Wactor revealed that many of his GH castmates thought Brando would pull through and didn't learn the truth until the following week.
"Sofia [Mattsson, Sasha] texted me. She and Bonnie [Burroughs, Gladys] were the first people to reach out to me and they were shocked and very sad and also very supportive," Wactor shared. "Lynn Herring [Lucy] was very sweet, and I got some very supportive and kind words from Nancy [Lee Grahn, Alexis], and Cynthia Watros [Nina] had some really great advice and kind and supportive words."
Wactor said Katelyn MacMullen, Maurice Benard, Marcus Coloma, and Jeff Kober also reached out.
" [E]veryone was just lovely, which made it harder knowing it was my last days there because I got to work with really great people," he added.
Wactor noted that GH executive producer Frank Valentini had "a lot of kind words" for him.
In looking back at his time on General Hospital, Wactor remembered reporting to work early because he "was new and still kind of uncomfortable" and "wanted to watch people on set and get more comfortable on set." Wactor believes GH allowed him to get better at his craft, made him more experienced, and helped him become more confident.
"I remember sitting in the dark, preparing for a scene, and looking up at all the lights and the rafters and I just had this moment of, 'Oh, man. I'm living out my dream. I'm able to make a living as an actor, which is an extremely rare thing to do,'" Wactor said.
Would Wactor consider a run on another daytime drama? "I never say never," Wactor admitted. "I've got some friends over at The Young and the Restless that I wouldn't mind seeing and working with." His focus, however, has been on shows outside of the soaps that he'd like to appear on. Wactor also has been producing his own content.
As so many new-to-soaps actor have learned, soap fans are some of the most passionate around. Wactor admitted that he "didn't know how diehard the fan base was," but found the large fan base to be "a blessing."
"It made it fun to go to work and then be excited about seeing people react to the storylines you were in," Wactor said. "That they actually cared was really cool. I'm grateful for the fans, for fans of General Hospital, and Brando Corbin, and of mine. They made my time on the show all the sweeter."
How do you feel about Brando falling victim to the Hook. Would you like to see Johnny Wactor pop up on another soap? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.