General Hospital's Sonya Eddy has passed away at age 55. The news of the actress' passing was shared on social media by her close friend Octavia Spencer.
"My friend @sonyaeddy passed away last night," Spencer captioned a headshot of Eddy. "The world lost another creative angel. Her legions of @generalhospitalabc fans will miss her."
Growing up in Concord, CA, Ms. Eddy went to UC Davis, where she double-majored in English and African-American studies, with a minor in Dramatic Arts. After college, her acting debut was in the West Coast premiere of Ruby Dee's Zora Is My Name, in which she played a number of characters. Other roles followed, including Courtesan in Comedy of Errors, The Witch in Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods, and Bloody Mary in Rogers and Hammerstein's classic South Pacific. For the latter she won an Arty Award.
Eddy joined General Hospital as no-nonsense nurse Epiphany Johnson in March 2006 and has appeared in more than 500 episodes of the ABC soap. In one of her final GH appearances, Epiphany has decided to become a doctor and took the MCATs.
Eddy is also known for the role of Rebecca DeMornay on Seinfeld, a role that made her a pop culture icon. Eddy's sassy character lectured Jerry and friends on muffin stumps and taking books into public bathrooms.
In addition to General Hospital and Seinfeld, Eddy appeared in a list of television series and films including Inspector Gadget, Barbershop, Bad News Bears, and Pee-Wee's Big Holiday.
According to Tyler Ford, one of Eddy's friends, the 55-year-old actress went in for a pre-scheduled procedure on December 9 and was released on December 11. Shortly there after, Eddy began to feel ill and returned to the hospital on December 15. "Doctors then discovered that Eddy had developed an infection that became uncontainable," Ford told TMZ. By the morning of December 20, Eddy was placed on life support and died later that night.
GH executive producer Frank Valentini called Eddy a friend, writing, "The lights in the hub of the nurse's station will now be a little dimmer, but her spirit and light will live on in both the show and our set."
I am heartbroken about the loss of the incredible @TheRealSonyaEd. I truly loved her not only as actress, but as a friend. The lights in the hub of the nurse's station will now be a little dimmer, but her spirit and light will live on in both the show and our set.— Frank Valentini (@valentinifrank) December 20, 2022
"I want express my shock and sadness for the unexpected loss, last night, of my co-worker, friend, and simply beautiful soul, Sonya Eddy," Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis Davis) wrote in a Facebook post. "Sonya was truly beloved General Hospital. Her presence on set would instantly calm & at the same time light up the place. Sonya was solid. Not a false note in her warm groundedness. A hug from [Sonya] was a spiritual experience. Her hugs were motherly, sisterly, and full of her heart, which was huge. Sonja was compassionate, generous and wickedly wry."
"Mourning the sudden loss of Sonya Eddy. Her smile could light up a soundstage. Her spirit could power a reactor. I loved the few times we worked together, but I REALLY loved the times we would talk in the hallway or on the #GH Nurses Hub set. About life, meditation, acting. God, she was a gift of a human. And she is missed already. Sending my deep condolences to her loved ones," Jon Lindstrom (Kevin Collins and Ryan Chamberlain) shared.
Marc Anthony Samuel (Felix Dubois) wrote, "There were so many reasons to love you Sonya. Your laugh was infectious, your sense of humor, on point. Your professionalism, even while in physical pain was amazing to me. Your humility and gratitude is something that I will never forget. But mostly I love you because you were my friend. I'm still in shock, but grateful I got to see you the other day. I know that you've missed your dad, so I like to think that you and he are catching up. Love you ma."
Kelly Thiebaud, whose Britt Westbourne often rubbed Epiphany the wrong way, shared her real-life love for Eddy. "Sonya, there aren't words for how saddened I am to hear about the world losing you. You were there on my first day at @generalhospitalabc and you have been a part of my journey on the show since then. You had such a big personality and great sense of humor. We always laughed working together and shared crazy dog stories. Sending love and my deepest sympathies to Sonya's family, loved ones and our GH family."
"Iím so shocked to hear about [Sonya Eddy's] passing! She was such a bright light in my time on General Hospital and my heart is with her family & loved ones. Iíll miss laughing with you on set, Sonya," Cassandra James (Terry Randolph) shared on Twitter.
Risa Dorken, who plays nurse Amy Driscoll called Eddy a friend and mentor. "She was family, she was magic. The greatest smile, and the best laugh -- making her laugh felt like an honor. She was so beloved and admired by everyone. She scooped me up under her wing and guided me over the years. She'd look at you with her big, beautiful eyes and know instantly if you were hiding something. She was a real friend to everyone. I love you so much, Sonya -- you knew that. I'm grateful for our time together. I send my love to everyone who loved her. I wish I could give you one more squeeze. May you rest easy."
Ryan Paevey (ex-Nathan West) said that he and Eddy "got along instantly" and, like others, recalled her smile and hugs.
Crushed to learn of the passing of @TheRealSonyaEd Ö..she was one of the good ones. We got along instantly and easily, and she always had a smile and a joke and a hug. I have missed her since we all scattered to the windsÖ.and i will miss her more now. Rest now, love. ??— Ryan Paevey (@RyanPaevey) December 20, 2022
Sarah Brown (ex-Carly Benson; ex-Claudia Zacchara) referred to Eddy as "one of the greatest people you could ever know."
?? Sonya Eddy was truly one of the greatest people you could ever know. Fiercely talented & loyal, funny as all hell. Her a Epiphany Johnson character on G.H. was just wonderful but she had so many characters left to play ?? R.I.P beautiful Diva. Iím going to miss her forever ?? https://t.co/fB7Jn7REeG— Sarah Joy Brown (@sarahjoybrown) December 21, 2022
What are some of your favorite memories of Sonya Eddy and Epiphany Johnson? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.
@TheRealSonyaEd was the first person to turn to me and say ď That was real good.Ē— lydia look (@lydia_look) December 21, 2022
I was in a scene with legends and was like a doe amongst bucks and was shaking inside but hiding it. Her four words felt like honey and my fear dissipated. Then we talked food like sisters. ??????