General Hospital is mourning the loss of a beloved producer. Nneka Garland, a Daytime Emmy winner for her work on the ABC soap, passed away at 49.
In a post on Facebook, William Garland shared, "With the heaviest heart MY DAUGHTER N'neka died. "My first proud Baby Girl would have been 50 April 11...I wanted the world to know this angel."
In a reply to William Garland's post, former GH executive producer Jill Farren Phelps offered condolences.
"I've worked with your beloved Nneka for over 20 years," Phelps wrote. "I brought her to LA [to] General Hospital. I will never get over her loss. My thoughts are with you and the rest of the family. I loved her with all my heart."
No additional details were provided about Garland's death, but past and present General Hospital stars have been taking to social media to remember her.
In a statement, GH executive producer Frank Valentini said, "It is with a sadness (and utter disbelief) that I must share the passing of our beloved Producer, Nneka Garland. Universally adored by everyone at GH, Nneka brought out the best in all of us. Her endless patience and incredible empathy made her the person we went to for advice, a hug or just to see her beautiful reassuring smile. In big and small ways, her kindness touched and enriched each of us. Nneka’s tireless efforts during Emmy season, the pandemic’s pressures and the day-to-day challenges of our shooting schedule never rattled or upset her. She’d just shrug and say, ‘We’ll make it work, babe.’ And she did, always. Her absence will leave a hole in our lives — one that can only be filled by reflecting on all the wonderful memories that we’ve shared with her. My aunt used to say, ‘You can tell when someone you love is great by the happiness they create when you’re together.’ Nneka created that happiness every minute of every day. How lucky we all are to have known her, to have loved her and to be loved by her. She will be deeply missed.”
The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences also released a statement regarding Garland's passing.
"Besides performing her plethora of responsibilities in increasingly higher-ranking positions within General Hospital, Nneka Garland was also the show shepherd for the Daytime Emmys. For more than two decades, she worked with the administration team to create and submit the entries, promote judging, and work with on-site talent. Nobody was more knowledgeable about the process, and nobody performed it with as wide a smile as Nneka. Every duty she performed -- and there were so many -- was done with a joy that radiated from within. The Daytime Emmys team mourns this sudden and tragic loss. We will miss her presence tremendously, and send our continued sympathies and condolences to Nneka's family, friends, and GH team," NATAS and the Daytime Emmys said in the joint statement.
"Nneka Garland you were a shining star -- your smile lit up the room and your laughter brought so much joy - you had the gift of making everyone feel like THEY were your favorite," Laura Wright (Carly Corinthos) captioned a photo of herself with Garland on Instagram. "I feel so so lucky to have known you. I will miss sitting on your couch, telling stories -- calling you weekly trying to get my schedule early and seeing your name pop up on my phone because I always knew we were gonna have a fun conversation and giggle. You asked about everyone - I've never met a person with a bigger heart and a smile to match. My heart is really really sad tonight. And those who knew Nneka - they understand."
Michele Val Jean, a former head writer for GH and currently a member of the writing team at The Bold and the Beautiful, shared that she was "in total shock and my heart is broken. I can't even absorb this. Way, way too soon."
Eden McCoy (Josslyn Jacks) called Garland "irreplaceable in every way" and like a "second parent."
22 years. Nneka Garland became a second parent to me on the GH set. Irreplaceable in every way. To know and grow with you over the years was an honor. Not a day will go by where I won’t miss walking into your office. I love you now and always. What a gift you were…safe travels?? pic.twitter.com/1ErepsCOlz— Eden McCoy (@RealEdenMccoy) March 30, 2023
Former GH stars also shared their grief.
Rebecca Budig (ex-Hayden Barnes) shared that, "Nneka was the kindest. I loved her."
Nicolas Bechtel (ex-Spencer Cassadine) said, "This one hurts, may she rest in peace."
Kristen Alderson (ex-Kiki Jerome; ex-Starr Manning) expressed, "I'm devastated."
Sydney Mikayla (ex-Trina Robison) shared a broken heart emoji and the hashtag #Nneka.
March 29, 2023
In case you were wondering, yes, General Hospital did honor Garland by creating a character in her name. Arlondriah Lenyéa, who has played Savoy bartender Nneka, noted Garland's passing in a Facebook post.
"The producer who my character is based off of on General Hospital, just passed away today🕊️☹️ Sending out my most heartfelt condolences to Nneka Garland's friends and family," Lenyéa wrote.
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