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Soap Opera Veteran, Longtime TV Star John Reilly Dead At 86

John Reilly has passed away at age 84.

John Reilly, a longtime veteran of the soap opera world who also had a long career on several other primetime shows, as well, has died. He was 86 years old.

He died at some point this weekend, according to an Instagram post first published by his daughter, Caitlin Reilly. His cause of death has not yet been announced.

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Born in Chicago, Reilly got his start on notable soap operas, including As The World Turns. His first truly big break came when he played Roy Ralston, the talk show host and J.R. Ewing confidante on Dallas. Eventually, in 1984, he became retired spy Sean Donely on General Hospital — a role which lasted until 1995 and was arguably his biggest and most well-known character of his career. He returned memorably for the season finale of the show’s spinoff series, Night Shift, in 2008, and then later in 2013 again popped up to help celebrate its 50th anniversary on television.

In addition to his work on General Hospital, Reilly also memorably appeared on several major primetime shows of the last several decades, as well. For one, he was Kelly Taylor’s absent father on Beverly Hills, 90210. He also had a recurring role on NBC‘s Passions, playing Alister Crane after the late David Bailey.

In 1994, he was also notable for having completed voiceover work in the role of Hawkeye on Marvel‘s Iron Man animated series — so it’s clear he had acting chops to portray lots of different characters with different quirks and personalities.

In her post bidding farewell to her father, Caitlin shared a particularly heartwarming and touching sentiment, and one point writing (below):

“John Henry Matthew Reilly AKA Jack. The brightest light in the world has gone out. Imagine the best person in the world. Now imagine that person being your dad. I’m so grateful he was mine. I’m so grateful I got to love him. I’m so grateful I made it in time to hold him and say goodbye. I honestly don’t know what I’m going to do, but I know he’ll be with me. I love you forever Daddy.”


Here’s the full post (below):

Very touching.

Love that picture.

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May John Reilly rest in peace after a career well-done and evidently a life well-lived, and may his loved ones find comfort now in the tough times after his passing. Sad, sad stuff…


[Image via Nikki Nelson/WENN]

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Jan 10, 2021 17:15pm PDT