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GENERAL HOSPITAL Rewind: Everything You Need To Know About John "Jagger" Cates

The character of John “Jagger” Cates made a surprise comeback to Port Charles on February 2 with a new actor, Adam Harrington, in the role. Here’s a complete storyline history of Jagger, as originally played by Antonio Sabato, Jr.

Orphaned high school drop-out John “Jagger” Cates was introduced in 1992 when he and two of his ne’er-do-well pals broke into Kelly’s intending to rob it. One of the young men pulled a gun on Ruby and fired, but Jagger pushed Ruby out of harm’s way, taking a bullet to the neck in the process. He recovered at General Hospital under Tony Jones’s care. The PCPD threatened to arrest him if he didn’t identify the other toughs who’d taken part in the incident at Kelly’s; meanwhile, his so-called friends threatened that he’d be “dead meat” if Jagger incriminated them. Desperate, Jagger tried to bust out of the hospital — and a beautiful young hospital volunteer, Karen Wexler, intercepted him. She helped him through his fear of heights on the hospital rooftop, depositing him safely back into his room.

Jagger was released from the hospital, and he caught a lucky break when Ruby refused to testify against him. Meanwhile, the other young men were sent off to prison. Bill Eckert took pity on the homeless Jagger and hired him to work on the waterfront renovation, while Ruby agreed to let him live in the room above Kelly’s. When Karen got a job there, the chemistry between her and Jagger was obvious, but Karen fought her growing feelings, as she was dating Jason Quartermaine. Jagger picked up extra cash tuning up the Quartermaines’ boat so that Jason could take Karen out on the water, but wound up hitting his head and losing consciousness. It was only after Jason and Karen had set sail that Jason discovered his potential romantic rival was on board. When a storm hit, the trip ended up stranded on a deserted island, which proved to be a bonding experience.

Steve Burton, Cari Shayne, Antonio Sabato Jr

Craig Sjodin/ABC

Island Time: Jason (Steve Burton), Karen (Cari Shayne) and Jagger battled the elements — and Cal — while stranded together.

While Jason and Karen’s families stressed out over their whereabouts, Jason, Karen and Jagger encountered ex-con Cal on the island. Jagger rushed to action to stop Cal, who was poised to rape Karen at the top of a cliff. Cal plummeted to his presumed death, and Jagger, Jason and Karen made a pact never to discuss what had happened. The teens were rescued — but their woes had just begun, as a very much alive Cal blackmailed them, leading to a dramatic showdown where the cops captured Cal.

That fall, Jagger enrolled at Port Charles High to continue his education, and classmate Brenda Barrett set her sights on him, even though she picked up on his pull to Karen. Jagger also began to long for the siblings, Mike and Gina, who he’d been separated from for many years. At year’s end, he and Brenda started sleeping together.

Vanessa Marcil, Antonio Sabato Jr, Cari Shayne

ABC/Craig Sjodin

Hearts Afire: Brenda (Vanessa Marcil) vied for Jagger’s heart, but it belonged to Karen.

Early in 1993, Jagger gave Karen a ride on his motorcycle to a college interview. They wound up stranded in a snowstorm, leading them to come clean with one another about their true romantic feelings. She intended to break up with Jason to be with Jagger, but a jealous Brenda took secret snapshots of a nude Karen while she was showering in the girls’ locker room and slipped the pictures into the boys’ lockers. Her nasty prank devastated Karen, and when Jagger got into a fistfight defending Karen’s honor, he was expelled! Jagger observed Jason comforting Karen and decided she was better off with Jason, so he cut things off with Karen in a note and fled town. But he soon realized his grave mistake and returned, showing up at her school Valentine’s Day dance and declaring his love. Karen abandoned her date, Jason, and ran off with Jagger.

With Karen’s encouragement, Jagger tracked down his sister, Gina, and hired Felicia to investigate the whereabouts of his still-missing younger brother, Mike. Jagger also began boxing and was managed by Marco Dane. Meanwhile, Karen froze whenever she tried to be intimate with Jagger, and in time, she recovered long-buried memories of being sexually abused by Roy, an ex-boyfriend of her mother’s. Karen began acting out and, too ashamed to share her secret with Jagger and feeling unworthy of his love, she broke up with him, leaving Jagger reeling. Karen secretly began working as a stripper at the club Sonny was running, the Paradise Lounge. Karen’s new pal, Stone, who worked for Sonny, turned out to be none other than Mike, Jagger’s brother! Stone moved in with Jagger, and when Jagger followed him to the club one day, he was shocked to discover Karen inside, stripping. When he returned later, he found her in bed with Sonny, who he promptly beat up. The mobster responded by putting a hit out on Jagger. Marco persuaded Sonny not to kill Jagger by giving him a share of Jagger’s boxing winnings. When Karen’s loved ones rallied around her and extracted her from the club, Sonny was livid and warned Marco that if Jagger didn’t throw his next fight, Sonny would harm Karen. Jagger defied this order, though, and went on the run with Karen. There, she came clean with him about her childhood trauma and they made love for the first time.

Michael Sutton, Kimberly McCullough, Antonio Sabato Jr., Cari Shaynevand Denise Galik-Furey

Craig Sjodin/ABC

Oh Happy Day: Jagger and Karen were surrounded by the love of (from l.) Stone (Michael Sutton), Robin (Kimberly McCullough) and Gail (Denise Galik-Furey) at their wedding.

In 1994, Jagger and Karen got engaged, and he decided to stop boxing and become a cop instead. Jager and Karen said, “I do” at Kelly’s — and on their wedding day, Rhonda confessed to the bride that her biological father was Rhonda’s boss, Scott Baldwin. Jagger and Karen then set out for a new life in Chicago, where Karen was slated to attend med school at Northwestern University.

The following year, the couple visited Port Charles at Stone’s request. Jagger was heartbroken to learn that his little brother had AIDS. Jagger and Karen returned to Chicago, and Stone passed away not long thereafter.

Kimberly McCullough, Michael Sutton, Cari Shayne and Antonio Sabato Jr.

Cathy Blaivas/ABC

Final Farewell: Jagger lost Stone to AIDS in 1995.

In 1997, on PORT CHARLES, Karen returned to town solo to intern at G.H., leaving Jagger behind in San Francisco, where he was a police officer. In time, she admitted that her marriage was struggling. Karen went to visit her hubby and found him with another woman, Fran. When she went back to Port Charles, Jagger wrote her a letter apologizing for becoming distant and copping to have an affair with Fran. The duo agreed to divorce, and the dissolution of their marriage was finalized by year’s end. Sadly, Karen was killed in 2003.

Antonio Sabato Jr


Man Of The Law: Jagger returned to town as an FBI agent.

In 2008, Jagger resurfaced in Port Charles on the second season of GH: NIGHT SHIFT. Now an FBI agent, Jagger was a single dad to a son, Stone, named after his late brother. Robin suspected that Stone was on the autism spectrum and advised Jagger to have him tested. Stone was diagnosed with autism. Jagger subsequently went back to San Francisco with the boy.

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