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Gregory Harrison Exits General Hospital



Gregory Harrison, who joined GH as Gregory Chase in a recurring capacity on in November 2020 and inked a contract in June 2022, has ended his run on the show. The exit is a permanent one, as Harrison’s character — who was originally played by Days of Our Lives‘s James Read (Clyde) in 2018 — passed away in his sleep after a battle with ALS. A show rep confirms to Digest that May 21 marks the actor’s final appearance; the departure was storyline-dictated.

Harrison was a well-known actor outside of daytime with a decades-long career in prime-time, film and stage before GH tapped him to assume the role of Chase (Josh Swickard) and Finn’s (Michael Easton) father. GH marked his first foray into daytime soaps, but was far from his first opportunity to dip his toes into the genre. He told Digest in 2023, “For 55 years I had been offered soaps, you know? Maybe half a dozen times, I was offered arcs with Susan Lucci [ex-Erica, All My Children], you know, to play the man of her moment of whatever that year was, and I always said, ‘Oh, no, no, no.’ It scared me so bad.”

The onset of Covid in 2020 — and the resulting shutdown of Hollywood productions — altered his attitude. Harrison explained that GH was “the first job offered to me after the pandemic. My agent called to say, ‘GENERAL HOSPITAL wants to know if you want to do an arc.’ [And] I heard myself say, ‘Yes! Tell ’em yes.’ It was almost like an out-of-body experience, because I was just desperate to go do what I love to do. And then after I hung up the phone, I went, ‘Oh, my God, what did I just say yes to?!’ You know, ‘Why did you wait till you were 70-something to test your brain with 30 pages of dialogue a night? What, are you crazy? Are you out of your mind?’ I went through terror for a couple of weeks and then I started the show… The terror ended after two or three weeks.”

The actor soon found himself “having the best time” working opposite actors like on-screen sons Easton and Swickard, Finola Hughes (Anna), Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis) and Jane Elliot (Tracy), and enthused, “[I] love the process, I love imagining the choices and understanding the author’s intent and I love being able to collaborate with other people and sort of find my spot in this story. “What’s the instrument I’m playing in this orchestra today? And what are the notes that I need to hit in this orchestra today?”

He forged fast off-screen bonds with his co-stars, particularly those in his fictional family. “Michael is a great guy, a great actor,” he said of Easton. “We have a lot of fun together. He’s a very gentle soul. Michael’s a very gentle man, I find, but a wonderful actor. He really knows what he’s doing. All my work in the beginning was with Michael and he was so complimentary and solid that he took a lot of my fears away.” He noted that he was equally fond of Swickard, remarking, “I think Josh actually looks kind of like my son. I think Josh looks a lot like I did at Josh’s age and he’s really adept. He’s too handsome and he works out too much, but he’s really a great guy. I’ve gotten to know him pretty well. He’s got a great family life and I think he doesn’t take himself too seriously, which I love — I love somebody that handsome and that talented doesn’t take themselves so seriously. Very generous, very fun, relaxed. I have a great time with him.” And, of course, he was just as smitten with Jophielle Love (Violet) as Gregory was of his granddaughter. “JoJo [Jophielle Love, Violet] is a phenom. I’m not quite sure what to make of JoJo! [She is] a little frighteningly in charge of everyone! I mean, when she shows up, it’s like everyone just kind of goes, ‘Okay, JoJo is in charge! She’ll tell us how it’s gonna go today!’ … She always knows her lines. She’s always there and ready and fun-loving, too! I mean, she loves to have fun and tease and run around. It’s a great energy to have on that set, because you know, there’s a lot of people who have been on the show a long time, while some of us are, you know, of a certain era. And to have that kind of energy is a real breath of fresh air, so I love working with her. She’s easy for me to play a loving grandpa to.”

On his Instagram, Michael Easton paid tribute to Harrison, writing, “Gregory Harrison. One of the finest actors I’ve ever had the privilege of working with and an even better human being. I learned so much from you, my friend, and it was an absolute honor to get to share a stage with you these past three years. Your talent, grace and powerful presence will be greatly missed around the studio.”