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Rif Hutton On His GH Exit

Rif Hutton, who joined GH in January as Lenny, has exited the show after the sad passing of his alter ego. “It’s been a wonderful run,” he says. “I hate saying good-bye.”

Lenny was actually Hutton’s second GH character. The actor reports, “I had done a small part, a one-day thing on the show three or four years back and incredibly, when Frank [Valentini, executive producer] came to welcome me on my first day, he said, ‘When this part came up, I remembered you and you came to mind as the right person.’ I thought, ‘Oh, my God, you remembered that?!’ Just to be able to have this opportunity based on that, I’m forever grateful to Frank.”

Initially, Hutton was slated to appear for a far more limited run. “When I first got the call, I was totally shocked, certainly, and I was thrilled, jumping up and down at home,” he recalls. “They had said, ‘It’s a month, roughly, what we’re anticipating.’ And that was cool with me — a month on GENERAL HOSPITAL seemed wonderful! And then a month stretched into two months and three months and so on, and it’s been a blessing, just an absolute blessing.”

He credits his co-stars in the Nixon Falls universe for making his GH experience so rewarding. “Maurice [Benard, Sonny] is a phenomenal actor and I don’t know if people know just how witty he is, but he is really just a great, funny guy when the cameras are off and we get a chance to joke around and talk,” he notes. “Cynthia Watros [Nina], she’s phenomenal and one of the warmest human beings you could ever meet, just so nice, and of course, being able to work alongside Joyce Guy [Phyllis] is a joy. All these years, we’ve never met, never even crossed paths at an audition, but as it turns out, we have numerous mutual friends who said, ‘Oh, you’re working with Joyce Guy? Let me tell you how fantastic she is!’ My first day, Joyce and I immediately started talking and just sharing as much as we could to try to create, as quickly as we could, the rapport of a husband and wife. It just felt like a very natural, easy fit. Our personalities meshed very well together.”

When the show gave him a heads-up that Lenny was going to die, Hutton says, “I thought, ‘As long as the material is as wonderful, as long as he goes out with the same wonderful blaze and fantastic scenes that he’s had all along, I’m fine with it.’ All roles come to an end, and to have this one come to an end so fabulously is great.”

He describes his GH experience as “a joy from start to finish. An actor’s dream, really: Great dialogue, great scripts, great people. The team Frank has put together there — the writers, the directors, the production staff — are top-notch. It’s just an incredibly warm environment and it’s been a gift. I am very, very grateful to Frank, and I thank the fans who have been tweeting and Instagramming me and sending me such wonderful messages, letting me know how much they love Lenny. They have made this a wonderful ride for me.”