This is huge news my friends. Anyone who knows me knows I adore Steve. He has always treated me with the upmost respect and supported the fan club 150%. I will miss him dearly.
This exclusive interview was posted this morning on TVonline.com
Steve Burton Quits General Hospital by Michael Logan
Stone Cold is outta here! Emmy Award winner and über-fan fave Steve Burton has decided to end his run as heartthrob hit man Jason Morgan on the ABC soap General Hospital, a role he has played since 1991. TV Guide Magazine got the exclusive scoop.
TV Guide Magazine: Word is, this is one of the most amicable soap exits ever — no money battles, storyline complaints, testy negotiations. Where’s all the drama, dude?
Burton: I’ve been through 21 years of ups and downs with GH — regime changes, cast and crew changes, budget cuts, shakeups of one kind or another, and it’s been nothing but a huge positive in my life and for my family. I have no complaints, no negative feelings at all. But it’s time to go. I’m going to take some time off and do nothing but relax, just enjoy life a little bit with my wife and kids. I’ve bought a home in Tennessee, way out in the country outside Nashville. [Laughs] Probably too far out in the country! I’ve been talking about leaving GH and moving there for the last seven years. The timing was never right and then the economy crashed and I couldn’t sell my house in California. I went there many years ago when I did the movie The Last Castle and loved it. Tennessee reminded me of growing up in Ohio. The people are nice, it’s family oriented and, now that my kids are 6 and almost 9, I want to get them planted. My contract was coming up at GH so we put the house up for sale again and it went in, like, eight weeks. That opened the door for me to leave GH.
TV Guide Magazine: They didn’t freak and offer you the world to stay? Jason’s departure is going to leave a big hole in a lot of characters’ lives — Sam, Sonny, Elizabeth, Carly. This is huge!
Burton: Obviously, they want me to stay and I know the timing’s not the best in terms of story, but the timing for me, personally, is perfect. That doesn’t mean this is easy. It’s so comfortable for me at GH. This show has been my life, my family. I grew up there! I tried to sit down and write a statement to the fans to say how I feel and how much I appreciate them because they have been absolutely amazing and so incredibly loyal. I’m on Twitter a lot and have gotten to know a lot them. I’m going to miss doing the personal appearances and seeing so many of the same people again and again over the years. So I tried to write something and it was really, really tough. I couldn’t get through it.
To read the complete interview TVGuide