Roger Howarth Officially Exits General Hospital

It's a sad day for "General Hospital" fans. Roger Howarth, who has played three characters on the sudser since 2012, has officially ended his run as Dr. Austin Gatlin-Holt. When the good doctor was seemingly shot dead on the November 17 episode, we didn't buy it, as Howarth had previously been killed off when he played Franco Baldwin in March of 2021, only to return as Austin that May. 

Soap Opera Digest posted an interview with Howarth on November 20 where he explained that executive producer Frank Valentini had told him a few weeks ago that, "When my contract was up at ABC, I would not be offered a new contract and that the character of Austin would be killed, and that this was something that both wanted and needed to do to move story." After processing what Valentini told him, he realized he was very lucky to work at something he enjoyed and loved, "With people who I really enjoyed working with." 

"For a long time I've enjoyed coming to work, learning lines and saying them with really cool people," he lovingly stated. Throughout the interview, he credited the writers with creating great stories, and he humbly stated that he simply focused on his job as an actor. Looking forward, he remarked "This feels like a new beginning to me and I really do believe that all things happen for a reason and I have a great trust in that. It's a very exciting time to be me."

Howarth is humble and grateful

In the aftermath of being let go from "General Hospital," star Roger Howarth posted a photo on Instagram on November 20 of his shadow holding a coffee cup in one hand, and making bunny ears in the other, with the caption, "Still life with coffee and rabbit ears." He then wrote "Three things that I know for sure ... 1 Daytime fans are lovely and amazing and supportive and dedicated and I am deeply grateful to each sparkly one of them. 2 I enjoyed my time at ['General Hospital'] and wish the cast and crew the best and continued success. It was a pleasure working with you all." 

His third item optimistically explained, "Life is amazing. We just don't ever know what's gonna happen. How great!" The fan reaction was bittersweet, as they were happy for him, but sad to see him go, lamenting possible stories that will never come to fruition. Most of the responses were long and well-thought-out ruminations of his time on the show. Co-star Laura Wright (Carly Spencer) simply responded that Howarth was also "amazing." On X, formerly known as Twitter, co-star Maura West (Ava Jerome) posted a gif of them when he played Franco on November 20, writing, "Grateful for this man. Expert actor. So funny, smart as hell. Gentle. Creative and collaborative ... supportive. Life giving. What's better?" 

The genial Howarth ended his Instagram post by saying, "Turn toward the light. Always. Huge thank you to you all."