The Heartbreaking Death Of General Hospital Star John Reilly

Careerlong soap star and General Hospital staple John Reilly died over the weekend. In a heartbreaking announcement on Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021, his daughter, Caitlin Reilly, took to Instagram to share the sad news. Alongside a childhood photo of the father-daughter duo, John's social media personality daughter wrote, "John Henry Matthew Reilly AKA Jack. The brightest light in the world has gone out." Sharing her devastation, Caitlin continued, "Imagine the best person in the world. Now imagine that person being your dad. I'm so grateful he was mine. I'm so grateful I got to love him. I'm so grateful I made it in time to hold him and say goodbye."

No formal cause of death has been given for the 84-year-old actor, whose most notable role was that of retired spy Sean Donely on ABC's General Hospital. His daughter opened her heart and candidly shared her sorrow with fellow fans and mourners, stating, "I honestly don't know what I'm going to do, but I know he'll be with me. I love you forever Daddy."

Celebrities took to social media to share tributes to the beloved John Reilly

After the news broke of John Reilly's passing, fans and colleagues flooded social media with condolences and tributes. As USA Today reported, in addition to Reilly's 11 years on General Hospital, he is also known for his run on Dallas, eight years on Passions, and even as the father of Jennie Garth's character, Kelly Taylor, on the original Beverly Hills, 90210.

That substantial résumé resulted in an array of colleagues who were heartbroken by Reilly's sudden passing. The official General Hospital Twitter account wrote of their friend and fan favorite, "The entire General Hospital family is heartbroken to hear of John Reilly's passing. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his loved ones. Rest in peace."

In what was undoubtedly the most touching tribute, however, actress Finola Hughes, who starred opposite Reilly on General Hospital as Anna Devane, posted a collection of on-set photos of the two from back in the day. She wrote, "John's sensitivity and kindness was most apparent with his family and friends. His love of his wife Liz and their gorgeous daughters was legion. I am so happy I got to experience and see that love firsthand. One of a kind. Fellow Irishman, God speed. Love you #JohnReilly rip." Hughes also shared memories of meeting Reilly for the first time, and his professionalism and kindness on-set — a fitting tribute for the career actor who made such a huge impact on the daily drama genre.