John Reilly dies, Sean Donely from General Hospital was 84

Sean Donely from General Hospital
John Reilly from General Hospital has died. Pic credit: @ImageCollect/Carrie-nelson

In some sad news for General Hospital fans today, John Reilly died at the age of 84.

Reilly was a long-time star on General Hospital as Sean Donely.

John Reilly dies

Deadline reports that John Reilly died at the age of 84, but there was no cause of death revealed.

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Reilly’s daughter, Caitlin Reilly posted about her dad’s death on Instagram.

“The brightest light in the world has gone out. Imagine the best person in the world. Now imagine that person being your dad. I’m so grateful he was mine,” Reilly wrote.

“I’m so grateful I got to love him. I’m so grateful I made it in time to hold him and say goodbye. I honestly don’t know what I’m going to do, but I know he’ll be with me. I love you forever Daddy.”


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A post shared by Caitlin Reilly (@hicaitlinreilly)

John Reilly career

John Reilly started out his career in soaps on As the World Turns as Dr. Dan Stewart. He starred in that role for over two years. He also had roles on classic TV shows like Bionic Woman, Dallas, How the West Was Won, and Quincy M.D.

However, his biggest breakout came on General Hospital as Sean Donely.

He starred in the role for 11 years and was both a bad guy and a good guy on the show.

Sean Donely was one of the core stars when it came to the WSB spy storylines on the show, both as a rival and a friend to Robert Scorpio (Tristan Rogers).

His first appearance was during a huge storyline in 1984 involving Scorpio and Luke Spencer (Anthony Geary), where he was supposed to be an ally but ended up as a rival and enemy.

After he thought he accidentally killed Scorpio, it shocked Sean back to his senses and he turned over a new leaf. He ended up helping fight off other villains and was the godfather to Robin Scorpio (Kimberly McCullough).

Reilly returned to General Hospital in 2008 for the spinoff Night Shift. He returned to the show again in 2013 for its 50th anniversary season.

Outside of General Hospital, John Reilly also had a major role as the voice of Hawkeye in the Marvel cartoon Iron Man in the ’90s. He also appeared on Beverly Hills, 90210, as Kelly’s dad.

Reilly also appeared on other soaps including Sunset Beach and Passions (Alistair Crane).

John Reilly is survived by his wife Liz. They had three daughters, including Caitlin.

General Hospital airs weekdays on ABC. 

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