R.I.P. John Reilly, soap opera star who got his start in Westerns with James Arness
He was also in everything from ‘The Love Boat’ to ‘Beverly Hills, 90210.’
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Actor John Reilly, known to millions as Sean Donely on General Hospital, has died. He appeared all over TV for more than four decades and is the reason fellow actor John C. Reilly uses a middle initial.
John Reilly first joined General Hospital in 1984 and continued to appear regularly through the mid-1990s. He even came back twice as Sean in 2008 and 2013.
Born in 1936, Reilly's connection with soap operas started early in his career. In 1974, he won a role on As the World Turns as Dr. Dan Stewart (replacing John Colenback) and stayed on for two years. Reilly also appeared in two episodes of Gunsmoke during the 19th and 20th seasons. After appearances on The Mary Tyler More Show, Kojack, Barnaby Jones and Hawaii Five-O, Reilly joined James Arness in the Old West once again on the 1978 series How the West Was Won.
On the big screen, Reilly appeared in the 1980 summer camp romp Gorp with Dennis Quaid and Fran Drescher. He was also in the prison comedy Doin’ Time and the Michael Keaton rom-com Touch and Go.
Before landing his most famous role on General Hospital, Reilly guest-starred on The Love Boat, The Powers of Matthew Star and Three's Company. He also played Roy Ralston in six episodes of Dallas.
In the 1990s, Reilly voiced Hawkeye in the animated Iron Man series and played Kelly Taylor's father in Beverly Hills, 90210. The following decade he portrayed Alistair Crain in more than 100 episodes of the soap opera Passions.
Reilly’s daughter Caitlyn, who is also an actor, shared in an Instagram post, "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. 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.”
John Reilly was 84.