The "secret" is out: ABC has now confirmed that Jeff Branson (Jonathan Lavery) will be returning to All My Children later this summer. Although Branson's return has now been confirmed, unofficial word of the actor's return has been a message board staple for several months.
Technically, Branson never really left All My Children. The actor has been seen off and on throughout the summer in visions, even though his character was "killed off" back in April. Fans immediately questioned if All My Children could really be done with the actor. After all, Branson had just come off a successful rookie year with the show that was capped off with an Outstanding Supporting Actor Daytime Emmy nomination.
There were at least three tell-tale signs that ABC was not about to let Branson stray too far from Pine Valley. First, Jonathan's body was never recovered. As the old soap opera adage goes, if no body is recovered there is usually not a death. Sometimes even when a body is found there's still not a death. Second, Branson's photo was not removed from the opening credits during the show's most recent update of the opening montage. And finally, the show's head writer, Megan McTavish, has routinely played coy with the media, teasing that viewers had not seen the last of Jonathan.
Branson joined the cast of All My Children in June 2004.