After a five-year run on General Hospital that included three Daytime Emmy wins, Sarah Brown has decided to leave the show.
Brown made the announcement last week on her official web site.
"My contract expired today but I will stay with the show 4 more weeks to wrap it all up for them. I am not leaving because of money issues or contract issues. I am leaving because my heart is telling me I'm done," states Brown.
General Hospital's executive producer, Jill Farren Phelps, says that Carly's fate has not yet been decided.
"We're leaving all our options open," says Phelps to the New York Post. "We would really rather not recast the role. Carly is such an important part of the canvas that we don't want her to drop out of sight without a resolution."
Phelps goes on to say that while recasting the role is not the show's first choice at this point, a recast may be made if it is required to advance the show's storylines. That statement has also drawn criticism from some viewers who blast Phelps for casting performers that she's worked with at other soaps in key roles.
The buzz surrounding Brown's possible leave started last November when the actress revealed that she was leaning towards not renewing her contract. That was followed up with hints that Brown was ready to enroll in film school.
"I want other things right now and I hope to move into directing in the next 10 years, full time," Brown explains.
Brown says that she is thank for her fans' support and assures them that they'll be seeing her again soon.
"I'll be working again soon, hopefully for the same network, just in another time slot."
Brown's final tape date is expected to be on or around April 6th. That would put her on-screen final appearance somewhere near the end of April or early on in the May Sweeps period.