Jonathan Jackson will exit General Hospital next month, though the actor says that he told show execs that he'd be willing to stick around if his workload would be lightened. Jackson won an Emmy earlier this year for his work on GH.
As previously reported
, Jonathan Jackson
) will exit the role of Lucky the week of December 19. The actor received an Emmy for his work on the ABC soap last year, prompting some fans to question why the actor is exiting.
In an extremely candid interview with TVGuide
's Michael Logan, Jackson explained the reasons for his shocking exit, and revealed why his offers to stay on with GH were rejected.
"The storylines don't stay with me in the sense that I feel personally tormented by what my character is going through, but it does take its toll on me physically and emotionally. It's a real energy zapper and there are days when I feel like I have nothing left to give," Jackson stated. "And in this medium where you're dealing with a pretty insane amount of dialogue, day in, day out, the collision of a heavy workload and increasing exhaustion can make you a little crazy."
Jackson also noted that his "nonstop" workload is an anomaly in daytime, with most actors only having a heavy storyline once or twice per contract cycle. Jackson asked network executives to lessen his workload, saying that he'd stick around
"I think — though I don't know for sure — that they were genuinely interested in figuring out a way to make this situation workable. But ultimately it was decided that, if I was to remain on the show, Lucky is too important of a character to be put on the back burner."
Jackson made his daytime debut in October 1993. During his initial six-year run with the ABC soap, Jackson picked up three Outstanding Younger Actor trophies
at the Daytime Emmys. Jackson returned to General Hospital in October 2009
after a 12-year absence from the show.
General Hospital will not recast the role of Lucky, and the door will be left open for Jackson to return in the future.