Hank Bennett will undergo a radical transformation in the next few months. Dalton James, the actor who created the role in 1999, has been released from his contract.
According to an official statement from Annamarie Kostura, Vice President of NBC Daytime Programs and Casting, "The show is taking the character in a completely different direction."
This remark doesn't come lightly, as it is one used by nearly every network and program. Writers occasionally come up with ideas to alter a character's storyline in such a dramatic way that show executives sometimes feel that the audience will not accept the current performer in the revamped or revised role.
James' final appearance was January 10th. No word yet on when the new Hank will make his debut.