Natalie Zea (Gwen Hotchkiss) will leave Passions when her contact expires later this year.
"I have decided not to renew my contract with PASSIONS," writes Zea on her official web site.. "Although I enjoyed my experience, and learned quite a bit, especially initially, I know that the best thing for my career, and my craft, is to pursue new challenges. So after some deliberation, an amicable parting of ways seemed to be the best decision."
Zea is the second actress to play the part of Gwen - and the second to decide not to renew her contact with the show. The first actress to play Gwen, original cast member Liza Huber, opted to exit Passions and acting in general in November 2000.
Unlike in Huber's situation - when the actress announced that she'd decided that following in the footsteps of her famous mother Susan Lucci (Erica Kane, All My Children) might not be the career path she wanted - Zea has not stated if she will pursue other acting gigs upon her departure from Passions.
Zea makes her exit on October 4th. A Passions spokesperson states that the role will be recast.