Jonathan Jackson To Exit General Hospital

General Hospital is once again losing its prodigal son, Lucky Spencer, now that Daytime Emmy winner Jonathan Jackson has reportedly decided to exit what will soon be ABC’s sole-surviving soap.

According to TV Guide Magazine, Jackson was “exhausted… from months of harrowing storylines” which included but were certainly not limited to the deaths of Lucky’s son and wife, as well as the character’s relapse into the world of prescription drugs.

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Making an abrupt exit apparently was not the suds vet’s first choice. Per TV Guide Magazine, Jackson is said to have reached out to GH‘s Powers That Be about lightening his load, to no avail. He also unsuccessfully attempted to rekindle Lucky’s fan-favorite romance with Rebecca Herbst’s Elizabeth.

Jackson is slated to make his final GH appearance sometime between mid-December and early January 2012. According to Soap Opera Digest, which first reported on his exit, there is no word yet on any plans to recast the role of Lucky, which was played by two others — Jacob Young and Greg Vaughn — in between Jackson’s original 1993-99 run and his current encore, which began in late 2009.

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52 Comments
  1. Daniela says:

    It’s so sad! But I’m not really shocked. “GH” is bad … and I can understand that Jonathan Jackson wants out of this story hell. He just has to cry all the time…
    I wish Jonathan all the luck in the world. Hope he can do more music with his band and will be on primetime again. Really liked him in the “Sarah Connor Chronicles” a few years back.
    As for “GH”, it’s their loss. But please don’t bring back that untalented Greg Vaughn. Just let Lucky leave town and be done with this character … at least for some time. Maybe until this show gets a decent head writer again.

    • Mika says:

      I am sad too. Jonathon was always “Lucky” to me even though I enjoyed the other actors as well. Some characters are almost replaceable.

      But that said, maybe I am the only one who thought that Jonathon coming back to GH didn’t seem like a good fit anymore. I think I have been biased by his boyish looks. It was hard to believe him as a policeman. And it also seemed like all the others had aged to adulthood and he could still play a teenager.

      I know it’s a silly observation, but just my opinion. I still love him best as Lucky and am sorry to see his talent leave GH again.

  2. Jen says:

    *sad face* However, I don’t blame him – he’s had sad, heavy, depressing story lines 24/7 for months. Can’t they have fun anymore?

    Please, PTB, *please* don’t recast him. JJ is the only Lucky.

  3. Marsha says:

    I wonder if after January if there will be a GH to leave

    • JAmandaFan says:

      Oh please–if GH goes it would be in September which is after January. Can we please not talk about yet another senseless soap cancellation? And on another note–good riddance to Jackson- all he ever does is cry. When someone cries all the time–it loses any kind of emotional impact. I hope they don’t recast–Lucky is so boring!

  4. Richard says:

    I think he should head over to DAYS and take on the role of Eric Brady or one of The Kiriakis sons. Way too talented for what they give him on GH these days

  5. Splum says:

    It must be so exhausting to have those runny annoying eyes all the time.
    Now bring back Vaughn for the last 7 months! It’s a goner next year so might as well.

  6. LU says:

    I AM SOOOO MAD!
    I started watching GH right at the end of ’09 because of Dominic Zamprogna, but seriously fell in LOVE with Jonathan Jackson. I’ve never seen anyone else in the role of Lucky and CANNOT BELIEVE TPTB would refuse to compromise with such a popular, original, MULTI-EMMY WINNING actor. Soaps are going under and they basically boot JJ out the door!
    I’M FURIOUS. and seriously depressed by this news. Is this the end for GH?…

  7. Suzanne says:

    I hate that Jonathan Jackson is leaving. I really wanted Lucky and Liz to get back together. I really hope they don’t recast him because he is the only Lucky and I was never able to get use to anyone else playing the part.

  8. Angie says:

    NOOOO!! JJ has been the best Lucky Spencer. I can’t believe TPTB are letting him leave again. I can understand why they think a reunion between Lucky and Liz would be boring, they could certainly stretch it to some point after Liz’s mystery man is discovered and have the couple together by the time GH is likely cancelled along with the other ABC soaps. I can certainly understand why JJ needs a break from all the heavy stuff – since his return, he’s dealt with finding out that his wife Liz lied to him about the paternity of their son, met a new woman, marries her, loses his adopted son to an accident, wife #2 is murdered, finds out the child he thought wasn’t his is his, shot up with drugs, had a relpase in to drug addiciton, etc. Just reciting all this exhausting.

    • debby says:

      i say if he leaves this time let him stay gone i hate when we have to get used to someone else i like jonathan jackson as lucky but hate when they change actors on us it takes a long time to get used to someone new i liked the other lucky bring him back if j.j leaves

  9. Amber says:

    I wish the character of Liz would go with him. I can’t stand the character of Liz. Love the actress, hate the character.

  10. Jenn C says:

    I stopped watching GH about six weeks ago due to the overly depressing storylines. Seriously, it’s become the most miserable show on television. I don’t blame Jonathan Jackson for wanting out of that train wreck, his character has been crying for months and months on end. I don’t know anybody who wouldn’t find that exhausting. Besides that, the show will most likely be cancelled next year anyway.

    I didn’t want a Lucky/Liz pairing though, I was hoping TPTB would’ve paired him up with Maxie. I thought JJ and KS had a ton of natural chemistry, and Maxie can be incredibly fun (something Lucky desperately needs).

    Someone just stick a fork in this show, it’s pretty much done. No one wants to watch such misery on a daily basis.

    • Lena120 says:

      I’ve wanted a Lucky and Maxie pairing ever since they were kids. And KS and JJ have amazing chemistry but the dumb writers never utilized it because they were too busy beating the dead horse that is Liz/Lucky/Siobhan. I’m not surprised that he’s leaving. Lucky used to be a multifaceted character but now he’s nothing but depression, depression, and more depression. Where’s the variety? The writers must think they’re doing him a favor by giving him lots of Emmy-worthy material but they’re not allowing him to show his range. I say good luck JJ, escape this sinking ship with whatever speck of happiness you have left!

      • Jenn says:

        They already did a Lucky and Maxie pairing, she fed him pills and he slept with her in exchange it was horrible,disturbing, and borderline prostitution and I know if gender was reversed more people would be against it. Him and Maxie just equals another self loathing, depressing, inevitable exploding relationship that should not ever be revisited. Beside I read his tv guide interview his motivation to return to GH was specifically to work with Becky and Tony not Kirsten or Erin Chambers.

  11. Sarah says:

    I’m sorta having a ‘wtf’ moment. Wasn’t jj making a big deal of being back? They literally got rid of an actor (who gave his all) to get jj back, then he turns around and says “too much work, sorry” as an actor wouldn’t he want story lines and not just be a prop character?

    Also, yes there are lucky/liz fans out there but most of us are sick of them. And I think the writers see that. To leave a show when you don’t get your way is selfish.

    • Rowan says:

      First of all he mad e big deal about being back TWO YEARS AGO. Since then, he’s been front and center on the soap almost continuously and for the past six months it’s one heavy emotional storyline after another. You have no idea how exhausting it is for an actor to play a character constantly be in a state of sadness and despair. It takes it toll. People think acting is jut playing pretend, and for crummy actors it is – but for really good actors, they embody their characters while playing them.

      TPTB at GH are idiots for not lightening his load. I don’t’ think Lucky and Liz should re-team, but he needs a lighter storyline or some time on someone else’s storyline as a supporting character there so he can rediscover why he loved playing Lucky in the first place. The executive producers are making a huge mistake here.

    • lipsticksocialism says:

      i totally agree with you. I wouldn’t care that he was leaving and complaining if he hadn’t been the reason they fired Greg Vaughan. I understand it’s not always easy, but just the way he returned with no care at all for Vaughan (whose wife was pregnant at the time with their second child), really makes me not feel sorry for him at all. Good riddance, Jackson!

      • lipsticksocialism says:

        * I agree with Sarah. I do think that actors work hard and deserve a break, but what he did to GV just makes me hate JJ.

        • Jason says:

          WHat did he do? He just reclaimed a role he originated at the age of ten and made incredibly popular.Vaughn was lucky to have a job on a soap as long as he did. He should be able to turn it into another job if he had the talent. Especially since he is a much more traditionally good looking guy then JJ. I think the writers really bungled the Lucky-Siobahn story. She really had potential to be a great character. THey should have sent them on comedic adventures and tried to create a new Luke and Laura rather then doing the child dies/drug addiction storyline,

  12. Lucy D says:

    Of course he’s leaving. He’s been given nothing but depressing (and dumb)storylines. One minute they have him dependent on Elizabeth, the next they have him leaving her because she’s too “into” him.
    The writing and producing on this show is mind-numbingly vacant. No one has a clue–and it’s obvious.
    Good luck Jonathan. I’m sure you’ll be better off elsewhere.

  13. kim says:

    so sad to hear he is great as lucky they should have given him more up beat storys he will be missed they should be doing what days of our lives has been doing getting back to the way it should be he

  14. shann says:

    Greg Vaughn aka the best lucky to come back!!

    • Finn says:

      ugh … what show were you watching for seven years??? he sure looks good, but greg vaughn has absolutely NO talent when it comes to acting. between jackson’s acting and his are continents if not an entire universe.
      i sure hope they don’t bring him back or recast lucky at all. as for jonathan, i can understand his decision and support it 100%. good luck to you, cowboy.

    • Cathy says:

      Greg Vaughn was too old to play Lucky. There is no Lucky but JJ. Greg was great in Charmed, but again he was too old to play Lucky. I believe Lucky and Liz need another chance, they were so good together as kids, something you want to believe in.
      I don’t think these new writers care about GH, as it shows with them bringing on there people and killing off ours, not to mentions cooperating with them. They gave Lucky too much drama, anyone could see he needed a break. Now they want to age Kristina.
      I wish they cared. If or when GH is taken off the air, I vow I will not watch anything that took the place of one of our soaps. That would be disloyal.

  15. TimWnTX says:

    GH is a hot mess right now with an even worse head writer. He’s jumping ship and heading for pilot season. good luck jj!!

  16. Kay says:

    I guess he wants out before they cancel GH too. It’s too bad that they never even let the chance of LL2 blossom. What a waste of their amazing history.

  17. s says:

    I think they’re fools for letting this talented man get away! They could have written better for Lucky and put him with Liz and made it a beautiful fun story. NO, instead they are destroying the Spencer’s and the entire soap imo JJ is one of the most talented men in daytime and on GH and they couldn’t give him what he wanted? seriously. idiots. GH deserves to get canceled after this.

  18. Mick says:

    The crapfest that GH has been for the last few months is so depressing I could barely watch. JJ is a phenomal actor and one of the better picks of child actors though the show has been good at finding young talent Lexi Ainsworth, Aaron Revfvem, Drew Garret, and Haley Pullos are amazing and losing 3/4 of them shows how GH is coming apart at the seems. Young talent use to be nutured in a effort to inspire actors to stay on the show long term but since the only soaps seemingly doing that DOOL and OLTL it makes me think GW was brought on to put the final nail in the coffin. I wonder what they bribed him Chuck Pratt got to do the Lying Game after decimating AMC a few years earlier. The shows best years were under Wendy Riche and Claire Labine. Phelps has led the show to the gutter.

  19. Kel says:

    Used to watch when I was home and really enjoyed JJ. GH has gone downhill especially in the last couple of months. Get out while you can and best of luck. On to better and bigger things.

  20. Dominique says:

    I’m so angry right now. JJ is a fantastic, talented actor who really brought Lucky back to life.
    However, can’t say I’m surprised about the way TPTB handled things. It wouldn’t be the first time an actor has reached out to them regarding a storyline, and instead got fired right away. It’s apparently the way those idiots deal with the people that MAKE the show, bring it to life.

  21. C.Webster says:

    Three years ago when I gave up my cable service … I went through a period of serious withdrawal. I had watched All My Children and General Hospital for several years. I could not imagine not tuning in every day. Now … it is no big loss for me … I wouldn’t know who was who or who is going with who … or anything else.
    As for General Hospital, based solely on what I have heard,the quality of the show has gone down hill, the characters are so engrained that sometimes you know what they will do before they do it.
    I believe that Johnathan Jackson is the ONLY Lucky Spence worth watching and I wish him great success in future endeavors.

  22. Renee says:

    Well that is a serious loss for GH. Jonathan Jackson is an amazing actor. Actually I wish he would become a regular on one of my prime time shows. GH has mismanaged itself to death…literally.

  23. Denise says:

    The missed opportunity is Lucky/Maxie, they oozed chemistry. Btw, when does Kirsten Storms return from sick leave, the new girl (along with the writers) are destroying the character. She was always professional and good at her (dream) job, she had ambition and worked hard. Now she is too scattered and incompetent.

  24. Bob says:

    Sadly, GH is history in a year or so, if that. Networks just don’t want soaps. They’ve already given away their time slot to yet another “celebrity” talk show.

  25. Captain says:

    PLEASE bring back Greg Vaughn! He was my favourite Lucky anyway.

  26. Meg says:

    Totally agree, nothing against Greg Vaughn but JJ can act 1000 times better then Greg, JJ is the only real Lucky- I am disappointed that there wont be a real LL2 reunion, especially with the real Lucky.
    But the writing since he came back was terrible- They could have done so much better building a triangle of Nik/Liz/Lucky, one that the viewers can understand and believe. But they butchered the story and made Liz go crazy! Made no sense.

  27. Keila says:

    JJ is the reason I returned to GH after a few years absence. He really brought Lucky to life, and brought the show back to its roots. Am I just in denial hoping that they’ll work out a last minute deal, to at least have him on a recurring basis. How could they just let him walk?

  28. Chris says:

    Talk about getting off the Titanic. Jonathan doesn’t need this hot mess of a show anymore. I watched GH on and off for more than 30 years, but I’m not the least bit surprised that GH is in serious danger of being cancelled. It’s very sad, but this once iconic soap has hit rock bottom and become completely unwatchable. It’s been destroyed beyond repair by pathetic, disgusting mob-focused storytelling, perhaps ordered by ABC executives to drive the ratings down even further to embolden their case for axing the show. ABC clearly wants out. There’s no doubt in my mind that GH will be gone in September 2012, perhaps sooner. It’s now just a question of when, not if, ABC makes the official announcement. The writing is clearly on the wall.

  29. Emelie says:

    I love Jonathan Jackson and GH. I am so sad to see him go.

  30. Master_K says:

    I can’t believe he’s leaving, this is horrible, he’s my favorite on the show! Looks like we’ll never have a real Luke, Laura, Lucky and Lulu reunion!

  31. I WANTED TO WISH JONATHAN JACKSON ALL THE LUCK IN THE WORLD. WE BOTH KNOW THAT GENERAL HOSPITAL WILL WAIT BETWEEN SEVERAL MONTH BEFORE HIRING A NEW LUCKY SPENCER. GOD HELP THE NEW ACTOR BECAUSE THE FAN WILL KILLED ON FACEBOOK AND E-MAIL IF HE DON’T MADE LUCKY SPENCER HIS OWN. GOOD LUCK IN 2012. YOUR TRULY CHARLES DAVID HASKELL

  32. lucky says:

    so nice that he had to come back and push a father out of his job. that is so not right. Greg lost his job b/c jonathon wanted back, now b/c he has had continuous stories he needs a break?

  33. Katherine says:

    Bring back Greg Vaughan!!! Just give him better storylines this time!!

  34. Katherine says:

    Exactally!!! It wasn’t Greg’s fault they were giving him crap storylines!

  35. Ruanna says:

    Are you freaking kidding me!! GH is the best show ever and will always be..Where are the true fans at. Get over yourselves and stop hating on my show. JJ is the best lucky, I love GV but let’s make a different role for him… make JJ happy or at least put someone comparable to him please. Thanks and stop hating on GH unless u are wanting that to get cancelled too.

  36. N. Earls says:

    Great actor but not a tough Lucky. Greg vaughn was an okay actor but much tougher which is how lucky should be

  37. charliefan815 says:

    This is very sad news to me. JJ is the ONLY Lucky for me! His acting talent is superb. I wish the TPTB would rethink his requests for lightening his load a bit. His storyline has been pretty heavy for quite a while.
    I was also hoping for a reunion between Liz & Lucky!! GH has the best actors on any soap, and JJ is certainly one of them.
    My hope is that his exit will be open ended, for a one day return, perhaps after a much deserved break? And please, for the love of cake DO NOT recast the role!! Or worse, give the role back to either JY or GV!! Both stunk as Lucky.

  38. cami says:

    Please get a decent writer. Jonathan jackson couldn’t carry the show by himself. Thiws show is getting one life to liveesque yuck. Clean up ur act and ask Jonathan back for petes sake

  39. Samhfs says:

    I agree, I am so bored with all the crying and whining. Get rid of Lucky. Also get rid of Lulu and Dante…. Ugh I can’t stand that storey line?!!!!!!!!

  40. Tharley says:

    I started watching GH again when I heard Jonathan Jackson was coming back as Lucky, looking forward to seeing him and Elizabeth together. So as soon as he returns, he splits with Liz, and then is in one depressing storyline after another. While he is really great at accessing those emotions, I’m sure it’s depressing/exhausting for him since its begun to be too much for me as a viewer. I don’t understand that.TPTB say he’s too important a character to lessen his load, but now they can get rid of him altogether(?). I had read that he was going to be the real Ronin O’Reilly and I was also looking forward to that, but the show seems rudderless now. They start promising storylines or relationships, then let them die out with no resolution just at the time when they need to keep actors/characters that are fan favorites in order to keep the fans. I love the show and the actors, but the writers need to spread the wealth and let some have more to do,especially when some like JJ ask to have a little less. They certainly can utilize Ethan, Johnny, and Steve more since they are so talented, but have so little to do. In Liz’s case, they have her almost schizo -one minute being strong and moving on, the next minute being weak, manipulative, and SO needy that she’s throwing herself at Lucky. But I can’t stand the way everyone & their mother dumps all over Liz, either. And don’t even get me started on what they did to Brenda, Nicholas, and Jax (making her nuts, Nic irrelevant, and Jax a jerk). I will still continue to support the show because I love it & really don’t want it to be cancelled for yet another “life makeover” show. On a positive note, love the following pairings ( in addition to the big couples) Carly/Shawn, Steve/Olivia, Alexis/Mac & if not Lucky, then Liz/Matt. P.S. RIP Abby & when is KS returning?

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