The actor’s daughter, Caitlin Reilly, confirmed the news on her Instagram account on Sunday. She wrote, “John Henry Matthew Reilly AKA Jack. The brightest light in the world has gone out. Imagine the best person in the world. Now imagine that person being your dad. I’m so grateful he was mine. I’m so grateful I got to love him. I’m so grateful I made it in time to hold him and say goodbye. I honestly don’t know what I’m going to do, but I know he’ll be with me. I love you forever Daddy.”
Reilly is survived by his wife and three daughters. At this time, a cause of death has not been made public.
Here’s what you should know about actor John Reilly:
Reilly Appeared on a Number of Hit Television Shows
Reilly appeared on a number of hit television shows, including A Man Called Shenandoah, The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Hawaii Five-O. In 1974, he nabbed the role of Dr. Dan Stewart on As the World Turns.
In an interview with Soap Opera Digest, the actor shared of his television career, “Gunsmoke was my first, my second was The Mary Tyler Moore Show, the third was The Bob Newhart Show, and then Lou Grant… I have a very soft spot in my heart for this lot, and it hasn’t changed.”
Speaking of his eight-year run on the TV show Passions as Alistair Crane, Reilly told Soap Opera Digest, “My perception of Alistair is that he just laughs at people because they’re all stupid… He looks at them as if, ‘Why are you saying that? You dummy!’ Alistair gets a big kick out of the human condition. I use that laugh during Halloween, actually. One year, I had this mask on, some little kid comes up to the house and I go, ‘Hello — hahahahahaha!’ and the poor kid cried! I went, ‘Oh, my God, I’m so sorry!’ and took the mask off. I was trying to be funny, but it didn’t come out that way!”
Reilly appeared on General Hospital as fan-favorite Sean Donely for 11 years.
Commenting on the difference between playing Crane and Donely, Reilly told Soap Opera Digest, “To have all of these offspring: half-bastard sons, bastard grandsons, bastard granddaughters, half-this, half-that…and he’s attracted to anyone that moves a little sexy, you know. He doesn’t use Viagra — I said that in one of the scenes: ‘Who needs Viagra? I’m Alistair Crane!’ I knew that came from Jim!”
Fans, Friends & Family Pay Their Respects
In a tribute tweet to the actor, General Hospital wrote, “The entire General Hospital family is heartbroken to hear of John Reilly’s passing. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his loved ones. Rest in peace. #GH”
— General Hospital (@GeneralHospital) January 10, 2021
Other celebrities have reached out with their condolences. Actor Kin Shriner wrote, “R.I.P. John Reilly u were always the life of the party!”
— Kin Shriner (@kinshriner) January 10, 2021
Fellow General Hospital actor Kristina Wagner added, “A wardrobe polaroid from my collection. Sean Donnelly was Felicia’s father figure. He and Frisco protected the princess. Rest in peace John Reilly. YOU were a treasure. Sending love to his family. #RIPJohnReilly #GeneralHospital.”
A wardrobe polaroid from my collection. Sean Donnelly was Felicia's father figure. He and Frisco protected the princess. Rest in peace John Reilly. YOU were a treasure. Sending love to his family. #RIPJohnReilly #GeneralHospital pic.twitter.com/vdRyxDAh8s
— Kristina Wagner (@KristinaWagnr) January 10, 2021