One of the longest-running characters on ABC soap "General Hospital" is ready to leave for greener pastures in Tennessee. After 21 years in Port Charles, the saga of "Stone Cold" Jason Morgan will come to a close, as actor Steve Burton has announced he is leaving the show.
The decision was devoid of any of the drama and back-stabbing typically seen on the series. The Emmy-winner told TV Guide that the split was entirely without ill will, and the actor simply ready to move on: "I've been through 21 years of ups and downs with GH — regime changes, cast and crew changes, budget cuts, shakeups of one kind or another, and it's been nothing but a huge positive in my life and for my family. I have no complaints, no negative feelings at all. But it's time to go."
Burton alluded to potential future projects that could see the light of day in the near future, including a telenovella spearheaded by "General Hospital" guest-star James Franco. "Jill [Farren Phelps, former GH executive producer] went off and did that telenovela Hollywood Heights [at Nickelodeon] and James did a day's work there. Suddenly he decides he wants to make one of his own novellas through his production company and we're like, 'Huh?' So the three of us collaborated on an idea and came up with a really good one. Jill will EP it, I'll produce and star in it and so will James. We'll be able to get a lot of great cameos and guest stars because of James' connections. It'll be a fun show to do."
For now, the star is content with relaxing, having relocated to a new home in Tennessee where he is hopeful he and his family can establish roots. However, Burton was clear that he will never forget his time on the soap and the fans who supported him. "This show has been my life, my family. I grew up there!" Burton explained. "I tried to sit down and write a statement to the fans to say how I feel and how much I appreciate them because they have been absolutely amazing and so incredibly loyal. I'm on Twitter a lot and have gotten to know a lot them. I'm going to miss doing the personal appearances and seeing so many of the same people again and again over the years. So I tried to write something and it was really, really tough. I couldn't get through it."