'General Hospital' Star Fired Despite Being in Cast for More Than a Decade

Roger Howarth starred on the soap opera for 11 years, most memorably as Todd Manning and Dr. Austin Gatlin-Holt.

General Hospital has let go of Roger Howarth after the actor's 11 years on the long-running soap opera. Howarth joined the ABC daytime show in 2012 to reprise his role as Todd Manning after a decade of playing the controversial figure on One Life to Live and would go on to play two other characters, including Dr. Austin Gatlin-Holt, before he learned that his contract would not be renewed and that Austin would be written off the show. 

On Nov. 20, Howarth told Soap Opera Digest that he learned his contract wasn't going to be renewed "several weeks ago," when Executive Producer Frank Valentini called him to tell him that when his current ABC contract was up, he wouldn't be offered a new one, "and that the character of Austin would be killed, and that this was something [they] both wanted and needed to do to move story."

While Howarth was shocked at the news, he said he's taking away from the experience just how lucky he's been to have such a "great run" on General Hospital. "I realized how lucky I was to have been able to do something I really love doing for more than a decade with people who I really enjoyed working with. I'm a lucky guy. I had a great run and this was a decision made by people who make these kinds of decisions for a living," Howarth said. "For a long time, I've enjoyed coming to work, learning lines and saying them with really cool people." He added that he doesn't feel like he's been "slighted in any way" or that there was "bad juju around these decisions."

"I think that the writers and the producers and the directors work really hard to entertain a really loyal and dedicated audience and I hope that they succeed in thrilling the audience for another 60 years," Howarth explained. "I will say this: I'm really proud of myself – like, totally truthfully, honest to God, I always tried my hardest. So for me, ultimately, there's no loss. I know I did everything I could."

Following his announcement, Howarth shared a message to Instagram alongside a photo of his shadow throwing up two fingers like "rabbit ears." He wrote, "Three things that I know for sure... 1 Daytime fans are lovely and amazing and supportive and dedicated and I am deeply grateful to each sparkly one of them. 2 I enjoyed my time at General Hospital and wish the cast and crew the best and continued success. It was a pleasure working with you all. 3 Life is amazing. We just don't Ever know what's gonna happen. How great!  Turn toward the light. Always. Huge thank you to you all."