Steve Burton recently exited General Hospital after nearly three decades due to disagreement over the COVID-19 vaccine mandate. Sources close to the show told USA Today that the actor filmed his last episode on October 27.
The 51-year-old took to Instagram to open up about the situation and confirmed his departure from the drama. Burton shared that he could not comply with the network’s vaccine mandate due to medical and religious reasons:
“I wanted you to hear it from me personally. Unfortunately, General Hospital has let me go because of the vaccine mandate. I did apply for my medical and religious exemptions, and both of those were denied. Which, you know, hurts. But this is also about personal freedom to me. I don’t think anybody should lose their livelihood over this.”
The Young and Restless alum also mentioned that he is “grateful” for his longtime role in the show and said he would remain hopeful of returning to the set if the mandates are lifted in the future.
“I’ll always be grateful for my time on General Hospital. I love it there, and I grew up there. Maybe one day, if these mandates are lifted, I can return and finish my career as Jason Morgan. That would be an honor. I don’t know what my last air date is, it may have aired, or it might be tomorrow or the next day. I’m not sure.”
Steve Burton’s exit comes nearly two weeks after his former co-star Indo Rademacher left for similar reasons. The former tested positive for COVID in August 2021 and said he was exposed to the virus “at work.”
Following his diagnosis, fellow General Hospital actor Nancy Lee Grahn called upon the SAG-AFTRA union to acknowledge COVID safety protocols on set. This led to General Hospital becoming the only daytime soap opera to have a vaccine mandate.
Everything to know about Steve Burton
Steve Burton was born on June 28, 1970, to Tory and Jack Burton in Indianapolis. He grew up in the Richmond Heights suburb of Cleveland before moving to California. The star graduated from Beverly Hills High School and also studied acting at Theatre Theatre in Hollywood.
He is best known for playing the role of Jason Morgan in ABC’s popular soap opera General Hospital. He bagged the role in 1991 and was associated with the show for nearly 30 years until his recent departure. Burton also played a brief role as his character’s twin brother Andrew Cain in the series.
The Indiana native is also recognized for portraying Dylan McVoy on The Young and the Restless and for voicing the character of Cloud Strife in the Kingdom Hearts series and the film Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children.
Steve Burton began his career in 1987 playing Chris Fuller on Out of This World. He appeared in NBC’s Days of Our Lives, sci-fi miniseries Taken, and the American action drama film The Last Castle. Steve Burton won the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for General Hospital in 1998.
The actor’s recurring role in the soap opera ended in 2012, but he returned in 2017. That same year, he won another Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor for his role in The Young and The Restless.
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Steve Burton is married to Sheree Gustin, and the couple shares three children, daughters Makena and Brooklyn and son Jack.