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The Daytime Soap Community Mourns General Hospital’s Johnny Wactor

Soap stars honor the actor who played Brando, and was beloved, onscreen and off

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News that General Hospital alum Johnny Wactor was shot in Downtown LA spread quickly over the weekend, and the Daytime community remains stunned by the senseless death of the 37-year-old actor who also starred on Siberia and appeared in West World and Criminal Minds. Reactions from General Hospital costars like onscreen uncle Maurice Benard and onscreen widow Sofia Mattsson reflect what a great guy Wactor was, and FIRST for Women has them here.

Plus, we look back at Wactor’s run in Port Charles and Hollywood and have everything you need to know about the GoFundMe started in his family’s honor. 

The devastating death of General Hospital‘s Johnny Wactor (Brando)

GH alum Johnny Wactor - Brandos funeral
Wactor’s General Hospital character, Brando, was killed off in 2022ABC/Craig Sjodin

Last weekend, not even two years after his character Brando lost his life to a senseless act of violence, the actor who played him met a similar fate.

“Johnny was leaving his evening job with a coworker when they came upon three guys attempting to steal his catalytic converter,” Wactor’s godmother Michaelle Kinard writes in the Justice for Johnny GoFundMe she’s created. “He thought he was going to be towed and said, ‘Am I being towed?’ The person stood up with a mask on and said nothing and shot him.”

Proving himself ever the hero his character Brando was, Wactor reportedly put himself in the line of fire to protect his female coworker. He was pronounced dead at the hospital early Saturday morning.

“My heart is so utterly broken,” posted Sofia Mattsson, who plays General Hospital’s Sasha. “Johnny was the absolute best. So genuine. So caring. Incredibly hard working and humble….” (Find the rest of this quote below.)

As family, friends and fans are just beginning to process the death of Johnny Wactor, the GoFundMe is raising money to help Wactor’s mother, Scarlett, and his brothers, Lance and Grant, travel back and forth to Los Angeles to handle “the heartbreaking business which they have been sentenced.”

With soap stars and fans donating, the fund is close to the $100,000 goal, at press time.

RELATED: ‘General Hospital’ Actor Tyler Christopher Dies at Age 50: “A Sweet Soul and Wonderful Friend”

General Hospital actor’s life and career cut short

GH actor johnny wactor
Johnny Wactor, stars react to his deathABC/Craig Sjodin

Wactor was known for being quick with a smile – and even quicker with his stories about rock-climbing and adventure. The one-time All-American swimmer had a passion for getting physical and being outside, but he was also a South Carolina gentleman with a passion for acting.

While still attending the College of Charleston, Wactor landed his first role on Army Wives and went on to play multiple characters on the drama, before moving to Los Angeles to chase his dream.

Like many actors in Hollywood, he had a side gig – which is why he was bartending in Downtown LA that fateful night – but Wactor was making his way in the business.

In addition to playing General Hospital’s heroic Brando from 2020 to 2022, he was the lead in NBC’s Siberia and appeared in HBO’s West World, Netflix’ The OA, CBS’ Criminal Minds, the miniseries The Passenger and more.

General Hospital’s late Johnny Wactor was a true Port Charles hero

GH star Maurice Benard honor actor with a toast.jpg
Maurice Benard and Johnny Wactor in ‘General Hospital’ABC/Craig Sjodin

On Wactor’s first day on General Hospital, his character Brando took a bullet for Carly – and the veteran and recovering addict with a past went on to save the day for quite a few Port Charles locals before The Hook killer murdered him.

Without hesitation, Sonny’s nephew agreed to protect young immigrant Dev from deportation by pretending to be his father. And back when Cyrus was flooding Port Charles with deadly drugs, the mild-mannered mechanic went undercover to keep an eye on the sociopath.

Once Brando saved Sasha from overdosing on those drugs, saving the woman he loved became his priority. He supported her through her own battles with addiction, tried to protect her from the paparazzi, stood by her side when they lost their son in childbirth, and ultimately, took on her legal guardianship to keep her out of prison.

Throughout his run, Brando was also just a genuine, likeable guy – and so was his portrayer. In the wake of Wactor’s death, social media posts from his costars reflect just how well regarded he was.  

RELATED: ‘General Hospital’ Star Eden McCoy Talks Growing Up in Port Charles

General Hospital stars honor Johnny Wactor death on social media

late actor as GH Brando corbin toasting Bonnie Burroughs
Bonnie Burroughs and Johnny Wactor in ‘General Hospital’ABC/Eric McCandless

Here are some of the reactions shared by General Hospital stars as news of his passing spread. (We have not edited for grammar or removed emojis.)

Sofia Mattsson (Sasha, Brando’s widow): My heart is so utterly broken… Johnny was the absolute best. So genuine. So caring. Incredibly hard working and humble. With a huge heart that spread so much kindness and joy. He always made sure everyone around him felt seen, heard and loved. I admire the man he was so much and I’m a better person for having known him. We shared so many special moments, both on and off screen, and I will forever cherish them deeply in my heart. You will be so incredibly missed Johnny… I’m sure you’re already busy taking care of everyone up there ❤️  

Maurice Benard (Sonny, Brando’s uncle): “What can I say about something so senseless? Johnny was the sweetest guy coolest dude and just a great soul. This is beyond words you will be missed my friend”

Bonnie Burroughs (Gladys, Brando’s mother): “I am heartbroken and sickened by this terrible loss. Johnny I love you. My heart breaks for your real mom and your whole family. The world is darker now.”

GH star with Ashton Arbab as Brando and Dev .jpg
Ashton Arbab and Johnny Wactor in ‘General Hospital’ Via @AshtonArbab on Instagram

Ashton Arbab (ex-Dev): “absolutely heartbroken while typing this. Johnny Wactor was not only my tv dad for more than 25 episodes on General Hospital but he was a great human, a kind soul, a inspiration on and off set and a one of a kind actor. His talents always surprised me and allowed me to learn so much from the craft just by watching his work. I am forever grateful for the time I got to spend and work with him. Feels like yesterday you were giving me a big hug and talking to me about life. May your soul rest in peace Johnny. Heaven has gained an Angel🕊️❤️”

Laura Wright (Carly): “Heartbreaking 💔 What an incredible man. Deep love and prayers to Johnny’s family 🙏🏻.”

Jeff Kober (Cyrus Renault): “Farewell to our friend and fellow actor, Johnny Wactor. A beautiful man with a big beautiful heart. One of the kindest most thoughtful and gentle actors I’ve ever worked with. A tragic loss for all who had the gift of knowing him. My most sincere condolences to his family.”

Dominic Zamprogna (Dante): “Johnny was fierce and brave. Had been through it all. And was afraid of nothing and no one. Man, did he bring the love and intensity like no one else. He battled and won and did nothing but spread joy and love wherever he went. This is unbelievable and too much. Always wanted to go climbing with you, man. I will get outside, brother.”

Jon Lindstrom (Kevin): “When the tears slow down, I am literally sick to my stomach at this news. Johnny was one of those rare young men in this business who was kind, unassuming, humble, and always thought about other people. A talented young guy who just wanted to share that talent with the world. I wish I had enough love to fill the hole that his loved ones must feel right now, but I know that’s impossible. Johnny will be missed on this plane. For a long time to come. R.I.P.”

Kirsten storms with the late actor - Brando maxie
Kirsten Storms and Johnny Wactor in ‘General Hospital’ABC/Christine Bartolucci

Kirsten Storms (Maxie): “I’m in a state of disbelief and complete sadness. I don’t typically do posts like this, but Johnny was such a special person and it feels important (for me) to put these words out there. To @johnnywactor‘s mother and family, I am so sorry for your loss. I can’t imagine what you must be feeling right now. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Johnny was one of those rare “real individuals” that you almost never come across. I was fortunate enough to have some really good conversations with him where we discussed things I don’t typically open up about. For some reason, we talked about the deep stuff. He was a safe space for those conversations and, in turn, he would talk about his life. He genuinely cared about people and their journeys in life. During his time on GH I witnessed him work hard and truly have respect for every single person in our building. I just cannot believe that his life was stolen from him the way it was. My heart hurts. RIP Johnny.”

Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis): “An absolutely inconceivable, enraging, and senseless tragedy. Johnny was a lovely man. Condolences to his family and friends. May they find eventual peace and may his memory be a blessing.”

Finola Hughes (Anna):  “Gutted…. 🕊️ sending my deepest condolences to his family 🤍 I feel I must add to this post. The shock is so terrible, for such a genuine young man to be taken so violently. I am incredibly sad for his family. He was a very hardworking person, kind and extremely respectful to his fellow cast members. I am so sorry for his loss 🤍 Johnny Wactor xxx”

RELATED: ‘General Hospital’ Star Finola Hughes Talks Daytime Emmy Awards and What Drama Is Next for Her Character, Anna

Nicolas Alexander Chavez (ex-Spencer): “Johnny — I’m beside myself with sadness. The last time I saw you, we ran into each other by accident in Los Angeles. When we recognized each other your face lit up and you ran essentially across the room to give me a big and tight hug. You were a strong and kind person. You were a phenomenal friend and you always made me feel welcomed and loved. I consider myself incredibly lucky to have been a part of your life and I’m praying for you and your family. I will miss you very much.”

GH Nicolas Alexander Chavez honors late Johnny Wactor
Via X @nicholasachavez

General Hospital (via Instagram): “The entire General Hospital family is heartbroken to hear of Johnny Wactor’s untimely passing. He was truly one of a kind and a pleasure to work with each and every day. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his loved ones during this difficult time.”

As details continue to emerge surrounding Wactor’s shooting in Los Angeles, the General Hospital cast is grappling with yet another heartbreaking death. Port Charles locals lost Tyler Christopher (ex-Nicholas), 50, in October; Billy Miller (ex-Drew), 43, in September; Jacklyn Zeman (Bobbie), 70, last May, and Sonya Eddy (Epiphany), 55, in December 2022.

FIRST for Women sends our condolences to Wactor’s family and the General Hospital family.

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