After 11 years and nearly 900 episodes, Roger Howarth was let go from his role on the long-running daytime soap opera General Hospital.
Howarth joined the show in 2012, playing the character Todd Manning — whom he’d originally portrayed for a decade on One Life to Live — and went on to play two other characters for the majority of his run on GH, most recently portraying Dr. Austin Gatlin-Holt.
Howarth spoke with Soap Opera Digest on Monday about his departure, and explained that he learned his contract wasn’t being renewed “several weeks ago” when he got a call from Executive Producer Frank Valentini telling him that, when his current contract with ABC was done, he “would not be offered a new contract and that the character of Austin would be killed, and that this was something [they] both wanted and needed to do to move story.”
According to Howarth, the news took him by surprise, but he said the fact that he’s been so fortunate is what he is really taking away from the experience.
“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 shared with the outlet. “For a long time I’ve enjoyed coming to work, learning lines and saying them with really cool people.”
Howarth added that he doesn’t “feel like I’ve 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 added. “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.”
Howarth also shared some words of wisdom on his Instagram, posting a photo of his shadow against a wall.
“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!” Howarth captioned the post. “Turn toward the light. Always. Huge thank you to you all.”