After appearing in nearly 900 episodes, the longtime soap opera actor has portrayed Dr. Austin Gatlin-Holt for the last time.
Roger Howarth made his first appearance on General Hospital in 2012 as his One Life to Live character Todd Manning. After burning through his character arc fairly quickly, Howarth then reentered the show as Franco Baldwin. Franco was a character that he played for the majority of his time while on General Hospital. But, like Todd, Franco’s time on the show eventually came to an end as well in 2021. Howarth underwent yet another transformation and took on the role of Dr. Austin Gatlin-Holt.
On November 17, Austin met a gruesome end when he was shot and killed. Unfortunately for Howarth, there just aren’t any more characters for him to jump to this time.
Roger Howarth Believes That ‘He’s A Lucky Guy’
Getting the phone call that your contract will not be renewed is never fun for anyone. But when you’ve been a part of a show for the past 11 years, it can certainly sting. For Howarth, he says that the sting was short-lived for him. While speaking to Soap Opera Digest, Howarth revealed what his mindset was after learning that Austin Gatlin-Holt’s days were numbered. “I got a phone call from somebody I’ve known for a very long time who I love very dearly. [Executive Producer Frank Valentini] told me that when my contract was up at ABC, I would not be offered a new contract and that the character of Austin would be killed,” Howarth told Soap Opera Digest.
— General Hospital (@GeneralHospital) November 17, 2023
After hearing that his character was on the way out at General Hospital, Howarth was a bit shaken. But as a professional actor, he knew that he had to take it in stride. “…It took me a minute to kind of adjust, to kind of hear the news; it took a second for me to let that settle in. And then, immediately, 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. For me, I felt it was very much like the scene in Moneyball and Jonah Hill had just told me I’ve been traded. I feel very respected and supported. For a long time, I’ve enjoyed coming to work, learning lines, and saying them with really cool people.”
Roger Howarth Reflects On His Time As Austin Gatlin-Holt
While looking back on his time spent on the sideline during key points in the show, Howarth says that he has no regrets. “Some of the other stories that kind of began and for one reason or another shifted into a different story, it’s not something an actor can really control or concern themselves with. It is not our job. I know that the people who have that job are lovely people who work really hard,” Howarth said.
As for what the future holds in store for Howarth, he says that he has plenty on his plate. “Life is great. Everyone I love is happy and healthy. I have a grandkid who has taken her first steps. I’m adjusting to the idea that I have a lot of potential and I’m not scared and I’m not anxious. This feels like a new beginning to me and I really do believe that all things happen for a reason. I have a great trust in that. It’s a very exciting time to be me. I’m just really grateful. I know it sounds a little cliche, but I really am.”
— 𝓲𝓼𝓷𝓽𝓭𝓪𝓿𝓮𝓸𝓷𝓮 (@IsntDaveOne) November 20, 2023
As far as Howarth is concerned, he’s ready to tackle anything that comes his way. “I’m just really grateful that I got to do something I loved for a long time and I’m excited about what’s next. I don’t know what it’s going to be, but in some sense, I feel like I’m just getting started.”
Were you shocked over Roger Howarth’s departure on the show? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
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