Johnny Wactor, ‘General Hospital’ Star, Shot and Killed in Robbery at 37

The prolific actor was apparently killed by thieves looking to steal his car’s catalytic converter

A man stands wearing a jacket on a city street, with a stone building and trees behind him.
File: Actor Johnny Wactor is seen in Old City on Oct. 29, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images)

Johnny Wactor, best known for his work on “General Hospital,” died early Saturday. He was 37 years old.

In a statement, Wactor’s agent David Shaul told TheWrap, “Johnny Wactor was a spectacular human being. Not just a talented actor who was committed to his craft but a real moral example to everyone who knew him. Standing for hard work, tenacity and a never-give-up attitude. In the highs and lows of a challenging profession he always kept his chin up and kept striving for the best he could be.”

“Our time with Johnny was a privilege we would wish on everyone,” Shaul added. “He would literally give you the shirt off his back. After over a decade together, he will leave a hole in our hearts forever.”

Wactor’s mother told TMZ he was shot and killed in downtown Los Angeles as part of an attempted robbery. Wactor and a friend saw three men attempting to remove the catalytic converter from his car, his mother told the outlet.

Though the actor didn’t attempt to stop the men, she said, they shot him as they left the scene. The LAPD declined to comment when reached by TheWrap and the L.A. Coroner’s Office was not immediately available for comment. However, the details of the killing appear to match news of a Saturday robbery.

According to a report from the Daily Mail, Wactor was accompanied by a female coworker at the time of the shooting, and shielded her from fire when the shooting occurred. Wactor’s younger brother, Grant, told the Daily Mail the act of bravery was in line with their upbringing, saying “we’re Southern, born and raised, and we would never let a female walk to their car by herself.”

Wactor left soap opera “General Hospital” in 2022 after his character Brando Corbin was killed off. In a since-deleted Reel posted to Instagram, he said, “It’s been a couple days since the demise of Brando Corbin in Port Charles as we know it. I have to tell ya, I have been so blown away by the reaction from the fans. I had no idea that you guys cared so much about my character.”

“I’m so grateful for the outpour of questions and support and — I’ve always said that the fans of ‘General Hospital’ are the best fans in the world. I truly believe that and this is just further evidence,” he added.

“As an actor, we’re lucky anytime we get a job. To be on a show that has a fanbase that is this loyal and cares this much, I’m truly gonna miss it,” Wactor concluded.

Despite unexpectedly departing the show, Wactor only had nice things to say about his time on “General Hospital.” In October 2022 he told Soap Opera Digest, “I learned how to work fast. I got a lot of great advice from a lot of great actors and got better at my craft from watching and talking to other great actors. I made some good friends. It was just a really wonderful experience and it’s helped me in life and in my career, so I’m just grateful.”

In a 2020 interview with FBJ Fit, Wactor said that he was more than familiar with soap operas before he landed the role. “My grandmother always had her soaps, or ‘stories’ as she called them, on the TV whenever I was visiting at her house, so I grew up with a familiarity of the storyline and characters.  I also started to watch ‘GH’ prior to my audition to get more of a current vibe of the show,” he explained.

The actor also described being offered the role two days before COVID-19 shut down production as “surreal,” but said he used the time in quarantine to focus more on his hobby of rock climbing.

Wactor told the outlet that his “blueprint for success” was simply to work as hard as he possibly could. He said, “Whether it’s being a working actor, rock climber, elite swimmer or any other challenge or path I pursue, I not only believe in myself, but truly put the work, time, and effort in as well.”

Wactor was raised in South Carolina, where he starred in his first play at the age of 5. He made the decision to attend a school for the arts in 6th grade and auditioned for a spot in a theater program. He filmed his first series, “Army Wives,” as a college student, and moved to Los Angeles in 2009.

His credits also included episodes of “NCIS,” “The Passenger,” “Agent X,” “Hollywood Girl” and “Barbee Rehab.”

The actor is survived by his mother and his two younger brothers, Lance and Grant. His father John William Wactor II died in 2020.


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