Kimberly McCullough to Leave ‘General Hospital’ in Another Blow to Soaps

Star of the show on and off for three decades wants to focus on directing

In yet another blow to the recently ailing soap-opera genre, "General Hospital" star Kimberly McCullough is leaving the series.

McCullough is leaving the series — which she joined in 1985, at the age of 7 — in order to focus her efforts behind the camera.

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"Kimberly McCullough has decided to pursue her dream of directing full-time so she has decided to leave 'General Hospital' as storyline dictates," the network said in a statement.

McCullough has played Robin Scorpio on the series for the better part of three decades, with her initial stint lasting from 1985 to 1996. Appearing on and off in the ensuing years, McCullough rejoined the cast in 2005. In the 1990s the character generated headlines when she was diagnosed as HIV-positive.

The good news? The show plans to send her off with a bang — which should be a tall order, given that a recent storyline had another character threatening to inject Robin's blood into her husband, Patrick.

"Expect a poignant and must watch storyline for Robin and Patrick," ABC said.

McCullough's decision to leave comes shortly after the announcement that her co-star, Jonathan Jackson (who plays Lucky), is departing the series.

Soap Opera Digest first reported the news.