Steve Burton Announces Return to “General Hospital” 1 Day After Announcing Exit from “Days of Our Lives”

The Daytime Emmy winner left 'General Hospital' in 2021 for failing to comply with the show's COVID-19 regulations

Michael Bezjian/WireImage Steve Burton
Michael Bezjian/WireImage Steve Burton

Steve Burton is showing that that when one door closes, another door opens.

A day after the soap star announced his exit from Days of Our Lives, the 53-year-old actor revealed he would be returning to General Hospital to reprise his role as Jason Morgan.

News of his return was made Thursday, in the final moments of ABC's primetime special General Hospital: 60 Years of Stars & Storytelling. "Happy anniversary, General Hospital," Burton said in a pre-recorded clip. "Stay tuned — big things are coming to Port Charles."

Burton made his General Hospital debut in 1991. His character was first known as Jason Quartermaine brain damage he sustained in a car crash wiped his memory and led him to reinvent himself as Jason Morgan.

He remained on the series for the next 11 years, even winning a 1998 Daytime Emmy for outstanding supporting actor during his tenure. He exited the series in 2012, returned in 2017 and announced in 2021 that he was "let go" from the show for failing to comply with the show's COVID-19 regulations.

"I'll always be grateful for my time at General Hospital. I love it there," he said at the time. "Maybe one day if these mandates are lifted, I can return and finish my career as Jason Morgan. That would be an honor."

In between his stints at General Hospital, Burton joined the cast of The Young and the Restless in 2013, winning another supporting actor Daytime Emmy in 2017 for portraying Dylan McAvoy.

Related: Steve Burton Announces Departure from Days of Our Lives After Finalizing Divorce: I'm 'Full of Gratitude'

Evans Vestal Ward/Peacock via Getty Steve Burton on 'Days of Our Lives'
Evans Vestal Ward/Peacock via Getty Steve Burton on 'Days of Our Lives'

His return to Days of Our Lives — which was Burton's first-ever soap role dating back to 1988 — was exclusively confirmed by PEOPLE in November 2022. He reprised his role Harris Michaels on the Peacock spinoff Days of Our Lives: Beyond Salem this past April.

In June, the actor told Soap Opera Digest it was an "honor" to reprise the role after many years away from the soap opera. He added that it felt was playing a "new character" because "obviously I wasn't on the show long enough to establish [much about the] character."

"I make references in the digital series to that character a couple of times, but it's a new character," he explained. "And I just let [Days of Our Lives head writer] Ron [Carlivati] figure it out and do his thing, like we always do as actors, and talked it through with him."

Burton appeared happy with the experience, sharing positive words when announcing he had wrapped filming. "Wow! Well, I just shot my final scenes here at Days of Our Lives," he said in a video on social media. "I just want to say thank you so much to the cast [and] to the crew. Everybody. It's been amazing. I can't believe it's been a year already! So, thank you so much to the fans. It's just, I'm always so full of gratitude. So thank you!"

<p>David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty</p> Sheree Gustin and Steve Burton

David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty

Sheree Gustin and Steve Burton

Related: Steve Burton Finalizes Divorce from Wife Sheree Nearly 2 Years After Split

Though Burton's stint filming Days is done, the actor's episodes will still air through the spring of 2024.

Burton's casting news comes just days after he finalized his divorce from his estranged wife Sheree (Gustin) Burton.

According to court documents obtained by PEOPLE, the pair agreed to the terms of the divorce, which included joint legal and physical custody of their son Jack and daughter Brooklyn.

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General Hospital airs weekdays on ABC, and Days of Our Lives can be streamed on Peacock.

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