Many fans believed Kelly Thiebaud was leaving the soap opera for the primetime series because the news that she was leaving GENERAL HOSPITAL surfaced at the same time as the news that she would be returning to STATION 19 to reprise her role as Eva Vasquez. But in reality, something else motivated her choice.
In a recent edition of Soap Opera Digest, Thiebaud said, “I don’t know what it was in the Deadline article that made folks assume I was leaving for that show. Since it’s on the same network and Frank [Valentini, GH’s executive producer] is so amazing and always wants to try and help his actors, I definitely could have juggled both if that had been the case. However, that was irrelevant in any way.
She actually left Port Charles for a number of reasons, one of which was to be with her British boyfriend, PJ Harrison. The actress said, “I’ve been doing long-distance dating for about a year now and my boyfriend can’t move to the States right now. But I’m also really interested in pursuing other opportunities for my career.
Thiebaud stated, “As much as I love Britt, the fans, and working on GH, I just felt like I had to leave and go after those other aspirations and goals of mine, because being [on GH full time] doesn’t really provide the flexibility to do other projects. Therefore, those two things influenced my choice the most.
When Thiebaud originally joined the GH cast in September 2012 as Dr. Britt Westbourne, the con artist swiftly won over viewers’ hearts. The actress left in 2014 to pursue other chances, but she frequently went back to play the part over the years. In fact, in 2022, she won the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress.
Britt’s developing romance with Jason gave her the motivation to stay longer even though Thiebaud’s most recent return in 2020 was only intended to be a brief appearance. She admitted, “I was extremely clear about that with the writers and Frank. “We were all really eager to embark on this adventure.” Unfortunately, that specific plotline was derailed when Steve Burton quit GH for defying the network’s vaccination requirement. However, she explained, “I really wanted to pursue films, theater, and all sorts of other things, so it was always going to be a temporary thing for me.”
Sadly, this particular exit is a lot more permanent than her previous ones, with Britt tragically dying in the Jan. 4 episode, something that was heavily discussed ahead of time. “In the soap world, you can still come back after you die,” Thiebaud noted, “and who knows what will happen in 10 years. But for me, really wanting to move on in my creative experiences and in my life, I needed to feel like this was the end and that’s why we all kind of decided on her dying.”
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