1:35pm PT by Michael O'Connell
'General Hospital' Star Steve Burton Quits After 21 Years
Steve Burton is leaving General Hospital -- at least that's what he's saying.
ABC had no comment Tuesday morning, following a TV Guide interview in which he announced his departure from his job of the last 21 years, but he seems adamant.
"I have no complaints, no negative feelings at all," Burton said. "But it's time to go."
Burton followed the lengthy Q&A with comments on his personal Twitter, thanking fans and calling it a "difficult time."
The 42-year-old actor, who first joined the series as Jason Morgan in 1991, recently appeared alongside his fellow cast members at the Television Critics Association summer press tour. While all were cautious about their embattled genre, new showrunner Frank Valentini spoke optimistically about the immediate future.
"All I can say is they invited us here, and that's a great sign," said Valentini. "They're very excited about the 50th anniversary. I'm pretty confident... I like the way that we're being positioned with the other shows around us. The network is doing a big push to inform the viewers."
General Hospital was renewed in April, just a year after ABC canceled its fellow soaps One Life to Live and All My Children. When Katie Couric's new daytime talker premieres on Monday, Sept. 10, General Hospital will move from 3 p.m. to 2 p.m. ET.
Burton told TV Guide his last tape date will be Sept. 25, likely placing his last episode somewhere in October, though the series does not schedule that far in advance.
His rep at James, Levy, Jacobson & Associates did not immediately respond to The Hollywood Reporter's request for comment on the actor's immediate plans.