There is a lot of chaos playing out these days in Port Charles on General Hospital, and now there is a big goodbye on the way that is shaking up fans. Rumors had been swirling for a while now that Rebecca Budig was leaving the role of Hayden Barnes and now it has been confirmed. The actress is speaking out about the departure and a lot of GH fans are feeling frustrated by the news.
Soap Opera Digest confirmed that despite having signed a four-year contract last summer, Rebecca Budig will be leaving GH and Port Charles fairly soon. They share that she has been let go and learned of the decision in May. She is in the midst of taping her final General Hospital scenes as Hayden Barnes right now before the series goes on hiatus for three weeks, so Hayden’s time in Port Charles is definitely limited at this point.
A final airdate for Budig as Barnes has not yet been revealed. In fact, at this point, General Hospital itself has yet to confirm Rebecca’s exit. However, the actress did confirm the news regarding her exit via Twitter and it is clear that she is quite disappointed by this development.
Budig wrote on Twitter that Hayden is being written off the canvas, and she thanked both ABC and executive producer Frank Valentini for the opportunity. Fellow GH star Kimberly McCullough, who plays Robin, noted that she’s going to miss seeing Budig on the General Hospital set and teased that she will miss sleeping on Rebecca’s dressing room couch.
Actress Bree Williamson, who played Claudette for a while on GH, replied to Budig’s tweet noting that Rebecca is talented and lovely, adding that whatever show lands her next is lucky. In additional tweets with fans, the GH star confirmed that this exit was not her decision, and when someone insisted that fans would push for General Hospital to reverse course and keep her, she replied in a way that made it clear she’d love to have the opportunity to stay.
Rebecca was first brought on to General Hospital to shake things up with “Jake Doe” and she later connected with Tyler Christopher’s Nikolas Cassadine. After contract issues sparked his supposed death, Budig’s character of Hayden grew close to Michael Easton’s Dr. Hamilton Finn. Despite some ups and downs, and plenty of threats from Obrecht, Finn and Hayden are now expecting a baby together. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look as if fans will get to see that fully play out.
What does Budig’s exit mean for Easton’s character of Finn? There have been rumors swirling about Easton too, and Daytime Confidential says that he wants out. They also note that Rebecca’s exit may be tied to freeing money up for a big return, surely referencing the big news that Steve Burton is soon returning. As this news spreads, General Hospital fans are being quite vocal about their disappointment over writing Hayden Barnes out of the show.
GH went to a lot of work to tie this character to key people in Port Charles, even making her Elizabeth’s surprise half-sister, and many were anxious to see where things would head next. Will the show kill off Hayden Barnes as many are speculating, or could the door be left open for a potential return? Will another soap snatch up Rebecca Budig in the wake of her departure from General Hospital?
[Featured Image by Jason Merritt/Getty Images]