‘General Hospital’ Star Joe Flanigan Admits He’d Love To Return, Thanks Fans For Rallying On His Behalf

Joe Flanigan played Dr. Neil Byrne on 'General Hospital'
Valerie Durant / Walt Disney Television

General Hospital fans were not happy with the storyline shocker that recently resulted in the death of Alexis Davis’ beau, Dr. Neil Byrne. A number of viewers are now rallying for the actor’s return and it seems he would be happy to do so if given the opportunity.

As SheKnows Soaps shared, actor Joe Flanigan recently responded to the support he had received from the show’s viewers since his character’s demise. It came via a Cameo video he did for a fan named Jessica that she shared on her Twitter page Thursday afternoon, which can be seen below.

Joe detailed his amazement over the fact that a petition on Change.org had received more than 10,000 signatures as General Hospital viewers expressed their wish that the writers bring Neil back. The petition appeared to have been started by the same woman who runs the Twitter page and received the Cameo from Joe.

Little has been revealed in terms of why the soap’s scribes decided to kill Neil. Most folks liked the dynamic between Alexis and Neil, and it certainly seemed as if their romance was cut short without any real reason driving it.

The story is that Neil overdosed, and there is definitely a lot of mystery surrounding how that happened. It may be intended to escalate issues with mobster Cyrus Renault to a new level, but that surely could have been done without killing Neil.

What Joe’s video does make clear is that this departure wasn’t initiated by him.

He said he was very flattered by the huge volume of support. He noted he wasn’t sure if it would work, but appreciated the effort and would love the chance to return to General Hospital.

He also noted he had talked with Nancy Lee Grahn, who portrays Alexis, the prior day. It sounded as if her reaching out came as something of an unexpected gesture, and he said he knew she wasn’t happy with the decision to kill off Neil either.

At this point, there is no sign the writers are planning to resurrect Neil from the dead. However, everybody knows that when it comes to this show, anything is possible.

In fact, fans seemingly were successful in changing a couple of other similar storyline developments earlier this year. Last spring when Detective Marcus Taggert was killed, that was what the writers intended. However, people made it clear they were quite upset about this twist, and it was recently revealed he’d faked his death.

The same thing seemed to happen with Holly Sutton’s supposed death. She reportedly died in a boating accident, and actor Tristan Rogers (Robert Scorpio) said that really was the plan. Fans weren’t pleased, though, and now it’s been shown that she, too, is still alive.

Will General Hospital listen to the show’s supporters on this one too? Everybody will have to stay tuned to find out.