Rebecca Budig Exits General Hospital

Rebecca Budig
(ABC/Rick Rowell)

Popular soap star Rebecca Budig is bidding farewell to General Hospital. Her final appearance as Hayden Barnes is expected by the end of summer.

Budig began her soap career as Michelle Bauer on Guiding Light in 1995. After her exit from GL, she made to the leap to All My Children as bad girl turned heroine Greenlee Smythe, a role created by Agnes Nixon. She played the role from 1999 to 2005 and 2007 to 2011.

Budig originated the role of Hayden Barnes in 2015, signing a four-year contract with GH. Hayden came to Port Charles after being hired by Ric Lansing (Rick Hearst) to pose as Jake Doe’s (Billy Miller) wife in an effort to help him win Elizabeth Webber’s (Rebecca Herbst) heart. Fans quickly took a liking to the sexy bad girl. Hayden was given a scandalous back story along with a hot romance with Nikolas Cassadine (Tyler Christopher) and friendship with Curtis Ashford (Donnell Turner). Hayden was actually Rachel Berlin, the daughter of an investment banker who duped some of Port Charles’ residence in a Ponzi scheme. It was revealed that her mother Naomi (Robin Riker) and Jeff Webber had an affair, making Hayden and Elizabeth half-sisters. Hayden is currently expecting a baby with her boyfriend Dr. Hamilton Finn (Michael Easton). The couple is working to clear Finn’s name and expose Dr. Liesl Obrecht (Kathleen Gati) for trying to sabotage his career.

Per Soap Opera Digest, Budig is set to tape her final scenes this week prior to GH’s three-week summer hiatus. She was informed of the show’s decision to write off her character for storyline reasons last month.

Editor’s Take: General Hospital is in need of an overhaul and trimming the cast is a necessary evil in order to produce a quality show. That being said, the decision to axe Budig seems like the wrong one. Not only was Budig a talented addition to the cast but her character Hayden had massive story potential that gave fans something outside of the same tired mob stories. Hayden was connected to a core family tied to the show’s heart, the hospital. Fans were looking forward to the relationship between the Webber sisters being explored and hoped that it would lead to the return of Jeff Webber. The romance between Hayden and Finn also gained a fan following. It’s disappointing that GH did not recognize the value in continuing Hayden’s story.

Jenn Bishop
Jenn Bishop was TVSource Magazine's Soap Editor. She's a thirty-something fan girl of soapy television and anything involving Joss Whedon. She began sharing her views on daytime soaps in 2012 with her blog Save Our Suds. A former philosophy major, she loves discussing different view points with fellow TV addicts and aficionados. When not watching television, she enjoys art, live music, exploring the Midwest food scene, and drinking too many lattes. Follow her on Twitter at @SourceJenn.

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  1. GH writers make the dumbest mistakes in an attempt to keep that bromance alive. And now the opportunity to make it a threesom is just to hard to pass up no matter how many truly interesting storylines get destroyed in the process. Now it’s gone back to being the Sonny Show I only need to watch it once a week and maybe do some reading. They are killing the show – A slow pitiful death.

  2. Now that ABC has the rights back I heard they were going to incorporate some AMC and OLTL characters to GH and now that they are removing the Hayden Barnes character for “storyline reasons” I wonder if this could be a precursor to bringing Budig back as Greenlee Smythe. It’s the only reason I can see GH ending Hayden’s character now when there’s still so much of her story left to tell because she’s a Webber, she’s just now building a relationship with Liz and Hayden and Fin are such a great couple and they are expecting a baby. But as much as I am enjoying Hayden I have to admit Greenlee was a game changer on AMC and was and still is a fan favorite. I’m just speculating and I’m probably wrong but I can definitely see GH giving Hayden the axe because they’d rather have Budig play Greenlee instead of Hayden…

  3. Cutting Rebecca Budig was a major mistake by the brass at Disney-ABC Television Group. And, this, to me, sounds like an exit storyline for both Budig and Easton. Budig’s potential in the role of Hayden was grand; connecting her to the hospital and the Webber family was overlooked by Finn’s storyline, and the propping of other ones, as well. I am hoping that her exit is not a death storyline, and instead, a voluntary leave of Port Charles, leaving the door open for her return.

    My only hope is that DAYS OF OUR LIVES or THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS pick up Rebecca, because she is a great actress who should be utilized. She is a great actress whose talents need to be used and appreciated!

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