Where Are They Now?
The latest news on your GH favorite- John Reilly

Wonder what your favorite Scorpio is up to? Here's the latest I could find on their activities:
Ian Buchanan ~ Anders Hove ~ Finola Hughes ~ Kimberly McCullough ~ John Reilly ~ John J. York ~ Tristan Rogers ~ Emma Samms ~ Jack Wagner ~ Kristina Wagner ~ Sharon Wyatt

John Reilly, the evil Crane patriarch resurfaces on December 10. (SOW 12/11/07)

Who's Coming: Reilly returns in the role of the evil Crane patriarch, who was last seen in 2006 on a train that exploded. "They put me as recurring," says the actor of his status once Alistar was blown to pieces. "Then a year went by, so it was a nice, pleasant surprise [to be asked back]. I like the people and figured, 'Why not?'" Reilly will reappear on August 20 and will be seen in September on DIRECTV. (SOW 8/21/07) 

"Alistar. I loved having scenes with him, because that was the only time where you saw Pilar be more confrontational. It brought out the spice in her a little bit more. John Reilly is a wonderful actor. He left us too soon." -Eva Tamargo on which former character on her show she would most like to see return (SOW 4/10/07)

Casting About/Grapevine A setsider at Passions says John Reilly is "lurking" around Harmony. Sounds like Alistair didn't die in Rome after all. Expect to see him back on-screen soon. (SOW 11/21/06)

Update John Reilly taped his final Passions episode as Alistair Crane on June 2. When reached for comment, Reilly was disappointed to hear news of his departure had already gotten out. Meanwhile, the cuts continue at the low-rated soap. Sharon Wyatt (Rachel) has also been taken off contract, although she will continue to appear on a recurring basis, according to the show rep. (SOW 6/27/05)

Rating the Replacements- John Reilly (Alistair, Passions) Initially nixed for the role, he landed it anyway upon the sudden death of David Bailey. But Reilly was no mere fill-in: He has somehow managed to make Alistair both sublimely goofy and truly scary- an incomprehensible feat. Four stars (Michael Logan, TV Guide 6/19/05)

Filling in for a Friend A soap vet joins Passions in the wake of a cast tragedy- There are so many nicer ways to get a job. On January 21, former GH star John Reilly will take over the role of villain Alistair Crane on NBC's Passions. He replaces his longtime friend David Bailey, who drowned in his apartment swimming pool just two months after joining the soap. Bailey's final episode airs January 13.
     "David was a wonderful manand his death was a disturbing and brutal thing to have happened," says Reilly, who'd known Bailey since the mid-70s. "Taking over for him is very bittersweet," Bitter for obvious reasons; sweet because Alistair is one hell of a character- a madly messianic, liquor-chugging patriarch who is out to kill his wife and daughter. That said, he's also outreageously funny and Passions fans are crazy for him, especially now that they can see him (prior to Bailey, Alistair's face was kept hidden.)
     The role seems tailor-made for Reilly, who has often played baddies: After his 1984-95 stint as thief-turned-cop Sean Donely on GH, he was wicked Del Douglas on Sunset Beach (so wicked he wound up shoveling coal in Hell) and cutthroat sports agent Mike Armstrong on the HBO sitcom Arliss. But initially, Passions didn't think he was right for Alistair.
     "I was also up for the part and it finally came down to me and a bunch of guys with gray hair," says Reilly. "Because Ben Masters [who plays Alistair's son, Julian] also has gray hair, I was told I didn't have 'the look.' And I never understood that. Alistair is so rich he could surely afford a dye."  (by Michael Logan, TV Guide, 1/16/05)

Reilly's Wicked Return  Forget about a trip to Hell! Daytime vet John Reilly becomes the devil himself when he takes over the role of Alistair Crane on Passions Jan. 21. The maniacal patriarch has thrown himself back into his favorite pastime, silencing his daughter Sheridan permanently. "I'm prepared to do her in because I'm annoyed with her," says Reilly, adopting his alter ego's evil persona. "All of a sudden, [her mother] Katherine shows up, and I've got two in my [sights]." Alistair's got back-up in tow as he contemplates his lucky shot. "He has a little assistant with him," Reilly chuckles devilishly. "I think she stays because she loves his power."
     One would think that Daddy demonest would cut his own daughter some slack, but Alistair has- at least in his mind- a good reason for keeping Sheridan quiet. "If she comes out of this sleep-walking thing and remembers everything she's been screaming about, it could destroy him," Reilly explains. "That's not good, so he has to stop her."
     Although the General Hospital and Sunset Beach alum is glad to be back on the soap scene, he realizes his triumphant return was born out of tragedy. Alistair's former portrayer, David Bailey, unexpectedly drowned last November. "It's bittersweet," Reilly confesses. "Two days before I showed up on the set, [the cast and crew] had gone to a service for David. But they opened their arms and welcomed me, and I appreciate that." Craving more on Reilly's return? (TV Guide Online, 1/05)

TV Guide Online Q&A of  John Reilly, Alistair Crane, Passions, by Delaina Dixon, 1/25/05  Arliss alum John Reilly is about to become the most hated man on television. Taking over the role of Passions' Alistair Crane, he's the maniacal manipulator who thinks murder is the best way to take care of pesky problems, including the likes of his kids and former employees. Playing it bad is second nature to Reilly, who portrayed Sunset Beach's devilish Del Douglas and criminal-turned-undercover crusader Sean Donnelly on General Hospital. But assuming his latest daytime villain meant facing a grave reality. Alistair's previous portrayer David Bailey drowned over the Thanksgiving holiday. Reilly has put on a brave face to keep terror alive for the citizens of Harmony.
     Have you figured out what makes Alistair tick?  He doesn't care about anyone. To him, they're all a bunch of puppets on his stage that he interchanges and watches. He really doesn't care how they feel about anything. If everyone else is whining over some horrible incident, Alistair acts like he's not involved or smiles at the senseless stupidity of it.
     Does he have to try to kill people to make his point?  I think, underneath it all, he's been hurt very deeply, maybe as a child. It's behind his drive to become a billionaire and to keep everything under control. He writes the script, and if others aren't following it, that's bad. What you see is his reaction to other people, and he really didn't like too many people to begin with. He knows an awful lot about people in Harmony, and he has his own reality. If people come into it and do bad things to him, he has to react.
     Did you know about Alistair's reputation before you took the role?  I actually auditioned for him before, so I knew a little about the character. I had my take on this guy. This is an interesting show. It's well written and there's lot going on, not just the words. You got to invest something underneath it all.
     Was it hard to accept the job after you learned about David Bailey?  He was a nice man. I knew him back in New York in the '80s and he was a wonderful guy. It was bittersweet. I was shocked. The [Passions executives] got that call, and then they called me. They sent me the two scripts we were starting with and scripts and tapes from the past, which was very nice, but I didn't want to read them or see the tapes. I have to play the character as I see him on the page, what [Passions head writer] James E. Reilly, writes for John H. Reilly. My job is to invest what I know as an actor into this character.
     People are going to ask- are you related to your new head writer?  Not at all, but maybe we're cousins somewhere. There are Reillys all over the place here. And I'm on one of my favorite lots. This is where I started acting, in the CBS studios in the Valley.
     What was your first gig?  Gunsmoke. Now the set's home to That '70s Show, but when I walked onto it years ago and saw Dodge City and all the horses inside a studio, I couldn't believe it. I had sat at home as a kid watching Gunsmoke, with James Arness and Amanda Blake as Miss Kitty, and it just blew me away. I did Mary Tyler Moore here, too.
     Ever get sick of playing daytime's most dastardly men?  Never. They get the most interesting things to do. Alistair is not sensitive at all. Maybe he loves a puppy, I don't have the slightest idea. [Chuckles] You get to play that part of your psyche of not caring. I've got a big family and care about them very much, my daughters, my dog, my wife- not in that order, of course. Here I get to play the dark side no one would ever see. I get to use it on screen and be nasty and not the nicest person.
     Who's worse? Sunset's Del or Passions' Alistair?  I think they're cousins. But Del did take that trip to Hell. The funniest line ever had to say was to my on-screen daughter Annie (played by B&B's Sarah Buxton). There was a whole lot of rattling going on and she asks, "Daddy, what's with the big guy? He sounds upset." And I replied, "Yeah, I beat him at Liar's Poker." As soon as the scene was over, I doubled over with laughter. Del was a little more volatile, although Alistair is getting that way.
     I think they go to the same website: www.Meanman.com.  I'm sure people will start throwing eggs at me. They'll be growling, "Oh, there's Alistair." But it doesn't bother me. I love fans. And it shows that I'm doing a good job if they hate me.
     A lot of fans held out hope that you'd reprise your role on GH. Was that ever in the works?  Tristan [Rogers (ex-Scorpio)] and I were talking about it one day that maybe we should go back, but no one called us! [Chuckles] When we were doing the show, there always was humor. Even under the most dire circumstances, Tristan and I would crack a joke without taking away from the scene. Everything wasn't so serious with us. I miss that part, and the people I worked with. James Reilly wrote for me on GH, and I could always tell when, because it was always good.
     Are you going to bring a little of that humor to Passions?  Of course. Instead of reacting in anger when people get emotional, Alistair just laughs. And that's coming from an Irishman!

Flashback to the 80's- here's a pic of John Reilly, who played GH's double agent-turned-crimebuster Sean Donely from 1984-1994, on an episode of Dynasty. He only had a brief scene advising Dominique, Blake's half-sister.

Ex-GH Star to Passions- Soap vet John Reilly is making a return to daytime in the contract role of Passion's tyrannical patriarch, Alistar Crane. Due to David Bailey's untimely death, Passions has recast the front-burner role with Reilly, who exited GH in 1995 after a 10-year run as super-spy Sean Donely. Since then, the actor has appeared in several tv flicks, prime-time shows and nighttime soaps, including 90210 (ex-Bill), MP (ex-Mac) and Pacific Palisades (ex-Preston). The actor briefly popped up on Days as Marquis of La Cienega in 2001.  
     "I haven't talked to John, and I didn't know [that he was cast as Alistar]," says his pleasantly surprised friend and former co-star, Jacklyn Zeman (Bobbie, GH). "I've known him forever. Now [I have] a reason to call him up and say, 'Congratulations!' He's a great catch, and I think [Passions is] lucky to have him. I'll have to tune in. I'll have to tune in. They have one more viewer because of that!"
     Reilly is set to first air on January 21; Bailey's last air date is January 13. (SOD 12/8/04)

John Gets Passion-ate! Beginning Friday, January 21, 2005, John Reilly, who played GH's double agent-turned-crimebuster Sean Donely from 1984-1994, will take over the role of Passions patriarch Alistair Crane. The previously-faceless Alistair had been played since September by David Bailey, who died as the result an accidental drowning on Thanksgiving Day.

John Reilly (ex-Sean, SOU 3/27/2000) When Days executives looked up soap vets to play members of royalty for Greta's coronation, they naturally called on fan favorite John Reilly, who is known not only as GH's Sean, but as Sunset Beach's Del. "I thought, 'Why not do it?'" Reilly remarked to Update regarding Days' invitation. His "days" may be done, but Reilly still has many fans that remember him as Sean. Would he be open for a return to Port Charles? "I never says 'never,'" the actor muses, who was unaware that GH recently went through changes in executive producer and headwriter. When told that Jill Farren Phelps was now helming the show, he said, "Good for her. She'll be very good for the show."

JOHN REILLY, WSB Chief Sean Donely 1984-1994:  "I remember one time that Sean and Robert were facing a firing squad, and we asked for a long cigarette. And I said to Tristan (Rogers), 'Do you remember Bing Crosby and Bob Hope and all those road pictures? And how they once did "Patty-cake, patty-cake, baker's man", and then hit the guards and escaped? Well, why don't we do that?!' So we went to Gloria, and she said, 'Do it.' So we did it (laughs). She let us ad-lib. Occasionally you'd get a scene that was deadly. It wasn't the writers' fault, I mean, they're grinding these things out. Sometimes she'd come to us with a scene and say, 'What can you do to this?' We'd say, 'Give us 20 minutes.' She wanted us to infuse our own personalities, which we did. He'd throw something at me that wasn't in the script and I'd have to react, and I'd do the same thing to him. We'd put cappers on a scene, or we'd laugh when people were coming after us and shooting. The three of us tried to capture that tongue-in-cheek flavor. We had a good time. It was a job that I couldn't wait to get to work because the ideas were popping all the time." (from SOD Online)

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