Reilly, the evil Crane patriarch resurfaces on December
10. (SOW 12/11/07)
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)
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)
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
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,
TV Guide Online Q&A
of John Reilly, Alistair Crane,
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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!"
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.
(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."
WSB Chief Sean Donely
"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."