Fans, Colleagues Mourn ‘General Hospital’ Actor Johnny Wactor After Murder

Fans, Colleagues Mourn ‘General Hospital’ Actor Johnny Wactor After Murder
Johnny Wactor attends the "Silent River" Opening Night Theatrical Premiere at Laemmle Glendale in Glendale, Calif., on Oct. 13, 2022. (Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Curious Potato)
City News Service
5/27/2024
Updated:
5/27/2024
0:00

LOS ANGELES—Actor Johnny Wactor was being mourned by family, friends and fans Monday, May 27, after his death at the hands of a gunman allegedly trying to steal a catalytic converter from his car near downtown Los Angeles.

Mr. Wactor, 37, who appeared on nearly 200 episodes of “General Hospital” from 2020-22, was shot after encountering three suspects by his vehicle at about 3 a.m. Saturday in the area of West Pico Boulevard and South Hope Street.

One of the suspects fired at him, then the trio fled the scene, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

Paramedics rushed him to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

No description of the suspects was immediately available.

Mr. Wactor’s agent, David Shaul, told Variety that “Johnny Wactor was a spectacular human being. Not just a talented actor who was committed to his craft but a real moral example to everyone who knew him. Standing for hard work, tenacity and a never-give-up attitude. In the highs and lows of a challenging profession, he always kept his chin up and kept striving for the best he could be.”

“Our time with Johnny was a privilege we would wish on everyone,” he said. “He would literally give you the shirt off his back. After over a decade together, he will leave a hole in our hearts forever.”

Mr. Wactor had been working as a bartender in downtown L.A. on Saturday night and was walking a co-worker to her car after their shift, Mr. Wactor’s brother, Grant Wactor, told the Los Angeles Times on Sunday. He added that on the way to her car, his brother noticed a group of men crowded around his own car, and he confronted them because he thought his vehicle was being towed.

TMZ cited Mr. Wactor’s mother Scarlett, who told the entertainment website that her son and a coworker saw three men at Johnny’s car. She said he didn’t try to stop the thieves but one of them shot him anyway.

Catalytic converters are popular targets for thieves because they are rich in precious metals that can be resold.

Anyone with information regarding the shooting was urged to call the LAPD’s Central Station at 213-486-6606. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477 or visit lacrimestoppers.org.

Aside from “General Hospital,” Mr. Wactor’s other credits included “Westworld,” “The OA,” “NCIS,” “Station 19,” “Criminal Minds” and “Hollywood Girl.”

“The entire General Hospital family is heartbroken to hear of Johnny Wactor’s untimely passing. He was truly one of a kind and a pleasure to work with each and every day. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his loved ones during this difficult time,” the ABC soap opera posted Sunday on X.

“When the tears slow down, I am literally sick to my stomach at this news,” longtime cast member Jon Lindstrom wrote. “Johnny was one of those rare young men in this business who was kind, unassuming, humble, and always thought about other people. A talented young guy who just wanted to share that talent with the world. I wish I had enough love to fill the hole that his loved ones must feel right now, but I know that’s impossible. Johnny will be missed on this plane. For a long time to come. R.I.P.”

Mr. Wactor opened up about his experience on “General Hospital” after his character Brando Corbin was written out of the show in 2022, telling Soap Opera Digest: “I’ve never been on a show that had such a large fan base. It was all new to me and it was a blessing. It made it fun to go to work and then be excited about seeing people react to the storylines you were in. That they actually cared was really cool. I’m grateful for the fans, for fans of ‘General Hospital’ and Brando Corbin and of mine. They made my time on the show all the sweeter.”

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