New Castle News

October 9, 2012

Soap secret: Return of New Castle native Sean Kanan to ‘General Hospital’ is shrouded in mystery

Kayleen Cubbal
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — Sean Kanan has a secret.

The New Castle native set the daytime soap opera world abuzz in recent weeks with the announcement that he is returning to the popular ABC show, “General Hospital.”

And that is where the mystery begins.

ABC and GH are not releasing which role Kanan will play. Could he be reprising his role as beleaguered A.J. Quartermaine, which he left 15 years ago? Could ABC be taking advantage of his striking resemblance to the departing Steve Burton and putting Kanan in the role of soft-hearted mob enforcer and hitman Jason Morgan? Or could the network have another role in mind for him all together?  Whatever the case, Kanan is remaining mum.

“I have been sworn to secrecy,” the 45-year-old son of Dale and Michele Perelman of Neshannock Township said with a chuckle. “I’ll just say that I am really looking forward to my role.”



 BAD BOY ROLES

Although Kanan is keeping the specifics of his new job under wraps, chances are good that he will play a bad boy. From the tortured, trouble-making A.J. to his most recent role as the conniving, scowling Deacon Sharpe on CBS’ “The Bold and the Beautiful,” (a role which he also played on B&B’s sister show, “The Young and the Restless,”), Kanan always has seemed to find himself in the middle of drama.

A.J. was murdered by a psychotic psychiatrist in 2005 when the part was played by Billy Warlock, eight years after Kanan and GH had a less-than-pleasant parting of the ways. He admits he was caught off guard when he was contacted by new GH executive producer Frank Valentini about returning.

“To say I was stunned would be an understatement,” he said. “Stunned, but very intrigued.”

Kanan began filming last week, and his first appearances will be the last week of October. Burton, who has been with GH for 21 years, already has wrapped filming, with his on-air exit scheduled for Oct. 22.

Coincidence that Kanan is coming in on the heels of Burton’s departure, especially since the two played brothers on the show and could pass as brothers in real life?

“Steve and I do resemble each other,” Kanan acknowledged with a laugh. “That’s all I can say.”



LEAVING ‘BOLD’ BEHIND

The GH role arose as Kanan was wrapping up a storyline on “The Bold and the Beautiful,” where he interfered in the wedding of his estranged on-screen daughter, Hope Logan.

It was around that time that Valentini approached Kanan about rejoining the longest-running American soap opera in production.

“It all happened so fast,” Kanan said. “It was a bit of a tough decision for me because I have always had such a great relationship with the Bells and Bell-Phillip Television Productions (who produce ‘The Bold and the Beautiful.’)

“I knew ‘Bold’ has been concentrating on a lot of its younger cast members, so I talked with Brad Bell (executive producer and head writer) and he agreed that ‘General Hospital’ was just a great opportunity for me, too good of one to pass up.”

Valentini made Kanan’s decision a bit easier when he assured him that the role would not be a quick one, but that there were major long-term stories in the works for him.

Kanan says he was glad that while Sharpe was known for his unsavory ways on both “The Young and the Restless” and “the Bold and the Beautiful,” he went out as a bit of a good guy when he made peace with Logan after years of bad blood.

“Deacon was always fighting the battle of right and wrong and wrong usually won out, but he sometimes showed signs of being a decent guy,” he said.

While many of his former castmates no longer are on “General Hospital,” Kanan has kept in touch with a few, including Burton and Maurice Benard, who plays romantic mobster Michael “Sonny” Corinthos.



BIG BREAK, PART II

Kanan got his big break in 1989, when he appeared on “The Karate Kid, Part III.” He also appeared on Italy’s version of “Dancing with the Stars” in 2006.

But these past months have been perhaps the biggest of his life. Late last year, he wrote a cookbook, “The Modern Gentleman: Cooking and Entertaining with Sean Kanan,” and in July, he married his girlfriend, Michele Vega, in Italy. His family now includes an 11-year-old daughter and four stepchildren.

“This is a great time in my life,” Kanan said. “I have a great wife and kids and I am really looking forward to this new opportunity with ‘General Hospital.’ I was scheduled to shoot seven shows in my first week, so I will be busier than ever before.

“I’ve had a lot of different life experiences,” he added. “It’s nice to feel like things have come together in your life and you’re in a really good place.”

(Email: kcubbal@ncnewsonline.com).