General Hospital actor Jay Pickett has passed away aged 60. The veteran soap actor died unexpectedly on set while shooting his latest movie, Treasure Valley.
Treasure Valley director Travis Mills confirmed the news in a Facebook post.
“Many of you have already heard about the tragedy that happened two days ago. Jay Pickett, our leading man, writer, producer, and creator of this movie passed away suddenly while we were on location preparing to film a scene,” he wrote.
“There is no official explanation for the cause of his death but it appears to have been a heart attack. Everyone present tried as hard as they could to keep him alive. Our hearts are broken and we grieve for his family who are so devastated by this shocking tragedy.”
He added: “As so many of us know, Jay was an incredible man. He was kind, sweet, and generous. He was one of the best actors I ever worked with and it was an honor to collaborate with him. Everyone who met him, even for the briefest moment, could feel his warmth, his wonderful spirit. It is difficult to find the words right now to say more.
“He was doing what he loved: acting, riding horses, making movies. And he was magnificent.”
Pickett’s Treasure Valley co-star Jim Heffel also took to Facebook to pay tribute to the late actor, stating: “Yesterday I lost a good friend and the world lost a great person. Jay Pickett decided to ride off into the Heavens. Jay died sitting on a horse ready to rope a steer in the movie Treasure Valley in Idaho. The way of a true cowboy.
“Jay wrote the story and starred in it. He was also coproducer with myself and Vernon Walker. He will be truly missed. Ride like the wind partber [sic]”
Pickett, who was a Washington native, rose to fame by playing paramedic and substitute teacher Frank Scanlon in US soap Port Charles from 1997 to 2003. He then went on to have a recurring role in Port Charles’ parent series, General Hospital, as Detective David Harper.
He also starred in NBC’s daytime drama Days of Our Lives as Dr Chip.
Pickett is survived by his wife, Elena, two daughters, Maegan and Michaela, and a son, Tyler.