By Lynda Hirsch

August 3, 2019 4 min read

Rumors are the stock in trade of many gossip columnists. The desire to get the "scoop" makes it tempting to go with a rumor. The National Enquirer used to say some major star was dying. When the person died 20 years later, they'd say, "We told you so." I do not deal in rumors, just the facts. For several months, there has been a rumor circulating that Billy Miller (Drew) was checking out of "General Hospital." The three-time daytime Emmy winner for work on "All My Children" and "Young and Restless" has never cared for social media. Earlier this week, Miller broke his social media silence to announce he was leaving the show and to thank his fans. Mid-August is the end of his run. He has already booked a prime-time show. This is what Miller wanted "General Hospital" viewers to know:

"With a slight air of sadness, it is time to ponder what 'goodbye' means. However, instead of dwelling on what is gone and sure to be missed, there is another way. Maybe our goodbye is really a remembrance of love felt, an appreciation for lives shared, and the lifelong reminisces that come from embraces given and received. Maybe our goodbye is an earnest hope for the brightest path forward for us all. Maybe our goodbye is honoring growth and lessons learned. Now, instead of sadness, I am filled with gratitude for all your support, encouragement, and every emotion shared. I cherish the journey we have taken together. Thank you for allowing me into your homes and lives. With every ounce of my being, I thank you for being you. I would be remiss in this crazy, unpredictable world we all love so much if I did not hold out the possibility that maybe our GOODBYE is really..... TILL NEXT TIME. All My Love."

How will Drew be leaving? Will he die, go on the run or end up in prison for past deeds? No one at ABC is talking, but it will be an amazing end that will affect everyone in town.

"General Hospital" is having another major exit. Shelly Altman, the show's head writer, is retiring. Her final scribe date is Aug. 2. She is being replaced by breakdown writer Dan O'Conner. Here is the hierarchy of soap opera head writers. The head writer creates the stories and signs off on the scripts. The breakdown writer keeps the show moving along — what will happen and when. Then the scripter: They put the words in the characters' mouths.

Thaao Penghlis (Andre/Tony) has spent 37 years on and off on "Days of Our Lives." As Andre, he has died over 10 times. Andre's father Stefano is the true love of his life — making him cruel and cunning. Tony's undying love for Anna makes him charming. No word on how long he is staying. Hopefully, it is forever. If not, the actor has one request: He told me years ago he does not want the "cake of death."

He played a Cassadine on "General Hospital." This time, he took an acting break and headed to Egypt. A true Renaissance man, he loves being a gourmet chef and writing.

During his "Days" break, he has made movies, was in the series "Mission Impossible" and in plays.

To find out more about Lynda Hirsch and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at

Photo credit: Capri23auto at Pixabay

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