LOS ANGELES, Aug. 29 (UPI) -- Steve Burton has confirmed he is leaving the U.S. soap opera "General Hospital" after playing Jason Morgan since 1991.
"I've been through 21 years of ups and downs with 'GH' -- regime changes, cast and crew changes, budget cuts, shakeups of one kind or another, and it's been nothing but a huge positive in my life and for my family," the Daytime Emmy Award winner told TVGuide.com. "I have no complaints, no negative feelings at all. But it's time to go. I'm going to take some time off and do nothing but relax, just enjoy life a little bit with my wife and kids. I've bought a home in Tennessee, way out in the country outside Nashville. ... I went there many years ago when I did the movie 'The Last Castle' and loved it. Tennessee reminded me of growing up in Ohio. The people are nice, it's family oriented and, now that my kids are 6 and almost 9, I want to get them planted. My contract was coming up at 'GH' so we put the house up for sale again and it went in, like, eight weeks. That opened the door for me to leave 'GH.'"
Burton did not divulge any details about whether the part of beloved gangster Jason will be written off the show or re-cast.
The actor told TVGuide.com his last scheduled taping day is Sept. 25 and he expects to be seen on the daily, hour-long show through the fall.