It started off as an online rumor, but a show spokesperson now confirms that Emmy winner Benjamin Hendrickson (Hal Munson) will exit As the World Turns by the end of the summer.
Earlier this month, rumors began appearing on internet message boards, including Soap Central's Message Central, hinting that Hendrickson might leave the show because contract negotiations were not going well. At the same time, however, a bogus press release was circulating claiming that As the World Turns' head writer Hogan Sheffer had been fired. Understandably, the rumors were quickly downplayed by all parties involved.
While Hendrickson has previously taken personal leaves from As the World Turns, this exit will be more permanent. In both 2001 and 2003, the actor left the show temporarily. In 2001, former All My Children star James Kiberd stepped into the role. Two years later, soap vet Randolph Mantooth assumed the role. Upon Hendrickson's exit, the role of Hal will be recast.
Hendrickson joined As the World Turns in 1985. In 2001, he earned the first of three Daytime Emmy nominations in the Outstanding Supporting Actor category. In 2003, he won his first Emmy trophy.
"We wish him luck in his future endeavors," a show spokesperson said in a statement.
Hendrickson makes his final on-air appearance on September 28.
STORY UPDATERandolph Mantooth lands role as new Hal Munson.