How do you pay tribute to an actress who was loved by both fans and co-stars? That is the challenge General Hospital faced when actress Sonya Eddy (Epiphany Johnson) passed away in December at age 55.
General Hospital's executive producer, Frank Valentini, recently explained that deciding how to address Eddy's death on-screen was something that he and the show's head writers, Chris Van Etten and Dan O'Connor, took very seriously.
"We sort of weighed the pros and cons of whether Epiphany was alive and living someplace else or if her character had, in fact, left this plant," Valentini told Soap Opera Digest.
Knowing that it was "completely and utterly out of the question" to ever recast the role, Valentini said that the decision was made to pay homage to the character and the actress who brought her to life.
The Wednesday, May 29, episode will revolve around a memorial service for Epiphany. It is then that viewers will learn the circumstances of Epiphany's death.
"I think it's a very somber, very moving episode," Valentini explained, adding that the script for the episode was "extraordinary."
The tribute episode was deliberately timed to air just before the Nurses Ball. Even in death, Epiphany will remain "a very pivotal person" in the ball.
Yvette Nicole Brown, a real-life friend of Eddy, will also feature prominently in the episode.
Eddy joined General Hospital as no-nonsense nurse Epiphany Johnson in March 2006 and appeared in more than 500 episodes of the ABC soap. The actress is also known for the role of Rebecca DeMornay on Seinfeld, a role that made her a pop culture icon. Eddy's sassy character lectured Jerry and friends on muffin stumps and taking books into public bathrooms.
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