Jay Pickett, best known for his roles on Port Charles and General Hospital, died suddenly on Friday while filming a new movie. He was 60. The cause of his death is not yet known.
Fellow actor Jim Heffel posted a tribute to Pickett on Facebook, sharing recent pictures of the late actor on the set of Treasure Valley, a film written and produced by Pickett.
"Yesterday I lost a good friend and the world lost a great person," Heffel wrote. "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."
"He will be truly missed. Ride like the wind partner," Heffel continued.
"Many of you have already heard about the tragedy that happened two days ago," the film's co-producer Travis Mills wrote on Sunday. "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. 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."
Stuntman Ardeshir Radepour also posted a tribute on Facebook, writing, "I am so, so, so heartbroken to find out so suddenly of the untimely passing of a great human being and friend. [Y]ou will always be with us and we will always be with you. Thank you partner for your friendship and your mentorship."
Born February 10, 1961, in Spokane, Washington, Pickett grew up in Caldwell, Idaho. He received his B.A. degree in acting at Boise State University, and his M.F.A. in acting from UCLA, appearing in numerous theatrical productions at both schools.
His first professional role was as a guest star on the television miniseries, Rags to Riches. Other non-soap credits include China Beach, Mr. Belvedere, Dragnet, Jake and the Fatman, Perry Mason, and Matlock.
In 1997, Pickett was cast as Frank Scanlon on Port Charles in 1997 and remained with the General Hospital spinoff for its entire six-year run.
Michael Dietz, who played Pickett's on-screen brother, Joe Scanlon, on Port Charles called Pickett his "greatest friend."
"My greatest friend has sadly left this world. We met when we were cast as brothers on Port Charles many, many years ago," Dietz said. "He played my big brother on TV but that carried over into real life and an amazing friendship that was one of a kind."
Pickett would later appear on GH temporarily as an emergency recast for the role of Lorenzo Alcazar and returned from 2007 to 2008 as David Harper. Pickett's first soap role was as Chip Latkin on Days of our Lives in 1991.
Pickett is survived by his wife, Elena Marie Bates, and three children: daughters Maegan and Michaela, and son, Tyler.
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