'General Hospital' pays tribute to Jay Pickett, former soap actor who died on a movie set
At the end of Tuesday's episode, the long-running daytime drama featured a photo of Pickett along with the words "In Loving Memory of Jay Pickett."
Pickett starred as Detective David Harper on ABC's "General Hospital" from 2006 to 2008.
A celebration of Pickett's life is scheduled to be livestreamed Friday from 4:45 to 6:15 p.m. EDT via the Nampa (Idaho) Funeral Home.
Known as the ruggedly handsome actor who appeared in other daytime dramas including "Days of Our Lives" and "Port Charles," Pickett died July 30 on an Idaho movie set filming "Treasure Valley."
Following the news of his death, Kin Shriner, who starred with Pickett on “General Hospital” and "Port Charles," shared a black-and-white group photo featuring the actor.
"The sudden passing of my pal Jay Pickett is very sad," Shriner wrote August 1 on Twitter. "He loved acting and Westerns, and when we got together we laughed a lot. R.I.P. Jay."
According to friend and fellow "Treasure Valley" filmmaker, Jim Heffel, Pickett died while on a horse waiting to film a scene in the modern Western.
"Yesterday I lost a good friend and the world lost a great person. Jay Pickett decided to ride off into the Heavens," Heffel wrote in a July 30 Facebook post. "Jay died sitting on a horse ready to rope a steer in the movie 'Treasure Valley' in Idaho. The way of a true cowboy."
Pickett wrote the screenplay and starred in "Treasure Valley," producing the film with Heffel and Tucson Vernon Walker. The independent film was one of many cowboy projects that Pickett, who was raised riding rodeo in Idaho, had undertaken in recent years.
"He will be truly missed," Heffel wrote. "Ride like the wind, partner."
Fellow "Treasure Valley" actor and director Travis Mills wrote on the film's official Facebook page about Pickett's passing, saying, "he died 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," Mills wrote. "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."
Mills paid tribute to Pickett and remembered him as "an incredible man. He was kind, sweet, and generous."
"It is difficult to find the words right now to say more. His closest friends have said that he was very happy making 'Treasure Valley' and my hope is that he truly was," Mills wrote. "He was doing what he loved: acting, riding horses, making movies. And he was magnificent."
Born in Spokane, Washington on Feb. 10, 1961, Pickett grew up in Caldwell, Idaho where he found his love for rodeo. (Brother Dee Pickett is a member of the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame.)
Pickett attended Treasure Valley Community College, where he played football and met his future wife, Elena Bates. He studied theater arts at Boise State University and earned his masters degree at University of California Los Angeles.
With his leading man looks, Pickett started his daytime drama career in 1991 as Dr. Chip Lakin in "Days of Our Lives," For five years, 1997-2002, and 762 total episodes, Pickett starred as dedicated paramedic Frank Scanlon in "Port Charles."
Pickett is survived by his wife of 35 years, Elena, and their three children — Maegan, 35, Michaela, 29, and Tyler, 15.