Steve Burton returns as Jason Morgan on 'General Hospital' after leaving 'Days of Our Lives'

Steve Burton has reprised his role as gangster Jason Morgan on "General Hospital."
Steve Burton has reprised his role as gangster Jason Morgan on "General Hospital."
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The resident gangster of "General Hospital" is back.

Steve Burton announced his return as Jason Morgan in an Instagram post on Monday.

"Today is the day! Are you ready?" he captioned a video on the ABC soap opera's set announcing his first show back.

Burton, 53, has portrayed Morgan on and off for a 30-year stretch from 1991 to 2021. Though the character first appeared over 40 years ago, Burton's run has consistently depicted Morgan as a criminal with mob ties.

Burton was fired from his long-running stint on "General Hospital" in 2021 because of COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

Burton announced on Instagram at the time that he was let go because he didn't comply with the production's COVID-19 vaccination requirement. A person familiar with the situation but not authorized to speak publicly about Burton's departure confirmed the news to USA TODAY.

"I wanted you to hear it from me personally," said Burton. "Unfortunately, 'General Hospital' has let me go because of the vaccine mandate. I did apply for my medical and religious exemptions, and both of those were denied. Which, you know, hurts. But this is also about personal freedom to me."

Burton's return to "General Hospital" was first reported by Deadline. The comeback was then officially unveiled during January's "General Hospital" 60th anniversary special, with a promo video titled "When One Door Closes" to tease his return.

Steve Burton teases return to 'General Hospital' after 'Days of Our Lives' exit

"Happy anniversary, 'General Hospital.' Stay tuned. Big things are coming to Port Charles," Burton said in the video.

That same month, the actor shared news of his exit from "Days of Our Lives" exclusively with Daily Drama, which also hosts Burton's podcast with fellow soap star Bradford Anderson. Burton shared the announcement on his Instagram story, responding to "speculation" on his status on the show with a link to the article.

Although Burton announced his departure from the Peacock soap opera, a series spokesperson told USA TODAY at the time that his character will remain on the show for the coming months.

Burton played Navy SEAL Harris Michaels on the daytime soap formerly on NBC, first in 1988 before reprising the role in the soap's spin-off miniseries "Beyond Salem" in 2022 and later on "Days" in 2023.

Contributing: Erin Jensen, Cydney Henderson and Elise Brisco

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 'General Hospital': Steve Burton returns as Jason Morgan