'General Hospital' Star Doug Sheehan Died Peacefully at the Age of 75

Doug Sheehan was in more than 300 episodes of TV over a single decade.


Jul. 9 2024, Published 9:43 a.m. ET

Doug Sheehan at the Plaza Hotel in 1988.
Source: Getty Images

While he hasn't acted on-screen in more than a decade, anyone who is a longtime fan of General Hospital or Knots Landing still knows who Doug Sheehan is. The veteran actor appeared in more than 100 episodes of each show, and news recently broke that he had died at the age of 75.

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The news of his death left many long-time fans of Doug's work wondering what happened to him. Here's what we know about Doug's death, including what has been reported about the cause of death.

Doug Sheehan with his wife at a polo event in 1985.
Source: Getty Images
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What was Doug Sheehan's cause of death?

Doug's death was first reported in an announcement by Kane Funeral Home. The announcement said that he had "passed away peacefully" at his home in Big Horn, Wy. "with his loving wife at his side." The announcement offered no cause of death, and there's currently no reporting on whether he had been ill or if his death was expected.

Doug got his start in acting after appearing in a 1978 episode of Charlie's Angels. Just a year later, he was cast as lawyer Joe Kelly on General Hospital, where he appeared in more than 200 episodes from 1979 to 1982. After his work on General Hospital, Joe joined the Dallas spin-off Knots Landing. He played reporter Ben Gibson and was on that show for more than 100 episodes from 1983 to 1988.

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Doug left the series during its eighth season, and went on to play Cher's father in the TV adaptation of the movie Clueless. He also had three big screen credits over the course of his career in 10, Victor/Victoria, and Cops n' Roberts. Doug's last work on screen came in 2003, when he appeared on Sabrina the Teenage Witch and What I Like About You.

Source: Twitter/@sagaftra
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Fans are mourning Doug's death on social media.

Following the news of Doug's death, many took to social media to memorialize him and the remarkable career he put together on TV over the course of more than a decade.

"My prayers and condolences to the family of Doug Sheehan. He played Joe Kelly on General Hospital from 1979 to 1982. I am so sad to hear about this. He will be missed," one person wrote on Twitter.

SAG-AFTRA, the actors' union that Doug was a part of, also weighed in on his death.

"We are saddened to learn of Doug Sheehan's passing. From his Emmy-nominated role as Joe Kelly on General Hospital, to Knots Landing & many TV appearances, Sheehan had a memorable career. Our condolences to his wife and friends," the statement read.

Although he had been retired for more than 20 years, there were many General Hospital fans who never stopped hoping that he would make a return to the show in some form. Now that he's gone, fans have plenty of TV to look back on and remember the remarkable impact he had during his decades of prominence. Based on the tributes that have poured in since his death, it's clear that he will be missed.

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