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Jon Lindstrom on 30 Years of General Hospital's Ryan: "It's Kind of The Gift That Keeps on Giving"

Jon Lindstrom

June 26, 2022 marks 30 years since Ryan Chamberlain (Jon Lindstrom) first began terrorizing the citizens of Port Charles on General Hospital. Lindstrom looked back on the serial murderer's evolution (or evil-ution?) with Soap Opera Digest.

Like many famous characters, Ryan was originally meant to be just a short-term villain before he evolved into so much more. Lindstrom recalled:

This was supposed to be a summer storyline; they hadn’t written anything beyond three months and they actually expected Ryan to die at the end of that summer. He was just supposed to drive a wedge between Mac [John J. York] and Felicia [Kristina Wagner] in order to bring them back together. That was my sole purpose. I thought, 'Well, if I’m smart, if I don’t eat out too much, if I keep living on Rice-A-Roni, I might be able to clear these credit card bills and have a few bucks in my pocket!' 

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Presumed dead in 1995, Ryan rose again in 2018. Of Ryan's killer return, the actor shared:

Well, Kevin and Laura had turned into a very nice love story, and then it started to taper off — Genie [Francis, Laura] takes time off every year, other stories happened. I think it was Genie who said to me, 'What would you want to do?' I said, 'I don’t know. Maybe it would be cool if Ryan came back. Maybe that would, you know, spice things up a bit.' About a month after that, I got a call from Frank [Valentini, executive producer]. He says, 'Can you come by the office? Shut the door. Your brother’s not dead.' And off we went again! That’s one of the great things about it — it’s kind of the gift that keeps on giving.

Lindstrom enthused:

I thought they did a really good job with it, and working Genie into the mix and working with Maura [West, Ava], who I’ve loved ever since we met out there on AS THE WORLD TURNS [where West played Carly and Lindstrom played Craig]. We never really got to play out our stories on WORLD TURNS because the show got canceled, you know? So we had kind of a do-over with that. But just for me, personally, it was great to be able to jump back into that character, mainly because I’m a different person and hopefully a better actor and more facile and skilled than I was back then, and I have more life experience. So for me, it was a great highlight to go back into it with that sense of, 'Gee, I wish I knew then what I know now.' Well, now I can do that! I can put that into play. And it was amazingly easy to slip back into him. That was the strange part!