Johnny Wactor, ‘General Hospital’ actor, fatally shot in L.A.

Actor Johnny Wactor, known for his work on the daytime drama “General Hospital,” was fatally shot when he interrupted a crime in Los Angeles, according to his family and police.

His mother, Scarlett Wactor, confirmed his death in the incident. He was 37.

She described her son as “a light in a dark room.”

“There is a huge hole in all of us, and there is no fixing that,” she said.

Wactor’s agent, David Shaul, said in a statement to Variety that he was a dedicated worker and an exemplary person.

“In the highs and lows of a challenging profession he always kept his chin up and kept striving for the best he could be,” Shaul said. “After over a decade together, he will leave a hole in our hearts forever.”

Actor Johnny Wactor
Actor Johnny Wactor in Old City in Philadelphia in October.Gilbert Carrasquillo / Getty Images

Los Angeles police, who did not confirm the identity of the deceased, offered a narrative of the incident.

About 3:25 a.m. Sunday, the victim came upon three people removing a catalytic converter from a vehicle near Pico Boulevard and Hope Street, in the southwest corner of downtown Los Angeles, the police department said.

One of the three opened fire, striking the victim, who was pronounced dead, police said.

Scarlett Wactor said by phone from South Carolina that her son had been bartending at a rooftop venue nearby, helped with a “deep clean” after last call and walked to his car down the street with three co-workers.

Two of the co-workers broke off in a different direction to get to their vehicles, leaving her son and one co-worker, she said. They came upon his car, which had been jacked up, and he thought it was being towed because he had parked on the street, in an unfamiliar place, knowing he’d be working later than usual, she said.

He stepped in front of his co-worker and asked someone on the ground next to his vehicle whether he was being towed, at which point the person shot him, she said.

The two other people police described were in a waiting vehicle, she said.

Johnny Wactor, left, with his mother, Scarlett, and brothers Grant and Lance.
Johnny Wactor, left, with his mother, Scarlett, and his brothers, Grant and Lance, at Scarlett Wactor’s surprise 60th birthday party in January, the last time she saw him.Scarlett Wactor / Courtesy

Wactor, a Charleston, South Carolina, native, wanted to act since he was in elementary school, Scarlett Wactor said. After he attended Rollings Middle School of the Arts in South Carolina and moved to Hollywood, he kept in touch with his theater instructor, she said.

He kept up with his craft by taking or auditing acting classes when he could. And he enjoyed climbing when time allowed, she said.

The industry was no joy ride, and at one point, Scarlett Wactor said, “I thought he was almost going to starve to death out there.”

He made his television debut on Lifetime’s “West Wives” and eventually appeared in 164 episodes of “General Hospital,” on which he portrayed the son of Bonnie Borroughs’ Gladys Corbin, Brando, according to the Internet Movie Database.

He also appeared on television’s “Westworld” and as a voice in the video game “Call of Duty: Vanguard,” according to IMDb.

Scarlett Wactor said his acting work might help her cope with her loss.

“I think that when I see Johnny on the videos and the recordings, I can only hope that he’s doing that in heaven and enjoying it,” she said.

No arrests have been made.

The crime happened a short walk from Crypto Arena, where the Lakers play home games.

Catalytic converter thieves target the pollution-thwarting parts for their valuable precious and industrial metals — platinum, palladium and rhodium — the prices of which skyrocketed before and during the coronavirus pandemic.

The thefts nationwide peaked in 2022, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau. A wave of legislation in states from California to Rhode Island has tried to make it difficult to buy and sell stolen catalytic converters and the metals within.

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