Fans who tuned in to yesterday’s episode of General Hospital were in for a bit of a surprise when they saw a very different Dr. Patrick Drake.  That’s because Jason Thompson, who portrays the arrogant yet brilliant neurosurgeon in the fictional city of Port Charles, has taken some time off the long-running soap, leaving his role in the hands of Ethan Erickson.

While this sudden recast alert may upset some viewers of General Hospital, fans need not worry because it’s only temporary.  Erickson, who played rich boy A.J. Chamberlain on Guiding Light for two years, has been hired to fill the void for just four episodes.

Aside from Guiding Light, Erickson has played a minor recurring role on Buffy the Vampire Slayer as a jock Willow Rosenberg (Alyson Hannigan) had to tutor.  He has also been cast in the movie Jawbreaker as Dane Sanders, along with Rose McGowan and Julie Benz.  Gradually, his exposure on TV and film has landed him hosting projects in the short lived series called Get This Party Started with Kristin Cavallari of Laguna Beach fame.  Most recently, he has appeared on Fashion House on MyNetworkTV as scheming senior designer and blackmailer John Cotter.  Known as the voice of Southwest Airlines, Erickson also does a variety of other voice-over work.

Thompson, who had to take an emergency leave due to “personal reasons,” returns as Patrick on Friday, May 2.

Meanwhile, Erickson isn’t the only new face on General Hospital.  Also arriving soon is Jason Cook, best known for playing Shawn Brady on Days of Our Lives.  He’ll be playing a doctor who joins the staff at Port Charles’s infamous hospital.

No airdate has been set for Cook, though he is expected to appear on the canvass in June and is likely to cross paths with Kirsten Storms (Maxie), who played his love interest in the fictional town of Salem.

-Kris De Leon, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
(Image courtesy of Getty Images)

Kris De Leon

Staff Writer, BuddyTV