Johnny Wactor is remembered by Steven Cuoco of Power 98.5 Satellite Radio

Johnny Wactor
Johnny Wactor. Photo Credit: Craig Sjodin, ABC

The late actor Johnny Wactor (“General Hospital”) is remembered by radio and PR personality Steven Cuoco of Power 98.5 Satellite Radio. #Powerjournalist Markos Papadatos has the scoop.

Ronald Reagan once said: “Wherever a beautiful soul has been, there has been a trail of memories.” This quote applies to Johnny Wactor, and his beautiful soul.

A few years ago, Wactor had the opportunity to appear on Power 98.5 Satellite Radio (when he was playing Brando Corbin on “General Hospital”), and their informed conversations went quite deep and thorough, which was reminiscent of Maurice Benard’s “State of Mind” podcast episodes.

In this “Live on Air with Steven Cuoco: Johnny Wactor” interview, Wactor was candid about his childhood and parents, and he also opened up about working with Sofia Mattsson on “General Hospital,” who plays Sasha on the show, and their baby storyline (at the time).

Aside from rock climbing, his biggest passion in life was rock climbing.

Cuoco on the loss of Johnny Wactor

“I am devastated by what happened to my friend Johnny Wactor,” Cuoco said. “When I heard the news, I rushed to my computer because I couldn’t believe what I had just heard. After reading several articles that were already published within minutes to hours after the fatal shooting, my mind immediately went back to several conversations Johnny and I had. We talked about him working as a bartender to make ends meet between acting jobs and his determination to do what he loves most: acting.”

“There were a couple of times I expressed my disappointment about how the entertainment business operates and treats actors who are making the networks and studios millions to billions of dollars, yet they are rarely treated with the respect they deserve. I expressed that there need to be more opportunities available for actors who are not considered A-List or a potential box office draw,” Cuoco elaborated.

“I am not sure if many people know this about Johnny, but he was always concerned for the wellbeing of the crew who helped make films and TV productions a success. I find it unacceptable that someone as talented as Johnny struggled to find consistent work and extended contract offers due to the politics of the entertainment industry,” Cuoco said. 

“Johnny and I often talked about how many actors pay hundreds to thousands of dollars to be on casting websites and purchase extra storage space for their audition recordings,” Cuoco recalled. “We discussed how the entertainment industry’s focus is more on remaking films, despite the abundance of scripts available for TV and film. We discussed why we keep seeing the same high-profile actors being cast in projects when there is plenty of talent that deserves a chance to work. Many actors have invested significantly in acting classes but cannot utilize their training because the industry operates like a ‘cult.’ Unless you pay to be in the club or allow yourself to be violated, the doors often seem locked to most.”

“This also goes back well before the strike,” Cuoco noted. “We discussed how things needed to change so that every actor could have a fair shot at equal pay and job opportunities and how the crew deserve so much more than what they get in return. Despite the challenges, Johnny remained positive and never lost hope. He had a unique way of being transparent in our conversations. His impact left an imprint wherever he went, inspiring those fortunate enough to know him.”

Cuoco on the impact that his death will have on a political standpoint, regarding gun control

“The tragic incident involving Johnny is likely to reignite political debates about gun control,” he observed. “High-profile cases like this draw significant media attention, which can lead to renewed focus on gun control legislation. Advocacy for stricter gun laws may increase, while opponents will argue for gun rights. This debate can shift public opinion and influence both state and federal policy proposals. Immediate responses may include new legislative efforts, but lasting change depends on sustained advocacy and political will.”

“In addition, the U.S. is far from resolving issues related to gun control. Similarly, the country is struggling to address the border crisis and the severity of potential criminals entering. Child trafficking is reportedly on the rise, raising the question: where can we have less talk and more action to get it done and get it done right the first time? In my memory of Johnny, he would agree with me when I urge everyone to get things done and get it done right,” Cuoco elaborated.

“I hope everyone understands that Johnny deserved so much more when he was alive, and the same applies to his legacy and memory thereafter. Those who may attempt to divert or to use this tragedy to avoid accountability, or a lawsuit, or for political gain should reconsider their intentions,” he acknowledged.

“Johnny is not a pawn; he is a beacon of inspiration,” Cuoco expressed. “When someone intends to use his name, I hope they do so with genuine intention. If someone resurfaces from his past and intends to make it about themselves, despite being absent throughout the years, I ask that they reconsider. The focus needs to remain on finding and holding accountable the disgraceful human beings responsible and ensuring they are arrested.”

“When Johnny immediately stepped in front of Anita Joy and saved her life without hesitation, it spoke volumes about how rare of a human being he was in this world,” Cuoco added.

Cuoco on what he loved the most about Johnny Wactor, and how he inspired him in his own life

“Johnny allowed me to feel safe,” Cuoco underscored. “I never felt judged by him. It is rare to find someone in this world who truly sees you. Johnny never cared to make it an issue, or concern, or focused on a person’s sexual orientation or religious or political beliefs. He saw each person for who they are and brought out the best in what they could be.”

“Johnny always created a safe space for personal and professional expression and conversation. Johnny saw me as Steven. That’s where it began and where it ended. And I had the best friendship with him in between all of the laughs, sadness, anger, and happiness and that’s a true friend,” he added.

Cuoco on what he wants Johnny Wactor’s legacy to be

“Johnny not only enjoyed life to the best of his ability, but he also won the battle and the war all at once,” Cuoco said. “Even though some may have never heard his name, Johnny Wactor, you will come to know it now. He lives through all of us. Those who want a better world, so did he. Johnny reminded us to be prepared and ready to take a stand, ready to meet the challenge, and ready to help a friend, a stranger, someone who feels like a lifelong family member even if they are not blood-related. Animals just loved him so much. His gentle spirit could turn the most vicious animal into a pussy cat.” 

“Johnny cared to the fullest, just like an army ready to defend and protect. He listened, and he made you feel that you were the only one in the room when his attention was on you. Johnny’s words in his Instagram bio are ‘Get outside’,” he said.

“Lastly, let me leave you with a couple of questions to answer. Are you enjoying life? Are you enjoying the life you are living? Are you truly living a life worth being proud of? If you are not, then do something about it, and the first thing you can begin to do as Johnny proposed is to ‘get outside’,” Cuoco concluded.

His GoFundMe campaign titled “Justice for Johnny: Family Support” is available by clicking here.

For more information on the late but great Johnny Wactor, check out his IMDb page, and Instagram page.

To learn more about Steven Cuoco, follow him on Instagram.