'General Hospital' Star Quits After 21 Years

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Get ready to say goodbye to Jason Morgan on General Hospital -- actor Steve Burton just announced that he's leaving the role after playing the popular character since 1991.

"I've been through 21 years of ups and downs with GH — regime changes, cast and crew changes, budget cuts, shakeups of one kind or another, and it's been nothing but a huge positive in my life and for my family. I have no complaints, no negative feelings at all," Burton, 42, tells TV Guide Magazine. "But it's time to go. I'm going to take some time off and do nothing but relax, just enjoy life a little bit with my wife and kids."

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However, he didn't completely rule out appearing on the long-running soap again.

"I would never say that I am closing the door to GH. But, in addition to my personal reasons for leaving, I do want to see what else is out there for me, as an actor and as a producer," he says.

And the opportunities are certainly plenty -- he confirmed that he's working on a new TV project with James Franco and former General Hospital executive producer Jill Farren Phelps.

"The three of us collaborated on an idea and came up with a really good one. Jill will EP it, I'll produce and star in it and so will James. We'll be able to get a lot of great cameos and guest stars because of James' connections. It'll be a fun show to do," he dishes.

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As of now, Burton is enjoying not knowing what's next.

"Here's the thing: As cool as it was to know I had a nice, cushy place to go every day with GH, I think it's going to be just as cool to not have a nice, cushy place to go every day. I like not knowing what's next for a change. I'm jumping off a cliff in a total leap of faith."