While the news leaked out earlier than expected, "ABC Soaps in Depth" confirmed on Feb. 27 that Julie Marie Berman has left "General Hospital" after seven years.
"General Hospital" airs weekdays at 1 p.m. on Riverside affiliate KABC channel 7.
The actress also took to Twitter about her departure, confirming that Tuesday was her final day of taping.
"Hi everyone...yesterday was one of the hardest days of my life. It hurts to let go of Lulu. Thank u for letting me into ur homes & hearts."
Berman conducted an exclusive exit interview with "ABC Soaps in Depth," which will hit the stands on March 4, in which she explains her reason for leaving.
"I always have a desire to grow and challenge myself in other mediums. And there are enough reasons now that my gut is telling me this is the right time to finally let go of ‘GH'."
The two-time Daytime Emmy winner joined "General Hospital" in 2005 after the character of Lulu was "SORAS'd," which stands for "soap opera rapid aging syndrome," a term used in soaps when a character suddenly goes from being a child to a teen overnight. Lulu is the daughter of legendary "General Hospital" super couple Luke and Laura. Berman garnered immediate attention for her strong resemblance to her on-screen mother, played by Genie Francis.
Tony Geary has remained on the show as Lulu's father, Luke Spencer; however, Francis only recently returned as Laura after several years.
Lulu had troubled beginnings in Port Charles, including an abortion and the accidental murder of a stalker ex-boyfriend, leaving her mentally unstable; however, Lulu finally got her life together, settling down and marrying police officer Dante Falconeri (Dominic Zamprogna).
After discovering she was unable to carry a child, Lulu and Dante enlisted their friend Maxie Jones (Kirsten Storms) to be their surrogate. Maxie miscarried the baby this past New Year's Eve and, in her grief, slept with Damian Spinelli (Bradford Anderson), becoming pregnant again with his child. Maxie has yet to share this news with Lulu and Dante, who still think she is carrying their baby.
Given this unfinished storyline, along with a recent development involving Lulu and the infamous Ice Princess, which hasn't been mentioned for more than two decades, producers are no doubt seeking a quick recast.
At this time, no final airdate has been given for Berman; however, given the timing of her last taping, it is likely she will not appear in any of the 50th Anniversary episodes scheduled to air in April.
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