Jane Elliot is exiting General Hospital on Thursday with very little fanfare, and that’s exactly the way she wants it. She’s a soap star who never required a lot of buzz in her career — she only wanted to keep on doing excellent work.
In an interview with TV Insider, Elliot explained that her farewell party on the GH set was mellow.
“There was no speechifying, which I definitely did not want. [Photographer] Jim Warren got me a cake. I will never let him take my picture, so he put my name on the cake with a sign that said ‘No Photo Available,'” she told the TV magazine. “The truth is, I would have been perfectly happy to do nothing, but [executive producer] Frank Valentini came to me and said, ‘We have to do something. People want to say good-bye.'”
Elliot didn’t want the fuss, so the cast and crew huddled in a conference room to say good-bye and give her one sweet farewell gift.
“Genie Francis got a blank journal and had everyone write something to me, which was the sweetest thing imaginable,” she revealed. “I will cherish that journal forever.”
In her impending retirement, don’t expect Elliot to be looking for other work. She thinks the entertainment industry has changed for the worse.
“The business has changed, and the idea of trying to get other jobs seems insane to me. Dealing with agents and reels and online profiles and social media accounts just isn’t my thing,” Elliot said. “Nowadays, when you’re up for a job, they look at how many Twitter followers you have! They check your Facebook page! No, thank you. There’s a level of narcissism and self-promotion required that I’ve never been good at.”
The best part about Elliot is that she admires her BFF, Days of Our Lives star Deidre Hall, because she is so good at being a soap star. Hall has the hustle needed to maintain that high level in the public eye.
“I have watched Deidre do this business her way. She is in my life to show me there is more than one way to negotiate a career. She negotiated hers with marketing and promotion, with fan clubs and fan gatherings and autograph signings and award show hostings,” Elliot shared. “She did all of that stuff, and I would venture to say that she earns two or three times what I do. Yes, we’re both recognizable, we’ve both had long careers in soap operas, we’re survivors. But she did the hard work.”
Elliot is being modest. She did a lot of hard and excellent work as Tracy Quartermaine over the last 39 years. Her low-key visibility still earned her a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series in 1981. And the best part? She marched through her career in her own way.