Stuart Damon played Alan Quartermaine on a contract basis from 1977 through 2007. On this 30th year with the soap opera, Damon was fired, much to the dismay of fans and much of the cast. In the years prior Damon had seen his screen time reduced and storylines nearly nonexistent.
There were rumors that Alan would be revealed as having killed Rick Webber. This would not only lay the blame for Rick’s death on Alan but the mental breakdown of Laura Spencer who believed she was guilty. The revelation would either lead to Alan’s arrest or his murder. This however, did not come to pass. However it became clear that Alan Quartermaine would be killed off during the Febuary Sweeps.
The February 2007 sweeps Meteocourt Hostage crisis was unlike any other before it.. Viewers got a glimpse of the building exploding prior to a flashback to the beginning of the event. As the story played out, each hour unfolded in real time. Alan’s death did indeed occur during the event as he had a heart attack and was refused care. Later, Alan asks repeatedly to see his son at the hospital but passes away before he arrives.
The sweeps storyline was a huge success, with ratings surging from the prior year. The show sustained more than 4 million viewers for multiple weeks. The episode involved Alan’s condition worsening hit 4.6 million, the highest since the Port Charles Hotel fire in 2004.
That his death was high rated is telling. The producers knew he was well liked and saw an easy way to grab viewers. The results were initially favorable but short-lived. Just one year after the climax of the 2007 storyline, just 2.8 million viewers were watching.
Stuart Damon was well regarded in the industry. His 30 year run was critically acclaimed and after several nominations won his first and only Emmy for Suppotyinf Actor in 1999. That year saw Alan spiral into drug abuse as his life crumbles under the weight of his addiction.