John Reilly has died aged 84, his daughter has announced (Image: ©ABC/Courtesy Everett Collection)

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John Reilly, US soap star of General Hospital and Dallas, has died, aged 84.

The actor's death was announced by his daughter on Instagram on Sunday, in which she described him as the "brightest light in the world".

John had a recurring role in huge 80s TV hit Dallas before playing retired spy Sean Donely in top ABC daytime series General Hospital.

Such was his popularity at one stage, director Judd Apatow said that unrelated character actor John C. Reilly had to add his middle initial to his name so that he could be identified separately from the soap star.

Announcing his passing on Instagram, John's daughter Caitlin wrote on Sunday: "The brightest light in the world has gone out. Imagine the best person in the world. Now imagine that person being your dad."

John Reilly made his name in US TV soaps

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Caitlin posted a photo of her as a little girl being hugged by her father.

She continued: "I’m so grateful he was mine.

“I’m so grateful I got to love him. I’m so grateful I made it in time to hold him and say goodbye.

"I honestly don’t know what I’m going to do, but I know he’ll be with me. I love you forever Daddy.”

John was born in Chicago and he first appeared in the soap As the World Turns, playing Dr Dan Stewart.

Sharon Wyatt and John Reilly in General Hospital, pictured in 1993
(Image: ©ABC/Courtesy Everett Collection)

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He then had parts on television shows How the West Was Won, Quincy M.E. and Dallas .

In February 1984, John was cast as Sean Donely in General Hospital, a role that that would last for 11 years.

In the show, his character had several storylines in which he went from a bad guy to a good one.

John is survived by his wife Liz and three daughters.

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