Jay Pickett, known for his work in soap operas General Hospital and Port Charles, died of unknown causes on Friday at the age of 60. Pickett was on location in Idaho shooting the film Treasure Valley when he died while on a horse, according to actor and friend Jim Heffel.
“Yesterday I lost a good friend and the world lost a great person. Jay Pickett decided to ride off into the Heavens. Jay died sitting on a horse ready to rope a steer in the movie Treasure Valley in Idaho. The way of a true cowboy,’ Heffel said of Pickett, both of who co-produced the film alongside Travis Mills.
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Mills in a post of his own shared to the film’s official Facebook page shared a tribute to Pickett.
“Many of you have already heard about the tragedy that happened two days ago,” he wrote on Sunday. “Jay Pickett, our leading man, writer, producer, and creator of this movie passed away suddenly while we were on location preparing to film a scene. There is no official explanation for the cause of his death but it appears to have been a heart attack. Everyone present tried as hard as they could to keep him alive. Our hearts are broken and we grieve for his family who are so devastated by this shocking tragedy.”
Pickett was born in Spokane, WA, in 1961 and grew up in Caldwell, ID. By his college years, he was focused on becoming an actor; he received his BA degree in acting from Boise State University and his MFA in acting from UCLA with a focus in theater at both institutions.
He made appearances throughout the years in many popular TV shows including China Beach, Dragnet, Mr. Belvedere, Perry Mason, and Days of Our Lives before securing a gig on the ABC soap Port Charles as Frank Scanlon in 1997. He followed that with a recurring role in General Hospital as Detective David Harper.
He is survived by his wife, Elena, and their three children.
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