Ted King and Jay Pickett, General Hospital
Due to Ted King's emergency throat surgery this month, General Hospital was forced to temporarily recast the role of Mafia boss Lorenzo Alcazar. King's last airdate is March 22. Port Charles star Jay Pickett — who played paramedic-turned-vampire Frank Scanlon — then steps into Lorenzo's Gucci loafers for three episodes on March 23, 24 and 27. GH viewers can expect King to reprise his role (with a noticeably raspy voice) on March 28.

It's not uncustomary for GH to recast a front-burner hunk on medical leave. Last year Chris Beetem (ex-Jordan, As the World Turns) played Nikolas while Tyler Christopher recovered from a broken arm. For the talented Pickett, this temp job was a golden opportunity.

"I got a call that Ted King was sick and they needed a daytime pro to step in right away," Pickett tells TVGuide.com. "I thought, 'Why not? This is a chance to kinda remind people that I'm still around.' I took it and I'm very happy that I did. Enough time has passed that viewers will be able to see me as a character other than Frank Scanlon.

"You'll first see me in the hospital waiting room after Skye (Robin Christopher) finishes a baby checkup at the doctor's," he previews. "My last scene is a confrontation with Luke (Anthony Geary) and Tracy (Jane Elliot) at the big reopening party for their ship, the Haunted Star. Lorenzo thinks Tracy is guilty of pushing Skye down a flight of stairs. Don't worry, they used a stuntwoman for that, since Robin is also pregnant in real life!"

Since PC was made at the same Hollywood studio where GH tapes, Pickett found himself among old friends. "It's always awkward when you replace someone," he admits, "but I knew so many people there, like Kelly Monaco (Sam), who used to play twins on PC. I felt very welcome and at home."

Pickett has one last bit of soap scoop for TVGuide.com. "My wife Elena and I are expecting a little boy in April," he says. "We have two teenage daughters and this was a complete accident and a shock, but we're excited about it! It's really cool. I feel like the tide is turning and all kinds of positive things are happening."