When 7th Heaven's resident hunk Barry Watson broke the news to TV Guide Online last March that he was leaving the show to pursue other endeavors, little did anyone know that one of them would be fighting cancer. Well, the 28-year-old actor — who announced in May that he had been diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease — has won the battle!
"He got cancer-free about a month ago," Brenda Hampton, Heaven's executive producer, tells TV Guide Online. "He takes the last [chemotherapy] session Wednesday and then hopefully in about a month he'll start looking great."
Although Watson has been MIA from Heaven since last spring, when his alter ego Matt got hitched and moved to New York, the star of Teaching Mrs. Tingle and Sorority Boys has remained a part of the Camden clan: Over the summer, Hampton tapped Watson to join the show's writing team. "He's been inspirational," she says of the up-and-coming scribe. "The guy, who has this difficulty in life, is coming in every day that he can in a great mood and makes us all laugh and appreciate our health. He's just been terrific.
"He's come in with great advice [too]," she adds. "He can certainly hold his own in the room with the writers."
So, does this mean viewers can expect Matt to pay Glen Oak a visit come Christmas? "That's between Barry and [the WB]," she explains of Watson's possible on-screen return. "I would like to see him [back on the show], but my second choice is to have him up here writing. We like having him here and keeping him in the family."