Sonya Eddy's 'General Hospital' Costars Honor 'Beautiful Soul' 3 Months After Death: 'She Gave the Best Hugs'

"I know she was the head nurse of GH but she truly was that figure in all of our personal lives. It's been really hard," Rebecca Herbst said of Eddy, who died in December 2022 at age 55

Sonya Eddy's General Hospital costars are keeping her memory alive.

Three months after the actress's unexpected death, the soap opera's cast will has paid tribute to her in a special episode airing Wednesday that will also commemorate the show's 60th anniversary. Ahead of the tribute episode, Eddy's castmates also remembered their late friend and colleague in a segment for ABC News.

"She was just — one word that I can think of is joy," said Maurice Benard.

Kirsten Storms shared, "Sonya — I'm getting emotional talking about it — was one of the most positive people, I think, that has ever worked in this building."

Lynn Herring noted how "tough" it was to pinpoint a memory with Eddy that instantly made her smile because the late actress "was a spark of joy."

"Sonya was such a beautiful soul," added Herring, 64. "Her smile would light up everybody's day. She never complained about being tired."

Donnell Turner recalled, "She had a big spirit and a light around her. You knew when she was in the room, but I mean that in all the best ways."

Sonya Eddy
Michael Tullberg/Getty

"I know she was the head nurse of GH but she truly was that figure in all of our personal lives. It's been really hard," said Rebecca Herbst.

Finola Hughes added, "She had such a mix of humor and strength and was ready to laugh at anything and gave the best hugs I've ever had." And Storms, 38, echoed the sentiment: "I told her once she gave good hugs, and from that point on she hugged me every time she saw me."

Eddy was best known for playing head nurse Epiphany Johnson on General Hospital. She died in December 2022 at age 55 after experiencing complications from a non-emergency surgery.

Announcing the news of her death, Octavia Spencer wrote alongside a headshot of Eddy: "My friend @sonyaeddy passed away last night."

"The world lost another creative angel," the Oscar winner, 52, continued. "Her legions of @generalhospitalabc fans will miss her 💔🕊️"

GENERAL HOSPITAL - The Nurse's Ball begins airing the week of April 1, 2013 on Walt Disney Television via Getty Images's "General Hospital." The Emmy-winning daytime drama "General Hospital" airs Monday-Friday (2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m., ET) on the Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Television Network. GH13 (Photo by Rick Rowell/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images) Pictured, back row: Bergen Williams, Sean Kanan, Kelly Sullivan, Carolyn Hennesy, Lisa LoCicero, Sean Blackmore, Derk Cheetwood; third row: Drew Cheetwood, Tyler Christopher, Rebecca Herbst, Bradford Anderson, Kelly Monaco, Brandon Barash, Kirsten Storms, John J. York, Kristina Wagner, Jack Wagner, Sonya Eddy; second row: Lynn Herring, Jacklyn Zeman, Ian Buchanan, Kimberly McCullough, Finola Hughes, Leslie Charleson, Jane Elliot, Anthony Geary, Genie Francis, Maurice Benard, Laura Wright, Jason Thompson, Nancy Lee Grahn; front row: Marc Anthony Samuel, Teresa Castillo, Emily Wilson, Chad Duell, Haley Pullos, Tequan Richmond, Jimmy Deshler
Rick Rowell/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty

Frank Valentini, an executive producer for General Hospital, also reacted to the upsetting news in a statement to PEOPLE. "I am heartbroken about the loss of the incredible Sonya Eddy. I truly loved her not only as an actress, but as a friend," he said.

"The lights in the hub of the nurse's station will now be a little dimmer, but her spirit and light will live on in both the show and our set," he added. "On behalf of the entire GH cast and crew, we send our deepest sympathy to her family, friends, and fans. She will be very missed."

General Hospital has tapped Eddy's actress friend Yvette Nicole Brown to appear in the special tribute episode.

Sonya Eddy
Carol Kaelson/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty

"Octavia and Carla [Renata] and I had all spoken online about how losing Sonya affected us. Mark Teschner [GH's casting director] reached out to my agent and said, 'We're putting something together that will be a tribute to both Sonya and Epiphany. We were wondering if Yvette would come on for it?'" Brown, 51, told TV Insider about how her involvement came to be. "I didn't know what the role was going to be, but I wanted to do this. I got the script a few days before we shot the episode."

The Community alum continued, "What I love about them letting Epiphany pass is that we'll get to see the residents of Port Charles pay tribute to her as well as see these great actors pay tribute to Sonya. I would love the idea of Epiphany saving lives at Mercy Hospital as a doctor, but I think [what GH is doing] is a perfect way of honoring her."

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General Hospital airs weekdays (check local listings).

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