Shawn Butler
Sean Blakemore as Shawn Butler
General Hospital
Portrayed by Sean Blakemore
Created by Robert Guza, Jr.
First appearance January 24, 2011[1]
Gender Male
Occupation Current
Manager of Kelly's
Academic Counselor
U. S. Marine
Hired mercenary
Science Teacher
Residence Kelly's Diner
(324 Wharf Street)
Port Charles, New York

Shawn Butler is a fictional character from the original ABC daytime, soap opera, General Hospital currently being portrayed by actor, Sean Blakemore. Blakemore first appears on-screen as Shawn on January 24, 2011.[1] On April April 6, 2011, it is announced that he was put on contract with the series.[2]


During an interview with BE Magazine in October 2011, Blakemore discusses his character. He describes Shawn as someone with professional skills, but he is also a man with a lot of personal issues.[3] Blakemore also states,

He is a bad boy turned good. He finds it hard to try to win over people who he comes in contact with, as far as trying to prove himself to them considering his past.
—Blakemore BE Interview[3]


Shawn Butler was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan.[4] As a kid, Shawn admires his father, Ray, who is known around the neighborhood as "Big Ray" Butler. Shawn and his father always shared a glass of milk before going to bed. One night when Shawn is 6 years old, he and Ray go to a store to get some more milk, and Shawn watches as his father is gunned down.[4] Shawn is a former U. S. Marine and suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder; he also worked as Science teacher before enlisting in the marines. While stationed in Afghanistan, Shawn befriends fellow soldier Tommy Ashford.[4] However, Shawn is devastated when he accidentally kills Tommy during a friendly fire incident. Shawn began suffering from PTSD when he witnesses a young girl's violent death at the hands of a violent mob in Afghanistan. Shawn's mother is deceased and he has two sisters, whose names have yet to be mentioned.[4]



Shawn Butler first appears in January 2011 comforting Molly Lansing who is suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Shawn opens up about his own PTSD struggles and he helps her deal. Molly’s aunt, Carly Jacks later shows her gratitude by offering him a room at her hotel, which he declines.[5] It soon revealed that Shawn is working for Theo Hoffman who is also secretly operating as the Balkan, an international crime lord. On Theo’s orders, Shawn is sent to kidnap Brenda Barrett on February 18, just before her wedding. However, several visitors get in his way and Shawn can't get to Brenda.[6] He is later confronted by Sam McCall and her boyfriend, Jason Morgan who want to know why he didn’t take Brenda. They realize Shawn doesn’t want to hurt anyone, and convince him help bring down Theo.[7] Theo realizes Shawn has betrayed him and attempts to kill him during a shootout. Carly finds a wounded Shawn on the side of the road and helps him recover before he is nearly killed by her ex, and Brenda’s new husband, Sonny Corinthos after Brenda goes missing.[8]

During Shawn’s hospital stay, there is another attempt on his life.[9] When serial killer, Franco begins menacing Carly and her daughter, Josslyn, Jason hires him as their personal guard. When Carly's estranged husband, Jasper Jacks attempts to use Shawn's violent past against Carly during their custody hearing, Shawn quits.[4] Shawn soon begins opening up about his past and family. In July 2011, after Jax is run out of town by Sonny, Shawn believing he’ll be back begins paying more attention to Carly and her daughter. On August 8, Shawn attempts to stop Jax from leaving town with Josslyn, but his efforts are stalled when he has a PTSD attack. Shawn manages to get Josslyn back home before Jax leaves with assistance from Robin Scorpio.[4] Shawn comforts Carly when Jax is presumed dead in a plane crash and he finds evidence that Jax is still alive. Shawn is later hired by Jason to take over his job temporarily while he is preparing to marry. Carly and Shawn continue to grow closer as he becomes more involved in the business when he protects Carly’s son Michael from getting busted with drugs.[4] However, Michael doesn’t approve of his mother’s and Shawn’s budding relationship and even gets Sonny to fire him. In October 2011, after receiving a package from Franco, Carly and Shawn go to Hawaii to warn Jason who is on his honeymoon with new wife, Sam. They bond and ultimately share a kiss on October 27.[4] In November 2011, on Veteran’s Day, Shawn opens up to Carly about his friend and fellow marine Tommy Ashford whom he accidentally killed in Afghanistan and how his father was gunned down in front of him when he was a kid. Carly and Shawn spend Thanksgiving together at Kelly’s but Shawn realizes they are getting too personal and pulls away.[4] When Franco makes contact again, Shawn moves in with Carly temporarily to protect her and Josslyn. For Christmas, Carly gets Shawn a dog to help with his PTSD, whom he names Wilson.[4]

In January 2012, as Shawn is preparing to leave Port Charles, he is forced to take in Tommy’s trouble teenage son, TJ who has run away from home and has to stay. Carly hires him to manage Kelly's Diner.[10] Shawn convinces Alexis Davis, Molly’s mother to let Molly tutor TJ.[11] Shawn is jealous of Carly's new relationship with Johnny Zacchara and TJ calls him out on his feelings for her.[12] Shawn later tries to convince Carly to officially divorce Jax when Jax sells his half of their hotel to Carly's rival, Kate Howard without telling her.[13] In February 2012, Shawn and Michael find common ground when Michael decides to go to college and Shawn ends up being his tutor.[14] At the urging of GH's new resident psychiatrist, Ewen Keenan, Shawn ask to escort Carly to the General Hospital Pulmonary benefit at the Metro Court, but she doesn't return his call.[15] On February 23, Shawn admits to a shocked Carly that he wants to be with her but when she doesn't immediately respond, Shawn leaves, feeling rejected.[16]


"the budding relationship between reformed mercenary Shawn Butler (Sean Blakemore) and resident bitch goddess Carly Corinthos Jacks (Laura Wright) proved to be one of the few rays of sunlight peeking through the darkness over Port Chuck."

—Daytime Confidential Top 10 Couples[17]

Many fans and critics alike became invested in the potential Shawn and Carly (Laura Wright). Then head writer, Robert Guza, Jr. began toying with the idea and it looked as if he was about to take the pairing in that direction, even promoting an angle where Shawn and Carly fall for one another, with Jasper Jacks (Ingo Rademacher) standing by.[18] However, due to Shawn's lack of storyline, and him only being used of a "prop" for Carly, many fans were against the pairing. But, what some fans like was that the story would be something new, and different from who the characters Carly was usually paired with. When asked about the potential pairing, Wright revealed that she liked that the writers were playing them as the "Ross and Rachel" of daytime.[19] When GH was appointed a new head writer, many believed the new blood, Garin Wolf would try something new; and Wolf appeared to be going in the direction.[20] Wolf went ahead with the couple's first kiss on October 27, 2011 and caught the attention of many media outlets including, Entertainment Weekly.[20] The pairing came in at #2 on Daytime Confidential's list of the Best Couples of 2011, saying that in the midst of rest of the stories being told at the time, which caused the ratings to dwindle, the potential pairing was the only one that showed promise.[17]

Yahoo! TV also praised the potential pairing citing chemistry between Blakemore and Wright as "undeniable"[21] and they could potentially become a fan favorite couple; the article also said that Shawn was better than most of the men Carly had been previously paired with, most of whom were mobsters, with the exception of her estranged husband, Jax.[21] The article also discusses the show's need for an interracial relationship to bring some diversity to the series. It mentions the short lived pairing of Ethan Lovett (Nathan Parsons) and Maya Ward (Annie Ilonzeh) as having great potential before the writers broke up the pairing.[21]


  1. ^ a b GH Daily Archives Recaps: 2011: Monday, January 24. Retrieved on 2012-01-25.
  2. ^ General Hospital's Sean Blakemore Placed on Contract. Retrieved on 2012-01-25.
  3. ^ a b Sean Blakemore: The Man BEhind the Name.... BE Magazine (2011-10-02). Retrieved on 2012-02-19.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Who's Who in Port Charles: Shawn Butler. Soap Central. Retrieved on 2012-02-18.
  5. ^ No One Can Predict the Future. Soaps She Knows (2011-01-24). Retrieved on 2012-02-18.
  6. ^ There's an Objection During the Ceremony. Soaps She Knows (2011-02-21). Retrieved on 2012-02-18.
  7. ^ Forgiveness And Trust. Soaps She Knows (2011-02-22). Retrieved on 2012-02-18.
  8. ^ Clink. Boom. Redux.. Soaps She Knows (2011-02-24). Retrieved on 2012-02-18.
  9. ^ Get Out Of Your Own Way. Soaps She Knows (2011-03-02). Retrieved on 2012-02-18.
  10. ^ No Matter What She Decides. Soaps She Knows (2012-01-18). Retrieved on 2012-02-18.
  11. ^ Tragically Flawed. Soaps She Knows (2012-01-25). Retrieved on 2012-02-18.
  12. ^ That Character Isn't In The Book. Soaps She Knows (2012-01-31). Retrieved on 2012-02-18.
  13. ^ That Character Isn't In The Book. Soaps She Knows (2012-02-08). Retrieved on 2012-02-18.
  14. ^ In No Hurry To Leave. Soaps She Knows (2012-02-13). Retrieved on 2012-02-18.
  15. ^ Selfish. Soaps She Knows (2012-02-17). Retrieved on 2012-02-18.
  16. ^ Speechless. Soaps She Knows (2012-02-23). Retrieved on 2012-02-24.
  17. ^ a b DC's 10 Best Soap Couples of 2011. Daytime Confidential (2011-12-20). Retrieved on 2012-02-19.
  18. ^ Luke Kerr (2011-05-31). Should GH's Carly and Shawn Hook Up?. Daytime Confidential. Retrieved on 2012-02-19.
  19. ^ The Laura Wright Interview – General Hospital (2011-03-22). Retrieved on 2012-02-19.
  20. ^ a b Lynette Rice (2011-10-20). General Hospital first look of Carly and Shawn first kiss. Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved on 2012-02-19.
  21. ^ a b c Tiffany Bailey (2011-10-10). Reasons Carly and Shawn Should Hook Up on 'General Hospital'. Yahoo! TV. Retrieved on 2012-02-19.

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