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Ex-soap opera star’s acting mojo carries over to real estate industry

 Ex-soap opera star’s acting mojo carries over to real estate industry

Former “General Hospital” actor a top seller in southeast Michigan

Drew Cheetwood isn’t a bodyguard, but he played one on TV.

For close to 15 years beginning in 2003, the Southgate resident and native of Bowling Green, Ohio, portrayed Milo Giambetti on the long-running ABC soap opera “General Hospital”.

Paired with his real-life brother Derk — the siblings also played brothers on the soap — the Cheetwoods were henchmen for fictional Port Charles mob boss Sonny Corinthos (Maurice Benard).

These days the only things Cheetwood protects (besides his family, of course) are his real estate clients’ best interests.

In 2018, he moved from Los Angeles to Southgate so he and wife Jenna (who is from Riverview) could raise their three daughters in a slower-paced Midwestern environment.

In 2018, he said, “Action!” on his real estate career and has been a consistently stellar seller, working for Social House Group since 2021.

He doesn’t miss the bright lights of Hollywood one bit.

“Even though it’s been four years since I was on ‘General Hospital’ on a regular basis, people still look at me sometimes like they know me from somewhere,” said Cheetwood, smiling. “A lot of the diehard soap fans start watching the show when they’re five, so they remember a face when they see one.

Drew Cheetwood played Milo Giambetti in General Hospital Courtesy of ABC

“I miss working with my brother, obviously, but as far as the lifestyle and living in LA, it was a little too fast-paced for raising a family. Now, we’re close to my wife’s family and we’re only an hour’s drive from Bowling Green, where my parents and sister still live. It’s a perfect situation.”

Like most soap stars’ journey to the small screen, Cheetwood’s was lined with a lot of hard work and a few gut checks along the way.

Following three semesters at Bowling Green State University, where he played briefly as a walk-on for the Falcons’ football program, Cheetwood moved to Los Angeles, where his brother and a cousin had established themselves as actors in daytime dramas.

He attended acting classes — one of his first teachers was Jeff Goldblum (Jurassic Park, The Fly, etc.) — hired an agent and did as much theater work as possible to build a resume.

“You do whatever you can do to get you in front of a casting director,” Cheetwood said.

A casual visitor to the set of “General Hospital” since his brother was hired for the program in 1996, Cheetwood worked as an extra on the soap, securing temporary non-speaking roles as a police officer and bar patron, among others.

Drew and Derk Cheetwood Courtesy of ABC

“I continued to take acting classes and learned so much from people like Jeff Goldblum and Mark Pellegrino (The Big Lebowski, National Treasure), people who have been doing this every day for several years,” he said. “I learned how to immerse myself in a role, buy into the circumstances of a scene.”

While he appreciated the work as an extra, the hours were sometimes long and the pay was modest ($100 per gig — whether it was two hours or eight).

“After about 12 extra roles, I auditioned for a role the directors had in mind for me,” Cheetwood said. “I thought it was going to give me a couple lines, but they wrote me in as my brother’s brother. Initially, I thought it was going to be for one show, but it turned into 15 years.

“People would say to me, ‘Oh, you probably got it because of your brother and cousin’. But that wasn’t true; nepotism isn’t prominent in that industry. Unless you’re Brad Pitt, you can’t just hand out roles to your relatives.

“It was a super-cool job and I will always be grateful for it, but the time came for me and my brother (Derk Cheetwood moved to Nashville) to move on.”

Cheetwood has parlayed his soap opera experience and passion for creating art into making short reels to help boost his real estate clients’ home sales.

Along with widely-respected videographer Raimi Mukhal, Cheetwood has

produced home-tour videos that have blended in spoofs of movies like Stand By Me and Top Gun. One of his videos generated over 40,000 views on social media.

“The videos are my niche in the real estate industry, a way to hook the audience into watching the home tour,” he said. “After all, real estate agents are marketers and the videos are my way of marketing my clients’ homes.”

Thriving and thoroughly loving his current lifestyle, Cheetwood said a “General Hospital” cameo is not out of the question.

“The directors didn’t kill off Milo, so you never know,” he said, laughing. “But it would only be temporary. I love where I’m at now too much.”

He said it with a genuine tone to his voice. No acting required.

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Ed Wright

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