Adam Rickitt has confirmed his departure as part of a Hollyoaks storyline tackling the difficult issue of male suicide.
In recent months Rickitt's character Kyle Kelly has been shown suffering with depression in secret, while simultaneously providing support for best mate Darren as he battles his own mental health issues.
In scenes airing later this month, the pressure will prove too much for Kyle and he decides to take his own life, devastating his nearest and dearest and shocking the wider community.
Talking about his exit after more than three years, Rickitt said: "When I first heard about the storyline, I was excited as an actor to be able to portray such a dramatic journey, and pride that the team had entrusted me to do it.
"There was also a sense of personal fear. Like all too many I had to walk a similar path in my lifetime and the idea of revisiting that, even in the world of fiction, was slightly daunting.
"In truth though it became an incredibly empowering experience. The sensitivity and heart that the writers put into the story really shone through, and at a time like now, more than ever, I think we need to be highlighting just this sort of issue.
"As sad as I am to say goodbye to Kyle, I have loved being a part of Hollyoaks. It's been a fantastic show to work on. To be able to leave telling a story that is so important and so challenging is more than I could ever have asked for, and like me, I hope viewers will find strength in its telling."
The storyline is similar to the suicide of Shayne Ward's character Aidan Connor in Coronation Street two years ago, and as happened in Corrie, Hollyoaks will not depict the tragic moment of Kyle's death itself.
Executive producer Bryan Kirkwood said: "Hollyoaks' writing team have been laying the building blocks of Darren and Kyle's individual stories for some time, carefully exploring the nuances that comes from two men living with depression in two very different ways.
"There is no face to male suicide, and we wanted to highlight the ways in which depression can manifest itself with two of our much-loved characters.
"By telling this storyline Hollyoaks would like to highlight the importance of creating an environment to listen, giving those who need it the time to talk."
Hollyoaks continues Mondays and Tuesdays at 6.30pm on Channel 4, with first-look episodes on E4 at 7pm.