An ABC spokesman said Ingle died on Sunday surrounded by his family after a battle with cancer.
Ingle took over the role as the ruthless Edward Quartermaine in 1993. He had returned to the show last month to tape an episode, which aired last week. It was his wish to play Edward one last time.
"John Ingle achieved great joy from playing the role of Edward Quartemaine," said executive producer Frank Valentini in a statement. "In our brief time working together, I have enjoyed getting to know a great man who embraced life, cherished what he did and most of all, loved his family. He is already truly missed by the 'General Hospital' family."
Before he was an actor, Ingle taught drama at Hollywood High School, Los Angeles City College, UCLA and Beverly Hills High School. Among his students were Albert Brooks, Stefanie Powers, Swoosie Kurtz and David Schwimmer.
He began his own acting career when he retired from teaching in 1985. In a career spanning more than 30 years he had acting credits in TV shows including "Days of Our Lives," "Big Love" and "The Drew Carey Show" and in films such as "Batman and Robin" "Death Becomes Her," "Robocop II" and "Heathers."
His wife of 57 years, Grace-Lynne Martin, died in February. Ingle is survived by five daughters and nine grandchildren.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.