1:54 PM PT -- Sonya Eddy's producing partner and close friend, Tyler Ford, tells us she had a scheduled surgery on December 9 -- it wasn't an emergency. He says she was released from the hospital on the 11th, but started to feel ill again, and went back to the hospital on the 15th ... when doctors discovered she'd developed a serious infection.
Tyler tells us the infection was uncontainable, and doctors told him Monday morning she'd been placed on life support ... she died Monday night.
Sonya Eddy, known for her work on "General Hospital," has died ... according to her close friend Octavia Spencer.
Octavia shared the sad news on social media Tuesday ... telling the world her friend passed away the night before. She says, "The world lost another creative angel" ... noting her "legions" of fans will truly miss her. The cause of her death is unclear.
Sonya was truly a staple of "General Hospital" starting in 2006, appearing in 543 episodes of the long-running soap opera. Fans remember her playing Epiphany Johnson, a no-nonsense head nurse that was the mother of the late Stan Johnson, who got wrapped up in the mob.
Apart from the soap, Sonya's been working in the industry for decades -- starting in 1995 on "The Drew Carey Show," and going on to appear in projects like "Seinfeld," "Patch Adams," "Reba," "Monk," "Joan of Arcadia," "CSI," "Glee," "Castle," and "Fresh Off The Boat."