Soap actor Phil Carey dies at age 83 in NYC

February 10, 2009 7:38:00 AM PST
Phil Carey, best known for his role as business tycoon Asa Buchanan in the ABC soap opera "One Life to Live," has died. He was 83.

Carey died at his New York City home Friday following a battle with lung cancer, according to ABC network officials.

"His presence will always be a part of 'One Life to Live,"' said Frank Valentini, the show's executive producer. "The best way to describe Phil was bigger than life. Like Asa, he possessed an undeniable quality that drew you to him."

Born Eugene Joseph Carey on July 15, 1925, in Hackensack, N.J., Cary began his film career with a part in "Operation Pacific," starring John Wayne.

This led to contracts with Warner Bros. and Columbia Pictures and starring roles with some of Hollywood's legendary actors, including Gary Cooper in "Springfield Rifle," Henry Fonda in "Mister Roberts," Peter Fonda in "Fighting Mad" and Tyrone Power in "The Long Gray Line." He also starred with Fred MacMurray and Kim Novak in "Pushover."

Carey's prime-time television credits include starring roles in "Philip Marlowe," "Laredo," and "The Untamed World." Guest-star appearances include "Gunsmoke," "All in the Family," "Little House on the Prairie," and "Police Woman."

Additionally he toured in such stage plays as Arthur Miller's "All My Sons" and "Cyrano de Bergerac."

Carey originated the role of Asa Buchanan in 1980 and played the billionaire tycoon until the character died in his sleep in August, 2007. But Carey was brought back in video wills and was last seen on the show on Dec. 29.

He is survived by his wife, Colleen, and their two children, Shannon and Sean, as well his three children - Lisa, Linda and Jeff - from a previous marriage.

The death comes a few weeks after the passing away of another former "One Life to Live" castmember, Clint Ritchie, who originated the role of Clint Buchanan.

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