The actor who portrayed Dr. Alan Quartermaine on the ABC soap opera General Hospital, Stuart Damon, has died after his years-long struggle with renal failure, according to The Hollywood Reporter. He was 84.
Damon’s death was acknowledged via Facebook by KABC reporter George Pennacchio, who quoted Damon’s son, Christopher Damon, when he discussed his father’s passion for portraying Alan Quartermaine on the soap, “It was his favorite place to be. He loved playing Alan and was always so appreciative of that role and that job. It was his passion.”
Damon initiated his career on Broadway with a 1959 production of First Impressions, a musical comedy version of Pride and Prejudice, where he sang in the ensemble. He then played two roles in the original production of Irma la Douce. Damon rose to prominence with a 1965 production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s (The King and I) Cinderella where he sang opposite Lesley Ann Warren (Clue). That same year, Damon played a featured part in Do I Hear a Waltz? from Rodgers and Stephen Sondheim (Sweeney Todd).
His TV career began in London, where he starred as a secret agent in the 1968 series The Champions, and made appearances in shows like The Saint, Steptoe and Son, and The New Avengers. It wasn’t until 1977 that Damon joined the cast of General Hospital as Alan Quartermaine, a member of a rich and unhinged family who recently arrived in Port Charles to assist Dr. Steve Hardy, played by John Beradino (The New Breed), fundraise for a new hospital wing. In 1978, Damon’s character marries Dr. Monica Webber, played by Leslie Charleson (The Day of the Dolphin), and their relationship is tested by a series of affairs and murder attempts over the years.
“He’s really one of the most interesting characters around. He’s loving one day, but he’s also a failed murderer who wound up in a hospital on two occasions…I’ve just played some scenes with Monica in which you couldn’t be sure whether I’d kill her or screw her,” Damon joked in a 2010 interview about his character.
Damon, a six-time Daytime Emmy nominee, finally took home an Emmy in 1999 after his character became addicted to painkillers during his recovery from career-ending hand surgery. Damon left General Hospital in 2006 after his character died, but would reappear as a ghost or in flashbacks through 2013. He also appeared on the General Hospital spinoff known as Port Charles from 1997 to 2001. The actor then tried his luck with other soap operas, including CBS’ As the World Turns and NBC’s Days of Our Lives.
Damon’s survivors include his wife, Deirdre Ottweill and their children, Jennifer and Christopher.