Actor Peter White, whose Hollywood career spanned seven decades, has died. He was 86 years old.
The star died Wednesday, Nov. 1 at his Los Angeles home, according to The Hollywood Reporter. White died of melanoma, THR reported, citing his All My Children castmate Kathleen Noone.
White was known to TV audiences as Lincoln “Linc” Tyler on the ABC soap opera All My Children. His other notable credits included First Daughter, Armageddon, and the TV movie Passport to Paris opposite Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen.
One of his most pivotal roles came early in his career as Alan McCarthy in The Boys in the Band, a trailblazing play about a group of gay men gathered for a birthday party in New York City. White originated the role in Mart Crowley’s 1968 Off-Broadway premiere and went on to star as the character in William Friedkin’s 1970 film adaptation. However, White was initially hesitant to take on the character at all.
“Things were sort of really moving for me; I was doing so well, and I thought, ‘I don’t need this kind of risk,'” he said of his career at that time in a 2008 interview with Soap Opera Digest. “I talked to Myrna [Loy] — she became my mentor — and she said, ‘Peter, if you are going to be an actor, you are going to have to take some risks in your life.'”
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Recalled White, “Opening night, none of us knew what we had. We all just thought, ‘It’s a play, it’s something new, it’s different and it’s good.’ It was a 100 percent gay audience — and then the next day, it went crazy! We got a call to come to the theater early, because there was such a crowd around the theater, you couldn’t get near it.”