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David Canary, Star of ‘All My Children,’ Dies at 77


David Canary, Star of ‘All My Children,’ Dies at 77

David Canary, who played the Chandler twins — evil Adam and guileless Stuart — on the soap opera “All My Children” for nearly 30 years, died on Nov. 16 in Wilton, Conn. He was 77.

His family confirmed the death but did not specify the cause.

Mr. Canary had earlier made his mark in westerns, appearing in the film “Hombre” with Paul Newman and in a regular role in the television series “Bonanza,” but he was most widely known for his work in “All My Children.” He first appeared in the show as the conniving Adam Chandler, one of Pine Valley’s wealthiest citizens, in 1984. Meek and mild Stuart, an artist, made his debut a year later. Over the next decade and a half, Mr. Canary won five Daytime Emmy Awards and received 16 nominations in the outstanding lead actor category.

David Hoyt Canary was born on Aug. 25, 1938, in Elwood, Ind., and grew up in Massillon, Ohio. He was a star offensive and defensive end at Washington High School there and won a football scholarship to the University of Cincinnati, where he studied voice and earned a bachelor’s degree in music in 1960.

He turned down the opportunity to play for the Denver Broncos, which drafted him in its first year as a team.

“I thought they were out of their minds,” he said in a 2004 interview for the Archive of American Television. “I was 172 pounds, I wasn’t very fast, and I couldn’t catch a pass. They called me stone fingers.”

He moved to New York to pursue an acting career, appearing as the lead in the Off Broadway musical “Hi, Paesano!” and making his Broadway debut in 1961 with a small role in “The Happiest Girl in the World,” a musical directed by Cyril Ritchard, who also played multiple roles. A year later he appeared in “Great Day in the Morning,” a short-lived comedy-drama with Colleen Dewhurst, before being called up by the Army.

After completing his military service, Mr. Canary was cast in the San Francisco production of “The Fantasticks” and, after being spotted by an agent in a Los Angeles production of “A Streetcar Named Desire,” landed a film contract with 20th Century Fox. Steady work in film and television followed.

In 1967 he played Lamar Dean, one of Richard Boone’s gang, in “Hombre” and the mobster Frank Gusenberg in “The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre,” which starred Jason Robards as Al Capone.

His work in “Hombre” and a two-part episode of “Gunsmoke” caught the eye of David Dortort, a producer of “Bonanza,” who hired him in 1967 (the show had its premiere in 1959) to play Candy Canaday, one of the Ponderosa’s ranch hands. Mr. Dortort described the character to The New York Times as “an independent strong-willed loner who doesn’t waste words when a fist will do the job.” He remained with the series until its end, in 1973.

Mr. Canary’s first taste of soap-opera drama came in 1965, when he was cast as Dr. Russ Gehring, Mia Farrow’s physical therapist, in “Peyton Place.” Ms. Farrow’s character was in a coma at the time, so their interaction was minimal.

In 1981 he took the role of Steve Frame, a businessman, on the NBC soap opera “Another World.” After his character died in a car crash two years later, he joined “All My Children.” In 1980 he had a small role in the Broadway production of the Tennessee Williams play “Clothes for a Summer Hotel,” with Geraldine Page.

Mr. Canary’s first marriage ended in divorce. He is survived by his wife, the former Maureen Maloney; a brother, John; a daughter, Kathryn; a son, Christopher; and a grandson.


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