John Ingle, who played patriarch Edward Quartermaine on the ABC soap opera "General Hospital," has died at age 84.
The actor passed away on Sunday, September 16, in California after battling cancer, ABC said in a statement to OTRC.com on Monday, adding that he died surrounded by members of his family.
He is survived by five daughters - Jessica, Jenny, Carey, Melanie and Chrissy - and nine grandchildren. Ingle's wife, Grace-Lynne Martin, died in February of natural causes. He married her in 1954.
Check out 5 facts about John Ingle.
1. He starred on "General Hospital" on and off since 1993.
In 2004, Ingle left the soap opera and Jed Allan was recast as Quartermaine. Ingle then played Mickey Horton on competing show "Days of Our Lives" and returned to "General Hospital" to reprise his role in 2006.
"Ingle last taped 'General Hospital' this year, on August 24 and his final appearance aired September 11 fulfilling John's wish to play Edward one last time," ABC said in a statement to OTRC.com. "And with a simple "I love you, too," a thumbs up and a smile, we say goodbye to John Ingle's indelible depiction of "Edward Quartermaine" as his bigger than life portrayal will live on in hearts of the countless fans."
"General Hospital" was Ingle's last on-screen acting project. He was mourned by co-stars such as Leslie Charleson, who said in the ABC statement: "He was genuinely interested in people and everything that was going on. His dressing room door was always open and many of us would find our way there to pick his brain and in turn, he would lend an ear and offer his wisdom."
"Always the professional, after his first surgery, he was worried about whether 'Edward' would wear a cap," she added. "I for one, will miss that cap, because he wore it well. But above all, I will miss him and especially his wonderful smile."
2. He is a native of Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Ingle was born in the city on May 7, 1928.
"His family moved throughout the midwest before settling in Tujunga, California, where he finished high school," ABC said. "His thespian pursuits had begun years before, in elementary school, and followed him until he attended Occidental College to study theater and journalism. He received his theater degree in 1950 and got his teaching credentials the next year."
3. He was a high school drama teacher and taught THE Nic Cage.
Ingle founded the performing arts departments at Hollywood High School and Beverly Hills High School. Before he became an actor, he taught drama for about 30 years. His students included Nicolas Cage, Albert Brooks, Richard Dreyfuss, Joanna Gleason, Barbara Hershey, Swoosie Kurtz and David Schwimmer, according to ABC.
He retired from teaching in 1985 and began acting full time. He had a couple years prior voiced characters in the cartoon "The Smurfs" and made his on-screen debut playing a surgeon on an episode of the original "Dallas" series in 1983. He later had small roles on shows "Who's the Boss?" and "Cheers" and also had a recurring role on "The Drew Carey Show."
4. His movie credits include "Heathers," "Death Becomes Her," Batman & Robin" and "RoboCop 2."
In the cult 1988 dark comedy film "Heathers," which stars Winona Ryder and Christian Slater, Ingle played Principal Gowan, who says the line "Damn. I'd be willing to go half a day for a cheerleader" while discussing a school memorial for a deceased student.
In 1990, he played a eulogist in another dark comedy - "Death Becomes Her," which stars Meryl Streep and Goldie Hawn. He delivers a touching eulogy about their characters' ex Dr. Ernest Menville, played by Bruce Willis, who decides not to follow the women's lead and live forever.
He also played a surgeon general in "RoboCop 2" in 1990 and a doctor in "Batman & Robin" in 1997.
5. He has portrayed characters in popular cartoons - such as "The Land Before Time."
Aside from "The Smurfs," Ingle provided the voices of characters in animated shows such as "The Jetsons," "Animaniacs" and "Extreme Ghostbusters." He also portrayed Topsy in "The Land Before Time" dinosaur series and the narrator and Cera's Dad in the movies.