Stars From Bold And Beautiful You Didn’t Know Died

Ever since it first landed on our screens in 1987, “The Bold and the Beautiful” has been one of the most popular soap operas, with CBS renewing the show for two more seasons in 2022, per The Hollywood Reporter. The soap gives fans a glamorized and glossy depiction of real life, with its ever expanding ensemble cast always immaculately dressed and impeccably groomed – even in the midst of epic brawls. The endless dramas of the Forrester family have provided ample material for many tea-spilling convos throughout the years. Okay, so maybe the plots aren’t always great – at least according to some critics — but the show nonetheless dishes out copious amounts of entertainment and escapism through moreish storylines and shock twists.

What’s more, the series has catapulted a number of its actors towards stardom. Many celebs are “Bold and Beautiful” alums, including “Jane the Virgin” heroine Gina Rodriguez and even Usher. While the aforementioned stars have enjoyed mingling with A-listers since their stints on the show, other actors are quite content with living out their careers via the beloved soap.

Seeing as the soap has been on the air for over 30 years, it’s a sad inevitability that a fair few of its stars are no longer with us. While many of these actors lived well into ripe old age, others passed on prematurely, leaving fans to ruminate on what might have been. Be prepared for waterworks as we give the lowdown on stars from “Bold and Beautiful” you didn’t know died.

Jeff Conaway

Although best known for his role in “Grease” as the womanizing Kenickie, Jeff Conaway was a television mainstay. In addition to his famous gig on sitcom “Taxi,” Conaway appeared on “The Bold and the Beautiful” in the early ’90s as Mick Savage, a love interest of Kristen Forrester. Sadly, Conaway was plagued by personal demons. According to the documentary “Autopsy: The Last Hours Of…” (via The Mirror), he developed a drug problem after seriously damaging his back while performing the iconic dance to the song “Greased Lightning” in 1978. Following the injury, he apparently became addicted to 12 different painkillers to numb his agony.

In 2008, he appeared on “Celebrity Rehab,” in which he detailed the extent of his addiction coupled with both physical and mental pain, per Time. Speaking with The Los Angeles Times, he said that he hoped his candor on the reality series would help others struggling with addiction. An emotional Conaway also reflected on his own mortality, poignantly admitting, “I don’t know where actors go after they die, but I know people who help other people have a nice place to go. And I would like to go there if I can.”

Per CNN, he was rushed to hospital with pneumonia and a blood infection in 2011. Dr. Drew Pinsky of  “Celebrity Rehab” confirmed that, contrary to initial reports, Conaway did not have an overdose. After being placed in an induced coma, his life support was taken off, per The Hollywood Reporter. Conaway was just 60 when he died.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Kathryn Joosten

Kathryn Joosten had dozens of credits to her name, most notably as neighborhood gossip Karen McCluskey on “Desperate Housewives.” Per Today, she didn’t embark on an acting career until she was 42. For many years, Joosten lived with cancer. When she guest starred on the 6000th episode of “The Bold and the Beautiful,” she brought her real life cancer experience to the show. Per EW, the episode saw Stephanie Forrester meeting various cancer survivors, including Joosten, who was first diagnosed with the disease in 2001.

Regarding her appearance on the show, Joosten told TV Guide that it was important to cast real cancer patients in the roles. She also highlighted the stigma that lung cancer patients face, since the disease is often linked to smoking. “Lung cancer today is thought of like AIDS was in the ’80s — it’s considered the disease you gave yourself… But B&B is really getting the truth out there — they’re actually listening to what cancer patients have to say — and that’s thrilling,” she said.

Eleven years after her diagnosis, Joosten’s health steadily declined. The ailing star filmed her final scenes for “Desperate Housewives,” in which her character was also depicted as dying of lung cancer, per BBC. Just three weeks later, Joosten died at the age of 72. In an interview with EW a few weeks before her death, she scoffed at the notion of retirement: “Retire from what? From life? You know, it’s a joy. It’s fun. It’s playing.”

Anthony Addabbo

Anthony Addabbo had recurring roles on “The Bold and the Beautiful,” showing off his versatility on the soap as identical twins Jonny and Tony “Rush” Carrera. In addition to the long running series, he also starred on “Guiding Light,” “Dallas,” “Cheers,” and “The Nanny.” Prior to his acting career, the handsome Florida native worked as a model, according to Soaps. He was famed for his dashing good looks, making him the perfect soap opera leading man.

By the mid 2000s, his career began to falter. According to Soap Opera Digest, this is because he wanted to focus on raising his kids. The proud family man made his final acting appearance in the 2013 TV movie “Company Town” and he was never seen on screen again.

Sadly, Addabbo died in 2016, aged just 56. “Today we lost a damn good man, a father, and great actor … I’ll never forget how excited you were to land B&B,” his co-star on the soap, Windsor Harmon, poignantly said, per The Wrap. “By the way you still owe me that lobster dinner. I’ll collect next time I see ya.” According to Radar, he left behind a teenage son at the time of his death. An obituary in Soap Opera Digest notes that Addabbo was much loved by his co-stars, with Kristoff St. John (who, incidentally, would also die young just three years later) praising his professionalism and outlandish sense of humor. Gone too soon, Addabbo’s cause of death remains unknown.

Fran Bennett

Fran Bennett was an esteemed thespian, having been trained at theaters in Minneapolis and London, per The Hollywood Reporter. After roles on “Guiding Light” and “General Hospital,” she starred on “The Bold and the Beautiful” in 1987, where she played Judge Madeline Collins for 13 episodes.

In addition to Bennett’s immense screen presence in her various serious roles, she proved that she was adept at displaying her silly side. A few years before her death, she appeared on “Community,” infamously spanking Britta in a riotous scene from the Season 1 episode “Basic Genealogy.” Moreover, she played Mother Jefferson in Jimmy Kimmel’s 2019 live reboot of “The Jeffersons,” alongside Jamie Foxx and Wanda Sykes, per TV Line.

As well as being an acting pro, Bennett was an educator and vocal supporter of creative pursuits, having been appointed Head of Acting/Director of Performance at California Institute of the Arts. When Bennett sadly died in 2021, aged 84, the Institute praised her initiatives to diversify the arts at a time when the importance of inclusivity was rarely spoken about. “Fran’s voice was unmistakable. She never shied away from using it. And she taught so many throughout the years to find and free their own,” the university said in a statement, noting that Bennett uplifted students of color before diversity committees even existed. “She unceasingly championed students, artists, and innovators of all backgrounds, and demanded that leaders do more to serve the left out and kept out,” the moving statement continued.

Peter Brown

The rugged Peter Brown had all the charm of a classic Hollywood star, but he never quite made it to the heights of his contemporaries. Instead, he was best known for his roles on small screen westerns and soaps, yet his career spanned a whopping six decades. Usually a supporting player to a major star — such as James Garner in “Darby’s Rangers” – his big break came in 1958 when he scored the role of Deputy Johnny McKay on TV western “Lawman.”

Speaking with the Ocala Star-Banner in 1959, he said he was grateful that the role had ushered in his acting career. “This show is the best thing that could have happened to me,” he enthused. “It gives me training that I couldn’t have gotten any other way.” Indeed, gunslinging and adopting an ultra-macho persona certainly honed Brown’s ability to play an antihero: on “The Bold and the Beautiful,” he portrayed a cruel bully. He joined the soap in 1991, menacingly depicting Taylor’s ex-husband Blake Hayes, per Lakeland Ledger. The role ended after a year, and Brown subsequently went on to appear in a number of minor roles on shows such as “Wings” and “JAG,” as well as bit parts in low budget movies.

Per The New York Times, he made his final acting appearance in 2005, though continued to greet fans at western-themed events after his disappearance from the limelight. He died of Parkinson’s Disease in 2016, at the age of 80.

Darlene Conley

The original Sally Spectra was the diva of “The Bold and the Beautiful” and Darlene Conley perfectly epitomized her grandiose persona. A sassy, no nonsense madam, Sally was involved in a long running feud with frenemy Stephanie Forrester, which often resulted in Sally throwing mighty shade. Speaking with Big Beautiful Woman about the character, Conley described her as “unabashedly sexy” and extolled the role as an empowering depiction of an older woman (by Hollywood standards, at least) in the type of sex-positive role usually reserved for silver foxes.

Aside from her most famous role as the flame-haired diva, she appeared on other soaps, including “The Young and the Restless” and “Days of Our Lives.” In 1998, she was immortalized in Madame Tussaud’s museum. When discussing the process of being turned into a waxwork, Conley was as acerbic and witty as her “Bold and Beautiful” alter ego. “I had this beautiful young man under my skirt for hours,” she joked, per AP. “They measure and photograph every single inch of you from every single angle … At this point, the sculptor knows me better than my ex-husband.″

Conley died of stomach cancer in 2007, aged 72, per The New York Times. Her larger-than-life persona was not lost on those around her. “Darlene understood better than anyone that each moment of airtime was precious … Whether she was the villain, the damsel, the sexpot or the comedienne, Darlene was brilliant,” said “Bold and Beautiful” producer Bradley P. Bell, per Emmy.

Henry Darrow

Character actor Henry Darrow had a recurring role on “The Bold and the Beautiful” as Dr. Carlos Nunez, but his lengthy career goes back to the late 1950s. Per People, the Puerto Rican star vowed to stay true to his roots throughout his career, rejecting the stereotypical roles that the industry foisted upon performers of color.

Before embarking on his soap career, he acted in a number of low budget films. His first starring role was in 1959’s “Revenge of the Virgins,” written by B-movie legend Ed Wood, per Medium. But his most famous role was as Manolito on ’60s TV Western “The High Chaparral.” As well as being an esteemed actor, he was a prominent social justice advocate. As a founder of the Screen Actors Guild Ethnic Minority Committee, he sought to uplift the voices of fellow Latinx actors, per The Los Angeles Times.

In a 2011 interview with Career Thoughts, he opened up about his family history of untimely deaths, divulging his pledge to adhere to clean living after he suffered a health scare himself. “Dad died young — he was only 68 and he died of a heart attack, as did his other three brothers, all less than 70,” he revealed. “I had my first heart attack and had a stent put in 12 years ago … I’ve changed my diet and stopped smoking.” He lived for ten more years before dying at the age of 87, per The Hollywood Reporter. When he passed away, SAG declared Darrow “the pride of Puerto Rico.”

Kevin Dobson

Kevin Dobson was the kind of actor you’d always spot on television, but perhaps couldn’t quite put a name to. Although he never reached the career zeniths of his peers in the 1970s, Dobson’s legacy is nothing to scoff at: the actor has over 65 credits to his name. Most famously, he appeared on “Kojak” and “Knots Landing,” but in 2007, he snagged the role of Judge Devin Owens on “The Bold and the Beautiful,” reprising the role over 13 episodes.

Per EW, he filmed his final acting appearance in the sci-fi TV show “12 to Midnight” (which wasn’t released until after his death), and then quietly slipped out of the limelight. Dobson was unwell for some time, having been diagnosed with an autoimmune deficiency, per The New York Times. Sadly, his illness led to heart failure and he died in 2020, aged 77.

Although he had been ill for a while, some of Dobson’s closest friends didn’t seem to know he was sick. He was good pals with his “Knots Landing” co-star Michele Lee, who expressed her shock at his passing. “He went through so many things in life, and yet he was always true to himself and incredibly kind … You always hope to meet someone like him at any point in your life,” she told Fox News. “Just thinking about his passing makes me choke up still. I was so surprised. I had seen him just six months before his death.”

Betty White

“The Bold and the Beautiful” has seen many major stars come and go throughout the years – including Betty White. The Golden Girl acted on the soap for three years, playing Ann Douglas. In an interview with Tulsa World, she revealed that she relished the meaty role. “It’s also, for me, such a great stretch because I don’t get the chance to do serious acting,” she gushed. “So to get some serious things to do was kind of fun.” Per Soaps In Depth, Ann was killed off in 2009 when the character died of pancreatic cancer.

White was a national treasure, so when she was a few weeks shy of her 100th birthday in 2021, fans were excited to see the beloved star reach that momentous milestone. Indeed, White herself was excited for her birthday, posting on Instagram in anticipation of her upcoming celebration with People Magazine. But just 3 days later, on New Year’s Eve, White died. According to The Los Angeles Times, her death was attributable to a stroke she suffered a few days earlier. Her passing occurred a mere 18 days before she would have turned 100.

Following White’s passing, “The Bold and the Beautiful” paid tribute to her (via Soaps In Depth), stating, “Our deepest sympathies to the family and loved ones of Betty White, who graced us with her joyful presence and remarkable talent as Ann Douglas. Betty was as Bold and Beautiful as they come, and she will be greatly missed.”

Michael Tylo

Famed for his angular jaw and blond hair, Michael Tylo was a TV mainstay throughout the ’80s and ’90s. He was known for his parts on various soaps, playing Matt Connolly on “All My Children” and the brilliantly monikered Blade Bladeson on “The Young and the Restless.” But it was his 2000 appearance in “The Bold and the Beautiful” that would spell his final soap opera role, per The Sun. Thereafter, he had bit parts in various low budget fare. The Daily Mail reports that he also worked as a film professor at the University of Nevada to supplement his income.

In 1987, he married fellow “Bold and Beautiful” star Hunter Tylo, who famously played Taylor Hayes. Per The Chicago Tribune, the couple first met when they appeared on “All My Children” and they faced serious repercussions for their relationship, due to producers forbidding co-stars from engaging in romantic entanglements. “They said they had a rule about that and one of us would have to go, so I said: `See you later. Go [expletive] in your hat,'” Hunter told the outlet.

The couple suffered numerous tragedies throughout their marriage. In 2007, Tylo’s son, Michael Tylo Jr., died at the age of 19 after drowning in a pool, per Reuters. Meanwhile, his daughter Katya was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer as a child. In 2021, Tylo died after suffering from an illness. He was 72. Colleagues remembered him as an “exemplary friend, colleague, teacher and artist,” per The Hollywood Reporter.

Antonio Sabàto Sr.

Antonio Sabàto Sr. appeared in dozens of films and TV shows, both in the States and in Italy, where he starred in many spaghetti westerns. He is perhaps most famous, however, for his role in 1966 racing drama “Grand Prix,” in which he starred alongside Hollywood icons James Garner and Yves Montand, per The New York Times.

In 2006, he had a memorable but brief role on “The Bold and the Beautiful” as Aldo Damiano, appearing on the show for several episodes, per The Mirror. This would mark his final ever acting appearance. The veteran’s son, Antonio Sabàto Jr., is a model and actor (and, later, failed Republican hopeful), embarking on a soap career much like his dad. The pair played father and son on “The Bold and the Beautiful,” per Soap Central.

In 2021, the younger Sabàto tweeted that his father had become seriously ill after contracting COVID-19. “Lord keep him surrounded by angels and pure God’s love & strength within,” Sabàto Jr. wrote in a since-deleted tweet (via Yahoo!). Sadly, Sabàto Sr. did not make it, dying just a few days later of COVID-19 complications, per Deadline. He was 77. The New York Times notes that Sabàto Sr. remained modest about his fame as an actor, highlighting an instance in which an interviewer asked whether he was indeed the famous Antonio Sabàto. “From the very day I was born,” came the actor’s pithy response.

Jeanne Cooper

Veteran actor Jeanne Cooper kickstarted her career by starring in various Hollywood westerns in the 1950s, per TV Guide. But it wasn’t until she entered the realm of soap operas in the 1970s that she became a household name, landing the role of powerful matriarch Katherine Chancellor in “The Young and the Restless.” As with a number of key players on the soap, Katherine made a crossover appearance on “The Bold and the Beautiful” in 2005.

In a chat with Smashing Interviews, Cooper boasted that she was the first ever reality TV participant, as she had an onscreen facelift in an episode of “The Young and the Restless” in the ’80s. As for whether her life truly mirrored the shade and tea-spilling of Katherine Chancellor, Cooper joked, “Yeah, well, listen, I want to tell you … not as many husbands as lovers. They’re all buried under my window so I don’t have to go far to look out the window and adore one or the other.”

According to The Washington Post, Cooper’s life offscreen was indeed as colorful, and, conversely, as dark as the soap opera worlds she inhabited. She reportedly had an affair with the actor who played her son, and also suffered from alcohol dependency, much like Katherine. In 2013, she made her final appearance as the much-loved character. Soon after, she died at the age of 84. According to the Los Angeles Times, she had been suffering from poor health for quite some time.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Anthony Johnson

Anthony Johnson was a comedian known for his roles in various lighthearted comedies. But everyone has to start somewhere and for Johnson, “The Bold and the Beautiful” provided a gateway into the industry. He had a brief stint on the soap in 1989, playing a caterer in his first-ever TV role. Although a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it part, Johnson was soon propelled towards stardom. Johnson is best known for his role in the 1995 comedy “Friday,” alongside Ice Cube and Chris Tucker. He also appeared on “The Jamie Foxx Show” and had a starring role in the 1998 crime caper “I Got the Hook-Up.”

The comic suffered from various ailments throughout his life. In 2009, it was incorrectly reported that he had a heart attack on a plane while on his way to a comedy show. However, he later clarified in an interview with VladTV that he had a panic attack, which can mimic the symptoms of a heart attack according to a 2011 study. He explained that the experience was traumatic, as airplane staff forcibly restrained him while he panicked.

Johnson was just 55 when he died in 2021. Tragically, he struggled with alcohol use, which led to multiple organ failure, per USA Today. He also had COVID-19 at the time of his death. “The world of comedy has truly been shaken, again,” his rep said. “He has left with us amazing memories of his laughter, dynamic acting skills, but most of all his enormous personality and heart of gold.”

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Joseph Mascolo

When one thinks of the archetypal soap villain, they likely conjure images of “The Bold and the Beautiful’s” Massimo Marone planning his diabolical schemes. Massimo was played by Joseph Mascolo and there is perhaps no one who encapsulated the cartoonish evil of the soap opera villain than the acting vet. With his devilish (and bizarre) mustache and menacing demeanor, he played Massimo, the shady business owner, with aplomb. But that wasn’t his only soap opera baddie role. The TV mainstay also appeared in “Days of Our Lives” as conniving criminal Stefano DiMera.

While fans may have loved seeing Mascolo embody Massimo and Stefano in the respective soaps, he wasn’t quite as enthusiastic. In an interview with Soap Opera Digest, he admitted that he felt somewhat stifled by the limitations of playing a soap villain. “The thing I dislike about soap operas in general are the simplistic black and white characters. They’re so Goddamn boring,” he said. “I want to do a more full-fleshed character … Stefano was introduced as a mysterious figure, now he’s more of a stock villain.” Nevertheless, he returned to the character in 2006 after quitting “Bold and Beautiful.”

Towards the end of his life, he began suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease and also had a stroke, as reported by CNN. In 2016, he died of Alzheimer’s complications, aged 87, per Variety. As noted by The Hollywood Reporter, his widow, Patricia, said in a statement that she would remember Mascolo as “a big ‘ol bear with a puppy dog heart.”

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