The Heartbreaking Death Of Soap Opera Actor Jerry verDorn

Jerry verDorn, the beloved soap opera veteran who brought Ross Marler to life on "Guiding Light" and later played a recast Clint Buchanan on "One Life to Live," passed away on Sunday, May 1, 2022, at the age of 72 after a battle with cancer, according to TVLine.

Hailing from Sioux Falls, SD, verDorn was born on November 23, 1949 and spent his childhood growing up in South Dakota, North Dakota, and Minnesota before studying acting at the Minnesota State University Moorhead, as well as in London. After appearing in several stage productions, including one at the Folger Theater in Washington, D.C., the actor married his college sweetheart, Beth Stewart, and the pair headed to New York so verDorn could pursue an acting career, per Dignity Memorial. Within two years, verDorn had found is place in the New York soap opera scene where he would remain for decades, per IMDb.

Jerry verDorn becomes a beloved soap star

By 1979, Jerry verDorn landed the role of attorney Ross Marler on the now-defunct CBS soap opera, "Guiding Light." The actor's first storyline on "GL" was one of the most memorable in soap opera history as Ross was the attorney representing the Roger Thorpe when he was accused of raping his wife, Holly, according to Soap Hub. verDorn won two Daytime Emmys in a row for best supporting actor, one in 1995 and one in 1996, for playing Ross, per Soap Opera Digest.

In 2005, after more than a quarter of a century, verDorn left the role of Ross behind and by 2006, he landed the role of urban cowboy Clint Buchanan on ABC's "One Life to Live," replacing Clint Ritchie and making the part his own. The actor remained on the soap until its cancelation in 2013, per IMDb.

During his years as a soap actor, verDorn hosted and organized an annual event called "Stars and Strikes" in which fans and soap stars would bowl and earn money for charities like Autism Speaks and The American Cancer Society, per Soap Hub.

The actor is survived by his wife, Beth, his sons Jake and Peter, as well as their wives, Laura and Erin. verDorn also had three small grandchildren named Benjamin, Nora, and Penelope, per Soap Opera Digest.