'One Life to Live' star Phil Carey dies

Played ABC soap's Asa Buchanan for three decades

Phil Carey, who played formidable business tycoon Asa Buchanan on ABC's soap opera "One Life to Live" for nearly three decades, died Feb. 6 at his home in New York following a battle with lung cancer. He was 83.

Carey originated the role of Asa in 1980. Diagnosed with lung cancer in 2006, he took medical leave from the show to undergo treatment then returned to the role later that year.

On "One Life to Live," Asa died in his sleep Aug. 16, 2007. The life of the Buchanan family patriarch was celebrated on the show's 10,000th episode the next day. Carey made three subsequent appearances on the show and was last seen when Asa read an addendum to his will Dec. 29.

"He was like 'Pa' to me," his onscreen son, Robert S. Woods (Bo Buchanan), said in a statement. "My own father passed away in 1975, and I met Philly in 1979. I don't know if I could love him more if he was my dad."

Clint Ritchie, who played Clint Buchanan on the show for two decades, died Feb. 7 after a brief illness. He was 70.

"In a week where we said goodbye to Clint, the overwhelming news of Phil Carey's death was truly a profound loss to the 'One Life to Live' family," executive producer Frank Valentini said.

Carey got his big break in show business when, during a summer stock production of "Over 21" on Long Island, a representative of Warner Bros. spotted Carey and asked him to take the screen test that launched his film career. His first feature, "Operation Pacific" (1951), starred John Wayne and led to a long-term contract with Warners.

At Warners and later Columbia, Carey starred with some of Hollywood's legendary actors, including Gary Cooper in "Springfield Rifle" (1952), Henry Fonda in "Mister Roberts" (1955), Tyrone Power in "The Long Gray Line" (1955) and Fred MacMurray and Kim Novak in "Pushover" (1954).

Carey also starred in primetime television series including "Philip Marlowe," "Bengal Lancers," "Laredo" and "The Untamed World," and he guest starred on "All in the Family," "Little House on the Prairie," "Police Woman," "The Bionic Woman" and "Gunsmoke."

Additionally, he toured in such stage plays as "All My Sons" and "Cyrano de Bergerac" and portrayed Granny Goose in the a popular series of commercials for Granny Goose Potato Chips.

Carey was an avid golfer and often played with Dean Martin at the Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles.

Carey is survived by his wife, Colleen; their two children, Shannon and Sean; and three children from a previous marriage, Lisa, Linda and Jeff.