GUIDING LIGHT

Soap Star Jerry verDorn Dead at 72

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The daytime community was devastated to learn that beloved daytime star Jerry verDorn died on May 1 at the age of 72 after a months-long battle with cancer. 

Born in South Dakota, verDorn had planned to be an English teacher but found himself in the theater department and after being spotted by a manager during a production of a play in New Jersey, took his advice and moved to New York City. There, he appeared in some Broadway productions that caught the attention of CBS casting agents.

In March 1979, verDorn joined the cast of GUIDING LIGHT as attorney Ross Marler, a role he portrayed until 2005, earning seven Daytime Emmy Nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actor during his tenure. He took home the wins in both 1995 and 1996.

GL Blake Ross
Blake and Ross were one of GL’s most popular couples.Lorenzo Bevilaqua/PGP

After leaving GL, the actor moved over to ABC sudser ONE LIFE TO LIVE where he took over the role of Clint Buchanan and remained through the end of the series run and into its short-lived online revival in 2013. After over three decades in daytime television, verDorn retired.

During his career, verDorn co-hosted an annual benefit called Stars and Strikes where fans could bowl and mingle with their favorite soap stars. These events helped raise thousands of dollars for both the American Cancer Society and Autism Speaks over the course of 17 years. In lieu of flowers, contributions in verDorn’s memory can be made to the American Cancer Society, Autism Speaks, the Actors Fund, or a charity of choice.

OLTL Clint Viki
After taking over as Clint, verDorn remained with OLTL to the very end.George De Sota/jpistudios.com

verDorn is survived by his wife, Beth, his sons and daughters-in-law, Jake and Laura ver Dorn and Peter and Erin verDorn, his sister, Bonnie Simpfenderfer, brothers Jim verDoorn and Dan Verdorn, and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and grandchildren. Our thoughts are with his friends and family during this difficult time.

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