The actor passed away earlier this weekend, one week after his costar Clint Ritchie, who played his son on OLTL.
He was born Eugene Carey, July 15, 1925, in Hackensack, New Jersey. He grew up in suburban Long Island towns of Rosedale and Malverne.
He studied drama at the University of Miami. The actor made his film debut in John Wayne’s Operation Pacific in 1951 and won over studio executive and he was quickly signed to a long-term contract with Warner Brothers. He went on to star in such films as Cattle Town, The Man Behind the Gun, Calamity Jane, The Nebraskan and The Long Gray Line. During the 60’s and 70’s, Carey, guest starred in various television shows, including such hits as The Rifleman, The Virginian and Gunsmoke.
Phil will forever be known as OLTL’s Asa Buchanan. He joined the cast of OLTL 1979, having been offered the role after a strong, but unsuccessful, audition for the role of Palmer Cortlandt on All My Children. When the the show opted not to renew his contract 2007 and offered him recurring status he refused, so the show wrote a storyline that killed off Asa. He did however later make some guest appearances in 2008.
Phil died at home in NYC after battling lung cancer.
“He was a very kind and considerate man. Always aware of the others feelings. NOT like Asa at all in that respect,” Timothy D. Stickney (R.J. Gannon) said of Phil. “I grew to like him as much as I respected him. A good man from a time when not all were as open and respectful toward others.”
Frank Valentini, OLTL executive producer says “His presence will always be a part of ‘One Life to Live. The best way to describe Phil was bigger than life. Like Asa, he possessed an undeniable quality that drew you to him.”
Phil is survived by his wife, Colleen Welch, and five children, Linda, Jeffrey and Lisa Ann, with first wife Maureen Peppler; and Shannon and Sean, with Welch.