This article has been updated since its original posting.
Soap opera veteran Roscoe Born passed away on Tuesday, March 3, at the age of 69.
"It is with a heavy heart that I share the news of Roscoe Born's passing," Deanna Lynne, his friend and business partner in Born Roscoe Songs, wrote on their Facebook page. "He was an incredibly talented actor and songwriter. Many who knew him know how dedicated he was to social and political causes. He will be missed forever."
Born in Topeka, Kansas, and raised in Kensington, Maryland, Roscoe Born spent two years at Boston University, pursuing a degree in theater, where his classmates included Alfre Woodard and Paul "Pee Wee Herman" Reubens. He went on to become one of daytime's most prolific bad guys -- appearing on nine soap operas as characters with varying degrees of naughtiness. Among his first professional acting gigs was his role as Mitch Laurence on One Life to Live.
"Mitch Laurence as portrayed by Roscoe Born was one of my all-time favorite TV villains as a teenager watching One Life to Live," Ron Carlivati shared on Twitter. "I was privileged to get to write for him, and while I eventually sent Mitch to hell, I sincerely hope Roscoe is in heaven... "
Mitch Laurence as portrayed by Roscoe Born was one of my all-time favorite TV villains as a teenager watching One Life to Live. I was privileged to get to write for him, and while I eventually sent Mitch to hell, I sincerely hope Roscoe is in heaven... #oltl #RIPRoscoeBorn— Ron Carlivati (@carlivatiron) March 6, 2020
Former OLTL star Melissa Archer (Natalie Buchanan) called Born "an incredible partner to work with and a master in his craft" and added "I can say without a doubt that some of my favorite work on Oltl was with Roscoe."
I can’t put into words how incredibly heart broken I am to hear of Roscoe Born’s passing. He was an incredible partner to work with and a master in his craft. I can say without a doubt that some of my favorite work on Oltl was with Roscoe. He will be greatly missed. ??— Melissa Archer (@_MelissaArcher) March 6, 2020
A 1989 to 1991 run as twins Quinn Armitage and Robert Barr on Santa Barbara earned Born an Outstanding Supporting Actor Daytime Emmy nomination in 1990. Other memorable daytime roles that Born breathed life into included Nick Rivers on The City, All My Children's Jim Thomasen, Detective Adamski on As the World Turns, Peter Vreeland on Guiding Light, and two roles on Days of our Lives -- a 2001 cameo as Baron Coe and a lengthier 2008 stint as Trent Robbins. For four years, from 2005 to 2009, he tackled the role of "Terrible Tom" Fisher on The Young and the Restless.
Born's on-screen Y&R son Greg Rikaart (Kevin Fisher) called Born "a talented and generous actor and a kind man to boot."
Roscoe Born was a talented and generous actor and a kind man to boot. He would often say that everything he did was for his daughter. My thoughts are with her and his family today. #RIP— Greg Rikaart (@gregrikaart) March 6, 2020
Born's first daytime role came in 1981 when he debuted as Joe Novak on Ryan's Hope.
Marg Helgenberger reflected on her time with Born on the soap by calling him "a dream to work with [...] A generous, soulful & talented person."
I’m deeply saddened to hear of Roscoe Born’s passing. My first acting job was on the soap #RyansHope, and Roscoe was a dream to work with. A generous, soulful & talented person. My thoughts are with his family & friends. May he rest in peace. pic.twitter.com/v0NAlFeQrA— Marg Helgenberger (@MargHelgen) March 6, 2020
So sad to hear of the passing of my old friend Roscoe Born. I loved working with him. He was a sweet, dear soul. And whenever I hear Sade’s Smooth Operator I will smile & think of him. RIP. @onelifetolive @SoapOperaNewss @SoapDigest @soapsindepthabc @ABCNetwork pic.twitter.com/gyQpVrN3o3— Andrea Evans (@Andreaevansprod) March 6, 2020
Roscoe Born is survived by his 22-year-old daughter Alberta.
“Roscoe has long struggled with bipolar disorder, a shadow that he succumbed to when he took his own life on Tuesday March 3, 2020,” read the family’s statement, which was posted on Facebook. “We are grateful for the outpouring of kind words and memories. We only wish that Roscoe could have seen how much people still carry his daytime villains in their hearts. May his death remind us of the importance of opening up conversations around mental illness. May those who need help seek it. May those who seek help receive it. And may it serve them.”
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