Soap opera veteran Roscoe Born dead at age 69

Posted Friday, March 6, 2020 3:44:41 PM

The daytime world has lost another family member. Roscoe Born, known for memorable roles on numerous soaps, has passed away. The actor and songwriter was 69.

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... "

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."

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."

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."

Roscoe Born is survived by his 22-year-old daughter Alberta.

UPDATE (March 10, 2020): Roscoe Born's family made a statement on Facebook concerning the actor's death. In the statement it was revealed that Born took his own life.

“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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