Ben Masters, the actor best known for his role as Julian Crane on the old NBC soap Passions, died January 11 at the Eisenhower Medical Center in Palm Springs. He was 75.
Masters battled dementia for several years and succumbed to Covid.
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His biggest role was also his last — portraying the rich and powerful Julian from 1999 to 2008 on the NBC sudser.
Born on May 6, 1947, in Corvallis, OR, Masters graduated from the University of Oregon with a B.A. degree in theater in 1969. He moved to New York City, where he starred in on and off-Broadway productions such as Captain Brassbound’s Conversion with Ingrid Bergman, The Cherry Orchard with Meryl Streep, and Boys in the Band.
Masters segued into film, starring in Bob Fosse’s All That Jazz with Roy Schneider, Key Exchange with Brooke Adams and Danny Aiello, Making Mr. Right with John Malkovich, and Dream Lover with Kristy McNichol. Throughout the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s, Masters starred in miniseries like Noble House with Pierce Brosnan, Celebrity with Ned Beatty and Tess Harper, and guest starred in numerous television series, including Kojak, Petrocelli, Touched by an Angel, Kung Fu: The Legend Continues, Barnaby Jones, Murder She Wrote, Heartbeat, Walker: Texas Ranger, Diagnosis Murder, Sisters, and Pensacola Wings of Gold.
Masters is survived by his sister Cheryl Lerner and nieces Hannah and Clea Lerner of Los Angeles. At his request, there will be no memorial service or funeral.