Credit: Bill Morris/ABC/Courtesy of the Everett Collection, ABC screenshot, Sean Smith/JPI

March 28 will always be a dark day for daytime fans; in 2020, it took from us an actor whose eye had a mischievous glint in it that only death could ever dim.

John Callahan was one of those performers, the kind that automatically attracts your attention when they walk into a scene. There was a life to him, a vivacity that was undeniable. He was so “there” that you wanted to be there, too — or at very least keep a close eye on what was going on there.

It took a minute for daytime to figure out how best to capitalize on his wicked grin and playful gaze. After making the rounds in primetime (guest-starring on everything from Three’s Company to Fantasy Island), Callahan made his soap debut in 1974 as General Hospital conniver Leo Russell. But it wasn’t until he’d returned to primetime — spending two years as Eric Stavros on Falcon Crest — that daytime sorta got the hang of him.

FALCON CREST, from left: John Callahan, Kim Novak, 'Perilous Charm' (season 6, episode 5, October 31, 1986) 1981-1990. ©Lorimar Television/courtesy Everett Collection

A “shady” Callahan gave Hitchcock muse Kim Novak, ahem, vertigo on Falcon Crest in 1986.

Credit: Lorimar Television/Courtesy of the Everett Collection

Craig Hunt on Santa Barbara was an ideal role for Callahan. He was a bad guy who wanted to be good, and a good guy who had bad tendencies. So the actor got to play both sides of the coin, often at the same time.

More: Soap stars’ forgettable first roles [PHOTOS]


On Santa Barbara, Callahan’s Craig had a point to make. Likely an exclamation sort.

More: Santa Barbara through the years [PHOTOS]

Then, in 1992, he struck pay dirt: Callahan was cast as Edmund Grey on All My Children. And though Dimitri Marick’s brother had a dark side, to be sure, he was by and large a hero, allowing the charismatic leading man to turn the charm up to 11.

Possibly 12 at times; he was crazy appealing. So much so that for years, he was married to Eva LaRue, who played on-screen significant other, Maria Santos.

edmund maria ALL MY CHILDREN, from left: Eva LaRue, John Callahan, 1989, 1970-2011. /© American Broadcasting Company /Courtesy Everett Collection

“I do”? Indeed, they did — on screen and off.

Credit: ABC/Courtesy of the Everett Collection

After his stay in Pine Valley ended in 2005, Callahan returned to primetime, making appearances on series such as Desperate Housewives and Cold Case, before lathering up again to play Days of Our Lives’ Dr. Baker off and on from 2008-10.

John Callahan, Kristian Alfonso"Days of our Lives" Set NBC Studios Burbank 6/11/10 © Paul Skipper/ 310-657-9661 Episode # 11391 U.S.Airdate 8/5/10

The long arm of the law often reached out to smack Days of Our Lives’ Dr. Baker.

Credit: Paul Skipper/JPI

No one was prepared for a massive stroke to take the MVP from us at the age of 66. Certainly not LaRue and their daughter, Kaya. “We are devastated,” the actress said at the time. His “bigger-than-life, gregarious personality will leave a hole in our hearts forever.”


In 1989, Callahan passed through Salem as Tyler Malone/Artie Doyle.

Sadly, that it will. On this poignant occasion, cheer up by returning to Pine Valley through a photo album of images from All My Children’s long run.