Jerry verDorn mashup with Elizabeth Keifer, Bree Williamson, Michael O'Leary and Erika Slezak
Credit: CBS/Courtesy of the Everett Collection (2), George de Sota/JPI, Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

It’s been a year since we learned that Jerry verDorn’s sadly passed away after a fight with cancer on May 1, 2022. And if there’s one thing we learned almost immediately (as if we didn’t know already), it’s that the late Guiding Light and One Life to Live actor was beloved by everyone who worked with the soap vet. The man who gave us Springfield’s Ross and Llanview’s Clint may be gone, but he’ll never be forgotten.

Guiding Light‘s Ross and Blake were relationship goals right up until his death, and few got to work as closely with verDorn as Elizabeth Keifer. The two remained close long after he parted ways with the CBS sudser, co-hosting Stars and Strikes, an annual bowling event raising money for Autism Speaks and the American Cancer Society for years.

And this past October, in honor of the 18th Daytime Stars and Strikes, Alan Locher, Keifer and Guiding Light‘s Michael O’Leary (Rick) hosted a veritable Who’s Who of daytime’s greatest on The Locher Room to remember the man who brought so many smiles to people’s faces.

During the four-and-a-half hour tribute One Life to Live leading lady Erika Slezak (Viki) explained that, “I always said that Jerry was my reward for having been 30-some odd years on One Life to Live by the time he came on. I don’t think I’ve ever met a kinder, sweeter, funnier and talented man. And we discovered so many things about each other.

She went on to marvel at how verDorn could play both the kind, gentle Clint and the Clint who was Asa: Part II with remarkable ease. Of course, maybe it was because the actor himself had two sides. While he was decidedly not cruel like Asa in real life, he did, apparently have a bit of a humorous edge!

ONE LIFE TO LIVE - Erika Slezak (Viki) and Jerry verDorn (Clint) standing together smiling

“He had a dry sense of humor,” General Hospital‘s Laura Wright (Carly), who played Cassie on Guiding Light explained. “So he could make you crack up because he could just say something under his breath and you would just fall over laughing.”

“That’s why it was so much fun when you could get him to laugh,” Kim Zimmer, who worked with him as Guiding Light‘s Reva and One Life to Live‘s Echo, added. “It was a real challenge for me.”

“He’s so wonderful,” Keifer noted with a smile. “He’s ‘Uncle Jerry.’ And then out of nowhere, these comments. He could have a wicked, wicked sense of humor. And it would come out of nowhere. And it would floor you because you’re just not prepared for it!”

Check out the full video below, as there were

First Reaction Tributes

As wonderful as it is to see folks share memories and laughter looking back at the man they all loved, perhaps some of the most touching tributes poured in just after verDorn’s passing. Because it didn’t take long for the tributes to pour in from across the daytime world for the beloved actor.

“My heart is broken and filled with bittersweet love for Jerry and his family,” Keifer tweeted at the time. “Thank you for being my trusted friend onscreen and off. It was an honor to be yours. Rest well, dear Jerry. You are loved beyond measure.”

Bree Williamson’s Jessica had to go through losing Clint as a father, only to regain him just as One Life to Live wrapped up its network run. Re-establishing their relationship fixed one of daytime’s greatest injustices and echoed the closeness Williamson shared with the late actor.

More: One Life to Live through the years [PHOTOS]

“I am devastated to hear about the death of Jerry,” she wrote on Instagram. “He was a wonderful man, and I am so grateful for the time that I spent with him as my TV father. He was a talented and generous actor and a kind and gentle man. He made it effortless for me to feel close to him and to love him like a dad. I enjoyed every day I was lucky enough to spend with him and I will hold those memories of him in my heart and mind forever.”

“He was so incredible in all the best ways,” John Brotherton (Jared) added.

Melissa Archer’s Natalie was a later edition to the Buchanan clan, but no less beloved than the kids we watched grow up on our screens.
“I’m heartbroken to hear of Jerry VerDorn’s passing,” she wrote. “I have so many wonderful things to say about this man, but I’ll try to keep it brief. I had the honor of playing his daughter on OLTL. He was genuine from start to finish. A giving actor, a caring coworker, funny, talented, and full of smiles. When he took over the role of Clint, it was seamless. It felt as though he’d always been there, and he formed family bonds with all of us.”
Kristen Alderson (Starr) replied with a slew of hearts, writing that the late actor was “literally the sweetest man, and I know you guys were all close!”
“He really was,” Archer agreed. “I was just thinking how I don’t remember him ever being in a bad mood or saying anything that wasn’t encouraging or uplifting.”

One Life to Live‘s Robin Strasser (Dorian) shared that Ver Dorn was “a fine actor and true gentleman. It always felt good to see him, not just because he was so darn good looking (he was), but because he was so affable & easygoing, while being thoroughly hardworking and dedicated to the work. All honor to one of the best of the best!”

Kassie DePaiva was lucky enough to work with verDorn on both shows, as One Life to Live‘s Blair and Guiding Light‘s Chelsea.

More: Check out photos of Guiding Light faves then and now

“I had the privilege and honor to work with Jerry verDorn on GL and OLTL,” she tweeted. “What a gentleman and talent. So sad because the world lost an amazing human being, and the soap world lost a giant. RIP, my kindhearted friend.”

Fellow Guiding Light alum Crystal Chappell (Olivia) didn’t just get to act with Ver Dorn in Springfield, she also brought him along for a few appearances in the sixth season her web soap, Venice: The Series. Sadly, it would be his final acting appearance.

“Heartbreaking,” she tweeted. “He truly was the kindest, funniest, most selfless person. I’m so glad I got to see him not that long ago. Condolences to his family.”

“A joy, a delight and forever a gentleman,” One Life to Live alum Hillary B. Smith (Nora) exclaimed on Twitter of her television brother-in-law (and occasional romantic partner). “We miss you!”

“What a gentleman,” Mark Lawson, whose Brody romanced both of Clint’s daughters, Jessica and Natalie, shared on Instagram. “I remember being so intimidated by both he and Bob Woods until I finally had scenes with them. Jerry was the consummate gentleman. So elegant and kind, with a blue-collar approach to the work and a respect and generosity for his fellow actors that flew beyond what was necessary. He was a benevolent king on that set. And funny. And ready to laugh. This photo was from the very last moments of filming OLTL at the studios in Manhattan. I was blessed that day to work with Erika Slezak (Viki), Jerry, Bree Williamson, and Melissa Archer. I think about that day and these people all the time. Farewell, sir. It was a pleasure to know you.”

More: Honor Erika Slezak 52 years after debuting as Viki

Josh Kelly, who played loveable rogue Cutter, responded that Ver Dorn “truly was a pleasure to watch and work with! He’ll be missed big time,” while Cramer family-member Melissa Fumero (Adriana) was shocked and heartbroken, writing, “Oh no. This is so sad. What a sweet man.” 

Catherine Hickland may have played perpetual bad girl Lindsay Rappaport, but the actress herself only had kind things to say of her former One Life to Live husband.

“Jerry VerDorn has graduated to Heaven,” she shared on Facebook. “What a wonderful man, so very funny, so very talented, and most important, so very kind. I am sad he left us so early. My thoughts and prayers go out to his wife and family, who I’m sure are devastated. I’ll never forget him leaving a sticky note on Hilary smith’s dressing room that said, ‘Good News! I found your hormones in my dressing room!’ That really made me laugh. He was just adorable. God speed, Jerry.”

“What an incredible man,” wrote General Hospital’s Laura Wright (Carly), who played Reva’s sis, Cassie, over on Guiding Light with Ver Dorn. “RIP, Jerry.”

More: Revisit Guiding Light’s most memorable moments

Days of Our Lives‘ headwriter Ron Carlivati spent years writing for One Life to Live and worked closely with Clint’s portrayer.

“Sad to hear the news that Jerry verDorn has passed away,” he tweeted. “Jerry stepped into the role of Clint Buchanan in 2005 and quickly made it his own, playing a loving husband and father and eventually a very convincing villain, although the man himself was all heart. Rest in peace.”

General Hospital‘s executive producer Frank Valentine oversaw One Life to Live during Carlivati and verDorn’s days and tweeted that, “I was very sad to learn about the passing of my friend and all-around great guy, Jerry verDorn (Clint). On behalf of everyone here at General Hospital, we send our heartfelt sympathy to his family and friends.”

Take a look and remember all the good times with our photo gallery paying tribute to all the actors we’ve lost so far this year.