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Soap Star John Gabriel Dead at 90


Actor John Gabriel — a beloved daytime veteran best known for his role of Dr. Seneca Beaulac on RYAN’S HOPE — has passed away at the age of 90. The news of the soap-hopper’s death was announced by his daughter, actress Andrea Gabriel of LOST and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn 2.

“It is with an unspeakably heavy heart that I share the news of my father’s passing,” she wrote in an Instagram post, sharing a vintage black-and-white headshot of her father as well as a picture of the two of them on her wedding day. “John Gabriel was my hero, my role model, and my champion, but above all, my daddy.”

Punctuating her words with a broken heart and praying hands emojis, Andrea concluded, “I will love you forever.”

RH Seneca Kimberly
Maroney, who played Seneca’s third wife, Kim, on RYAN’S HOPE, remembered Gabriel as “wonderful and supportive.”ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images

Gabriel began his acting career in 1953, racking up twenty years’ worth of guest-starring roles — including a stint as Teddy Holmes on GENERAL HOSPITAL in 1963 — before landing a recurring gig on THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW as sports reporter Andy Rivers. Soon after, he was cast as Seneca on RYAN’s HOPE, a part he would go on to play for nearly all of the soap’s 14-year run. Gabriel’s other daytime credits include Zack Conway on LOVING, Vic Reynolds on GENERATIONS, Lloyd Bennett on THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL, and Pete LeGrand in DAYS OF OUR LIVES.

In response to Andrea’s post, RYAN’S HOPE actress Kelli Maroney (who played Seneca’s third wife, Kim), commented that her onetime leading man was nothing but gracious when she made her acting debut on the soap. “He was always a wonderful, supportive friend to me (and everyone!) when he got stuck with me for my first job on RH,” Maroney wrote. “I know he’ll always be with you. He adored you and his family and spoke of you all the time.”

At this time, no details have been made available as to Gabriel’s cause of death. In addition to Andrea and her sister Melissa, the actor is survived by his wife, Sandy Gabriel (who played Dottie’s mom, Edna, on ALL MY CHILDREN), and two grandsons. Our thoughts are with his friends and family during this difficult time.

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