The daytime world has lost one of its star villains forever: Anthony Herrera, whose James Stenbeck tortured AS THE WORLD TURNS’ Oakdale and Barbara Ryan for 30 years, passed away on Tuesday, June 21. Herrera died at the age of 67 in Buenos Aries, Argentina, where he’d been living since 2005.
In January 1997, Herrera was diagnosed with mantle cell lymphoma — a rare and usually fatal cancer. In the course of his treatment, the actor underwent an autologous stem cell transplant and after a relapse, a donor transplant from his brother, the latter of which made medical history. Herrera even testified in The Senate in support of stem cell research. “The fact that I was asked to testify was a great honor,” he told Soaps In Depth in 2008, adding that he wasn’t the least bit intimidated by making his speech to Congress. “There aren’t many people in the world who have had my life experience with cancer. I wasn’t intimidated at all.” Herrera was in remission for 10 years, and remained an advocate for government support in stem cell research.
A veteran of the stage, film and television, Herrera — who also had contract roles on LOVING as Dane and THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS as Jack Curtis — was the president of Poetry Theater, Inc., where actors such as Hume Cronyn, Charles Durning, Tyne Daly, and Willie Nelson have been known to recite verses on the stage. Donations in Herrera’s memory can be made to Poetry Theatre, 210 West 70th Street, #808, New York, NY 10023.
The book Herrera wrote about his battle, The Cancer War, is available to download for free at www.thecancerwar.com.