Veteran actor Donnelly Rhodes has passed away at the age of 80 following a battle with cancer. Although perhaps best known for playing escaped convict Dutch Leitner on the primetime sitcom SOAP, he also appeared on a daytime soap — from 1974-75, he was Phillip Chancellor II on THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS.
In this Y&R cast photo from 1974, Rhodes is in the upper right next to the late Jeanne Cooper as Katherine. (Photo Credit: CBS via Getty Images)
Phillip was the center of a popular love triangle involving Jill Foster and Katherine Chancellor. Although married to Kay, Phillip cheated on her with Jill, and once his mistress became pregnant, he planned to leave his wife. Katherine begged for another chance, but when Phillip refused, she flew into a rage and drove them both off a cliff to kill them both! Katherine lived, and Phillip survived long enough to marry Jill on his deathbed. Jill later gave birth to his son, who she named Phillip Chancellor III. In 1998, Rhodes reprised the role for a couple episodes where he appeared as Phillip’s voice from beyond the grave as Jill mourned his passing and read a letter from her late husband granting her the Chancellor Estate!
Rhodes as Dutch on SOAP opposite Katherine Helmond in 1978. (Photo Credit: ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)
Born in Canada, Rhodes appeared in numerous primetime series, including CHEERS, THE GOLDEN GIRLS, MURDER SHE WROTE, and THE X-FILES. From 2004-09, he played Chief Medical Officer Sherman Cottle on the revived BATTLESTAR GALACTICA series. His most recent television appearance was in 2016 playing Agent Smith on episodes of The CW’s LEGENDS OF TOMORROW and THE FLASH. Rhodes could also be seen on the big screen in films like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Neptune Factor, and Oh! Heavenly Dog. In 2009, he received the Sam Payne Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Union of British Columbia Performers.
Starring with Edward James Olmos on BATTLESTAR GALACTICA in 2004. (Photo Credit: Carole Segal/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Rhodes is survived by his wife, Sarah and their son and daughter. Our thoughts are with them during this difficult time.
For more on your favorite Y&R stars — past and present — keep reading the CBS edition of Soaps In Depth magazine.