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PASSIONS Star Ben Masters Dead at 75


Actor Ben Masters died on Jan. 11 at the Eisenhower Medical Center in Palm Springs, CA, at the age of 75. He had been battling dementia for several years and succumbed to COVID.

Masters has an extensive career in film and television but is best known to soap fans for playing Julian Crane on PASSIONS From the NBC sudser’s beginning in 1999 all the way until its final episode in 2008. Although that wasn’t his only daytime role — the actor played Vic Strang on ANOTHER WORLD back in 1982.

The Oregon native graduated from the University of Oregon with a B.A. in Theater and moved to New York City where he began appearing in off-Broadway productions such as Captain Brassbound’s Conversion with Ingrid Bergman, The Cherry Orchard with Meryl Streep, and Boys in the Band.

PASS Julian Tabitha
Masters starred on PASSIONS for the wacky soap’s entire run.Paul Skipper/JPI

Masters also appeared in films like All That Jazz with Roy Schneider, Key Exchange with Brooke Adams and Danny Aiello, Making Mr. Right with John Malkovich, and Dream Lover with Kristy McNichol. Over the decades, he also appeared in TV mini-series like Noble House and Celebrity, and guest-starred in numerous primetime series including KOJAK, TOUCHED BY AN ANGEL, BARNABY JONES, MURDER SHE WROTE, WALKER: TEXAS RANGER, DIAGNOSIS MURDER, SISTERS, and PENSACOLA: WINGS OF GOLD.

Playing drunken philanderer Julian Crane on PASSIONS was Masters’ last acting role. He is survived by his sister, Cheryl Lerner, nieces Hannah and Clea Lerner, and numerous friends and colleagues. At his request, there will be no memorial service or funeral. Our thoughts are with his friends and family during this difficult time.

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