The world of soaps has lost another star. General Hospital alum Mark Goddard passed away on October 10 from pulmonary fibrosis, an incurable condition. Goddard was 87.
Best known for his roles as Major Don West -- a handsome spaceship pilot -- on the popular television series Lost in Space (1965-1968) and Sgt. Chris Ballard on The Detectives, Goddard was a familiar face on television throughout the 1960s, 70s, and 80s. He appeared on episodes of hit shows such as Perry Mason, Adam-12, The Fugitive, The Mod Squad, and The Fall Guy. In 1978, the actor branched out and starred with Liza Minnelli in the Broadway musical The Act.
After appearing alongside Linda Blair and Jim Bray in the disco film Roller Boogie, Goddard was cast as Ted Clayton on One Life to Live and Lt. Paul Reed on The Doctors. He moved on to General Hospital in 1985 when he appeared as Derek Barrington, the son of wealthy socialite Amanda Barrington. Derek's other notable connection to Port Charles was his son with Virginia "Ginny" Blake (Judith Chapman). Derek's son Mike would later be adopted by Dr. Rick Webber (Chris Robinson), making Mike the adoptive younger brother of Mayor Laura Collins (Genie Francis).
Goddard's co-star Judith Chapman posted on social media, "RIP, Dear Mark Goddard. Fond memories of your gentle nature during our time on General Hospital ... another star in Heaven's above."
Goddard was married three times, including to actress Susan Anspach. He had two children -- Melissa and Michael -- with his first wife, and a son -- John -- with his third wife, an English professor. Early in his life, Goddard studied education, but he put his studies on hold to pursue acting. 30 years later, Goddard earned a master's degree in education from Bridgewater State College. He went on to serve as a special education teacher in acting at the F.L. Chamberlain School from 1991 through 2009.
It's been an incredibly difficult year of losses for the General Hospital family. In the past year, the show has lost nearly half a dozen current and past members, including Sonya Eddy, Annie Wersching, GH producer Nneka Garland, Jackie Zeman, and Billy Miller.
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