John Leonard Colenback, an actor best known for his role as the debonair Dr. Dan Stewart on “As the World Turns” (1966-73 and 1976-79), died May 12 in West Hollywood, Calif. He was 79.
Colenback was also an actor on Broadway and Off Broadway, on then still-live daytime television in New York, as well as in TV and film in Hollywood.
Colenback made his Broadway debut in 1961 as the Attendant to Signor Chapuys in the original Broadway production of “A Man for All Seasons.” He had a feature role as Alan Armitage in the original Broadway production of “After the Rain” (1967) and also appeared in Off Broadway productions of “Twelfth Night” (Sebastian, 1963), “A Scent of Flowers” (Sid, 1969) and “Four Friends” (Ben, 1975).
He starred in regional productions of “The Importance of Being Earnest,” “The Halloween Bandit,” “Rosencranz and Guildenstern Are Dead,” “As You Like It” and “The Chinese Well” and toured nationally in “The Irregular Verb to Love.”
After he became a fixture on daytime television as Dr. Dan Stewart on “As the World Turns,” a national daytime magazine named him best actor in 1973. He also starred in the television series “From These Roots” (Jimmy Hull, 1960-61) and appeared on “Hart to Hart: Murder Is a Man’s Best Friend (1978), “The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo” (1981), “Capitol” (1983-84), “Berrenger’s” (Jerry, 1985), and “Falcon Crest” (Frank Bellman, 1986). He appeared in the TV movie “An Innocent Love” (1982), in the special “Strangers in the Homeland” (1976) and on “The Michael Douglas Show” (1978). He also served as a newscaster, spokesman and actor for the RCA Color Central Exposition at the 1964 New York World’s Fair.
He was a lifelong supporter of progressive candidates and causes, especially The Names Project and LGBT programs.
Born in Toledo, Ohio, he discovered his love for the stage at Ottawa Hills High School, where he appeared in 17 theater productions. At Dartmouth College (Class of 1957), he continued to study drama, majored in English and was voted best actor his senior year. When acting in summer stock theater at the Bucks County Playhouse in New Hope, Pennsylvania, he was discovered by an agent who enticed him to come to New York.
He is survived by his brother Lloyd J. Colenback Jr.; and nieces and nephews Judith Colenback Savage, Timothy Lloyd Colenback, Girard Mosby Colenback, Richard Breed III, Amalia H. Breed, John W. Colenback and Jared S. Colenback.