David Canary, Longtime ‘All My Children’ Star, Dies at 77

David Canary Dead
Courtesy of ABC

David Canary, a longtime member of the cast of ABC daytime soap “All My Children” who played twins Adam and Stuart Chandler, died of natural causes on Nov. 16 in Wilton, Conn. He was 77. Canary appeared on “All My Children” from 1984-2011 and returned in 2013. He picked up five Daytime Emmys for his dual roles on the soap and was nominated many more times.

He was deliciously bad as Adam Chandler, the powerful head of the family that lived in fictional Pine Valley. He was always at loggerheads with the other villain, Palmer Cortlandt. The sparks flew when he and Susan Lucci, who played reigning queen Erica Kane, got together.

But Canary also played twin brother Stuart Chandler who was as angelic and good as Adam was bad and was the only one who could restrain Adam.

He also had a crossover appearance on ABC’s “One Life to Live.” Earlier he had recurred on “Bonanza” as foreman Candy Canaday from 1967-73. After guesting on shows including “Gunsmoke,” he later guested on “Law & Order.”

Canary was born in Elwood, Ind., but grew up in Massillon, Ohio. He earned a football scholarship to the University of Cincinnati, where he developed a passion for performing. He trained as a singer at the school and graduated with a degree in music.

The Denver Broncos offered him a chance to play pro football, but instead he opted to head to New York City to become an actor. There he performed in summer stock, regional theater, and eventually in on and Off Broadway productions before he was drafted. During his two years in the U.S. Army, Canary won the All-Army Entertainment Contest in 1963.

After ending his service, Canary moved to Los Angeles to continue his acting career. He appeared in a production of the musical “The Fantasticks” in San Francisco. His first work in soap operas — and first break in television — was playing Russ Gehring on “Peyton Place” in 1965-66. Canary also appeared in films including “Hombre” (1967) and “The Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre” (1967).

Canary is survived by his wife, Maureen; son Christopher; daughter Kathryn; a grandson; and his brother John.

Kelly Ripa, who played his daughter on “All My Children,” tweeted a photo of herself with Canary.

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  1. Error says:

    Jonathan Crombie, best known for starring in the 1985 telefilm “Anne of Green Gables,” died of a brain hemorrhage on Apr. 15.  He was 48.

  2. So sad to learn of the passing of the great David Canary. A incredibly talented actor. A wonderful man. I was lucky to know you.

  3. RIP DAVID CANARY ..I STILL REMEMBER HIM WITH MIA FARROW ON PEYTON PLACE ..HE WAS SMART TO GIVE UP A NFL CAREER TO BE AN ACTOR ..

  4. idajane13 says:

    He also played Candy on Bonansa

  5. Esther Katz says:

    David once posted that he and the old wild west person, Calamity Jane, were related. I believe her actual name was Martha Jane Canary.

  6. Kelly Hockenberry says:

    How sad to hear of the Great David Canary AKA Adam and Stuart Chandlier, All My Children passing!! What a wonderful, talented, amazing, loving, and interesting actor!! Wish I knew him in person but I felt like I did!! We thoroughly enjoyed his entertainment and always looked forward to seeng him!! Our deepest condolences go out to him and his family!! God Bless you all and much comfort!! xoxoxo
    Kelly, Doug, and Aidan Hockenberry

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