Original Santa Barbara Leading Man Dane Witherspoon Dead at 56 (VIDEO)

The star-crossed, forbidden love of Kelly Capwell and Joe Perkins launched NBC's short-lived, cult fave soap opera Santa Barbara in 1984. Fans of the show couldn't decide who was more beautiful, Robin Wright, who played heiress Kelly Capwell, or Dane Witherspoon, who starred as her wrongfully-accused-of-murder beau Joe Perkins.

Fellow SB hunk A Martinez (ex-Cruz) had the difficult task of announcing Witherspoon's death via Facebook. He was 56. Watch a clip of Witherspoon, Wright and Louise Sorel, who played SB's sex-crazed socialite Augusta Lockridge, after the jump!


4 Responses

  1. Profile photo of SoapArmageddon

    I really don’t remember him all that well. (I was twelve years old at the time.) My memories of the other actor who played Joe are much more vivid.

    I was surprised to learn he and Robin actually fell in love during his time on the show. They were married for a couple of years.

  2. Profile photo of twen_angst

    Santa Barbara was my very first soap, one i watched from the very first episode. i remember the opening scene, with Dane Witherspoon doing pull-ups in prison before he’s released. I had no idea of how soaps worked and I couldn’t understand why suddenly there was someone else playing him. There’s a piece of my childhood that dies with him. It sounds like he didn’t have a happy life, for that, even more than for the sadness with which my memories of him will now be tinged, I am unspeakably sad.

    also, it’s incredible how good those interior exterior sets were in those days. a horse? you couldn’t even fit a pony on horton square these days.

    and the use of music… “if ever you’re in my arms agaaaain…” – that’s a piece of my childhood dying with him.

  3. Profile photo of marknsprmo

    Joe and Kelly were SB’s first super couple. They managed it in record time and it was a huge mistake recasting then killing off Joe.Kelly’s love life was seldomly successful after that. They were such a cute couple and you could tell they were into eachother. I have often thought kindly of them as a couple over the years and am sorry to hear of Dane’s passing. I thought he could have had a better acting career than he did.

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