Ben Masters, the actor beloved for playing Julian Crane on the daytime soap opera Passions, has died. He was 75 years old.
The Hollywood Reporter cites a family spokesperson who said Crane passed away on Wednesday (January 11) due to COVID-19 complications. He also battled dementia for the last few years of his life.
Ben Masters, the Billionaire Julian Crane on ‘Passions,’ Dies at 75 https://t.co/MqvzoCJjbZ
— The Hollywood Reporter (@THR) January 11, 2023
Masters’ started his acting career in theater, and appeared in three productions on Broadway. He acted with Ingrid Bergman in Captain Brassbound’s Conversion, starred with Anne Jackson and Eli Wallach in The Waltz of the Toreadors, and appeared with Meryl Streep in The Cherry Orchard.
Masters’ first on-screen role was in the 1975 film Mandingo. He went on to appear in many other popular films, including 1979’s All That Jazz, 1985’s Key Exchange, and 1987’s Making Mr. Right.
His first TV role was on the show Muggsy. He played Nick Malloy on 13 episodes of the show. Masters later appeared in other series and TV movies such as Noble House, HeartBeat, and Cruel Doubt.
In 1994, Masters played Senator Julian Knox in the two-hour special episode of Walker, Texas Ranger. This extended episode of the show was titled “The Reunion.”
Masters began playing Julian Crane on Passions in 1999. He remained with the series until it ended in 2008, having appeared in over 700 episodes. Soap Opera Digest nominated Masters for its Outstanding Supporting Actor award in 2001 and 2002. The publication also nominated him for its Outstanding Lead Actor Award in 2005.
Masters’ Passions co-star, McKenzie Westmore, shared an emotional post on social media after hearing about his death. Westmore played Sheridan Crane on Passions, who was the sister of Masters’ character Julian.
“No words for the loss of my on screen brother!” Westmore wrote alongside a photo of her and Masters. “RIP Ben Masters! #BenMasters #restinpeace #nbcpassions #passions”
The Hollywood Reporter states that Masters’ survivors include his sister, Cheryl, and his nieces Hannah and Clea. He requested not to have a memorial service or funeral.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Masters’ loved ones during this sad time. May he rest in peace.