'All My Children' actor David Canary dies at 77

David Canary plays the role of both Adam and Stuart Chandler in the ABC daytime drama, "All My Children." (AP Photo/Jennifer Szymaszek)

Longtime soap opera actor David Canary, best known for his role as twin brothers on "All My Children," has died at age 77.

Canary died of natural causes on Nov. 16 at his home at The Greens at Cannondale in Wilton, Connecticut, Paul Pyrch of the Bouton Funeral Home said Wednesday.

Canary's career spanned more than five decades, with appearances in the films "Hombre" and "Saint Valentine's Day Massacre" before earning recurring roles on "Peyton Place" and "Bonanza." In December 1983, he joined the cast of "All My Children" as twins Adam and Stuart Chandler. Playing the brothers - one evil and the other good-hearted - brought Canary his greatest fame and five Daytime Emmy Awards.

"For more than two decades David Canary defined daytime drama on ABC," the network wrote in a statement Tuesday. "Our hearts go out to his family and we mourn his passing."

Kelly Ripa, who played Canary's daughter on 'All My Children,' tweeted upon learning the news Tuesday:

Despite his popularity on the show, Canary shunned the spotlight and preferred to live quietly with his wife and family.

"At the risk of being misunderstood, I'm a real private person," Canary told The Associated Press in an interview in 1993. "I don't make appearances. I don't do fan magazine interviews. My wife and our two children live in a little town in Connecticut, where most of the people don't watch the show and, if they do, don't make a big deal out of it."

The actor was at first reluctant to take a role on a daytime soap opera. But after getting a chance to play a madman on "The Doctors," Canary spent two years on the soap "Another World."

Then came the opportunity to join "All My Children."

"I was reluctant to even sign a two-year contract," he said in 1993. "That seemed like a long, long time."

Canary remained on the show until 2011.

In addition to onscreen roles, Canary also performed on the stage, appearing in on and off Broadway productions, according to an obituary published in the Wilton Bulletin.

Born in Indiana, Canary grew up in Massillon, Ohio, and went on to play football at the University of Cincinnati, where he graduated with a major in music.

Canary is survived by his wife, two children and a grandchild.
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