Peter White, a renowned actor known for his roles in the original stage production and film adaptation of “The Boys in the Band” and as Linc Tyler on the long-running soap opera “All My Children,” passed away at the age of 86. White died on Wednesday at his home in Los Angeles after battling melanoma, according to his former co-star Kathleen Noone.
In addition to his work on “The Boys in the Band” and “All My Children,” White had a successful career in both theater and television. He portrayed Arthur Cates on the primetime soap “The Colbys” and played the father of several characters on the drama series “Sisters.”
White first appeared as Linc Tyler on “All My Children” in 1974 and continued in the role for over four decades. He returned to the show for multiple stints throughout the years, making him a beloved and recognizable face in the soap opera world.
His breakthrough role came in 1968 when he starred as Alan McCarthy in Mart Crowley’s “The Boys in the Band.” The play, which explored the lives of a group of gay men, was considered groundbreaking for its time. White reprised his role in the film adaptation of the play and became a part of LGBTQ+ history.
Reflecting on the success of “The Boys in the Band,” White said, “Opening night, none of us knew what we had. We all just thought, ‘It’s a play, it’s something new, it’s different and it’s good.’ It was a 100 percent gay audience — and then the next day, it went crazy! We got a call to come to the theater early, because there was such a crowd around the theater, you couldn’t get near it. Everyone at the time wanted to call it a gay play — [I always thought] it wasn’t [so much] a gay play [as] it was a play with gay characters.”
Born in New York City on October 10, 1937, White began his acting career on the soap opera “The Secret Storm.” He went on to have guest appearances on shows like “N.Y.P.D.” before being offered the role in “The Boys in the Band.” Despite initial reservations, White took the risk and it paid off with the success of the play.
Throughout his career, White also appeared on Broadway, has numerous guest appearances on TV shows, and took on roles in various films. He was known for his versatility and talent in bringing characters to life.
White’s death was mourned by his colleagues in the entertainment industry. He will be remembered for his contributions to theater, television, and film, and for his portrayal of memorable characters.
Survived by his former co-stars and friends, White was not married and had no children. His legacy will continue to live on through his body of work and the impact he made on the entertainment industry.