‘Ryan’s Hope’ Star John Gabriel Dies at 90

John Gabriel in Ryan's Hope
Everett Collection

The veteran actor John Gabriel, best known for his role as Dr. Seneca Beaulac in the ABC soap opera Ryan’s Hope, has died. He was 90 years old.

His actress daughter Andrea Gabriel (Lost) paid tribute on Instagram: “It is with an unspeakably heavy heart that I share the news of my father’s passing. John Gabriel was my hero, my role model, and my champion, but above all, my daddy… I will love you forever.” The cause of death was not reported.


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Born on May 25, 1931 in Niagara Falls, New York, Gabriel had started his career acting in plays at UCLA and later joined the U.S. Air Force. After his time in the military, Gabriel continued his pursuit of Hollywood, starring in numerous films and television series throughout his five-decade-plus career.

Some of Gabriel’s more notable roles include the previously mentioned Dr. Beaulac in Ryan’s Hope, which he played for the first 10 years of the ABC soap and for which he received an Emmy Award nomination in 1980. He also had a recurring spot on The Mary Tyler Moore Show as WJM-TV sportscaster Andy Rivers and played the Professor in the original, unaired pilot of Gilligan’s Island (the role later went to Russell Johnson).

Gabriel was also recognized for his singing and musical talent, having performed on The Ed Sullivan Show, The Mike Douglas Show, Regis and Kathy Lee, The Merv Griffin Show, and more. He also co-wrote the title song to the John Wayne classic El Dorado, in which he also appeared.

He is survived by his daughter Andrea, his wife, actress Sandy Gabriel, his daughter Melissa (also an actress) and two grandsons.