‘Melrose Place’ and ‘Fame’ Actor Morgan Stevens Dies at 70

Morgan Stevens in A Year in the Life
NBC/Courtesy Everett Collection

Veteran actor Morgan Stevens, best known for his roles in the iconic television series Fame and Melrose Place, has died. He was 70.

As first reported by TMZ, Stevens was found dead at his home after a concerned neighbor called authorities to do a wellness check. No cause of death has been revealed, but police suspect no foul play.

Born in Knoxville, Tennessee, on October 16, 1951, Stevens began his acting career in the 1970s, appearing as Paul Northridge in one episode of The Waltons. He would later reprise the role in three reunion movies, including A Wedding on Walton’s Mountain, where his character married Erin Walton, played by Mary Elizabeth McDonough.

Stevens received his big break in the 1980s when he landed the role of teacher David Reardon in the hit NBC series Fame. He starred as Reardon for two seasons between 1982 and 1984. Later in the decade, he appeared in another NBC series, A Year in the Life, playing the character Jack Gardner.

His career took a hit after an altercation with the police in 1989. Stevens was arrested on suspicion of DUI and, while in custody, was viciously beaten, resulting in a broken nose, a fractured cheek, a dislocated jaw, and nerve damage. He was later cleared of the DUI charge and reached an out-of-court settlement after he sued the LAPD.

Stevens briefly returned to acting in the 1990s, portraying Nick Diamond in seven episodes of the popular soap-opera Melrose Place. His other TV credits include One Date at a Time, Hotel, Airwolf, Magnum P.I, and Murder, She Wrote, where he played three different characters across three different episodes. His final on-screen appearance was as Principal Max Hanson in a 1999 episode of Walker, Texas Ranger.