Ben Masters Dies: ‘Passions’ Soap Icon Was 75
Ben Masters, best known for his part as the wealthy Julian Crane from the classic NBC soap Passions, died on January 11 at the Eisenhower Medical Center in Palm Springs. The actor struggled with dementia for years and eventually died due to COVID. His role as Julian, which spanned from 1999 to 2008, was his most prominent and final credit.
Masters, born May 6, 1947, in Corvallis, OR, graduated from the University of Oregon with a bachelor’s associate in theater in 1969. Afterward, he moved to New York, where he began acting on and off-Broadway in productions such as The Cherry Orchard with Meryl Streep, Captain Brassbound’s Conversion alongside Ingrid Bergman, and Boys in the Band.
From there, Masters transitions into acting, starring in films like Bob Fosse’s All That Jazz with Roy Schneider, Key Exchange with Brooke Adams and Danny Aiello, Making Mr. Right with John Malkovich, and Dream Lover with Kristy McNichol.
For three decades, starting in the 1970s, Masters was featured alongside Pierce Brosnan in the miniseries Noble House, Celebrity with Ned Beatty and Tess Harper, and as a guest star in several shows like Kojak, Petrocelli, Touched by an Angel, Kung Fu: The Legend Continues, Barnaby Jones, Murder She Wrote, Heartbeat, Walker: Texas Ranger, Diagnosis Murder, Sisters, and Pensacola Wings of Gold.
Masters is survived by his sister Cheryl Lerner and nieces Hannah and Clea Lerner of Los Angeles. At the actor’s request, no memorial or funeral service will be held for him.