News - Soap Buzz

23 March 30th, 2014 A Martinez Reveals Former SANTA BARBARA Castmate & Friend Dane Witherspoon Has Passed Away!

Courtesy/AMartinezFacebook

Sad news to report over the weekend from Daytime Emmy winner A Martinez (Ex-Cruz Castillo) regarding his former Santa Barbara cas mate and friend, Dane Witherspoon, who passed away at the age of 56.

Santa Barbara fans will remember that Dane Witherspoon played the original Joe Perkins on the NBC soap opera, but after a few months was let-go from the role and later was cast on CBS’ Capitol as Tyler McCandless.  Dane met Robin Wright on Santa Barbara and the two of them were wed in 1986.

A Martinez shared the news on his facebook page offering these sentiments:  “Dane passed this morning. People who watched Santa Barbara in its earliest days will remember him as Joe Perkins, a character to which he brought a quiet grace and deep, bittersweet sense of soul. He was a singular, standup guy, loved and admired by many. My first thought, upon meeting him in 1984: “This is the most beautiful man I’ve ever seen.” That beauty went all the way to his core.  “How fragile we are,” to quote the poet.  Dane was a most compelling man, and it must have been very hard on him to drift away from the path he first imagined. We’d do well to hold his kin in our thoughts, and imagine them finding a way to make the most of the lessons of his life.”

What do you think of A’s thoughts on the passing of Dane Witherspoon?  Did you watch the great Santa Barbara during its run?  Let us know!

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  1. jimh(leave it to beaver) says:

    Of course it was sad news whether one knows him or not…that was a terrible question to ask!!! Yes, i watched Santa Barbara and this was a soap i really miss. I remember Dane in the role and didnt like it when replaced by Mark Arnold but the latter did grow on me when time passed!!! How much i miss Gina, Mason, Eden and Cruz and the rest!!! One of the few soaps that didnt deserve cancellation…sure the ratings were low and the final year wasnt great but it still remains one of my favorite serials of all time!!!

    Reply

    rebecca1 replied

    LOL Jim…I thought the exact same thing about the question! Looks like the questions has been delicately reframed…

    Reply

    jimh(leave it to beaver) replied

    I see it was changed…

  2. natasha says:

    How Did he die? Very sad to hear this. I remembered him on Santa Barbara.

    Reply

  3. curacaoman says:

    Beautiful words, those of a true friend

    Reply

  4. GB says:

    Santa Barbara was my very first soap, one i watched from the very first episode. i remember the opening scene, with Dane Witherspoon doing pull-ups in prison before he’s released. I had no idea of how soaps worked and I couldn’t understand why suddenly there was someone else playing him. There’s a piece of my childhood that dies with him. It sounds like he didn’t have a happy life, for that, even more than for the sadness with which my memories of him will now be tinged, I am unspeakably sad.

    Reply

  5. AbbyS. says:

    I watched Santa Barbara from the beginning but I stopped once Marcy Walker left the show. I remember Dane Witherspoon very well from that first year and IA with A Martinez, he was a beautiful guy. He and Robin Wright had phenomenal chemistry. I’m very sorry to hear he’s passed away, but I was happy to hear that A Martinez kept in touch with him over all these years. It’s great to hear that Santa Barbara started a long friendship like that. I also watched Mr. Witherspoon on Capitol. He was a talented, good looking guy, and I was a fan. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family.

    Reply

  6. Mo says:

    A’s words are beautiful.

    Very sad.

    Was Jennifer Reeves on the show when he played Joe?

    Reply

    Glen replied

    I think you mean Melissa Reeves and yes, like DW, she was an original cast member of SB.

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    shawn replied

    Yes! Melissa Reeves originated the role of Jade Perkins.

    Reply

    Paul replied

    Yes, she (Melissa Reeves) originated the part of his little sister, Jade Perkins, when she was still Melissa Brennan. I don’t think they shared many scenes together because they sent her character off to Hollywood along with Danny Andrade around the time that Dane was playing Joe.

    Reply

    jimh(leave it to beaver) replied

    I cant remember if she was on when he was there but i remember her as Jade!!!

    Reply

    Mo replied

    Oops, I meant Melissa Reeves. Was combining her Days’ character name with her name. :-)

    I remember her as Jade too, but don’t remember her being on too long before she popped up in Salem.

    Reply

  7. Robert says:

    I do not remember him on Santa. Barbara but I do have memories of him from Capitol because like A. Martinez said he was stunning, His looks as well as his talents, left a impression on viewers. I am sad to hear he passed away so young, I hope he did not suffer.

    Reply

  8. Brian Greene says:

    Rest In Peace, Dane Witherspoon! Bless You! :-|

    Reply

  9. Shay says:

    Such sad news…Dane Witherspoon was a prime and appealing example of those handsome All-American-type leading men that were so emblematic of the 1980′s Golden Age of Soaps (along with Jack Wagner, Grant Show, Charles (Flohe) Grant, Clayton Norcross, John Allen Nelson, etc…..) Today’s so-called daytime male “stars” cannot hold a candle to any of them!!!!! That being said, I still recall to this day “Santa Barbara’s” excellent usage of “If Ever You’re In My Arms Again” as the soundtrack to the Joe Perkins/Kelly Capwell love story, and along with other posters here, I was not pleased with the “JP” recasting, although I happily watched DW transition to “Capitol” where he played the military hero role….perhaps a better fit for him. Always wondered why he never did much after that show wrapped up, as he had not only a wonderful presence, but a profoundly decent sort of persona. At any rate, yet another soap favorite from the past is now but a bittersweet memory…..

    Reply

    k/kay replied

    Totally agree Shay miss those gorgeous guys!

    Reply

    Shay replied

    I know what you mean, k/kay…sigh!!!!! By the way, wanted to tell you I appreciated your comments on Rebecca Herbst from a previous post of a few days back. I also tend to take note of those with an obvious respect for healthy, disciplined living…and her appearance definitely bespeaks of those qualities! Not only is she in phenomenal shape, but her porcelain perfection is simply stunning. : )

  10. Johnny says:

    That is sad. I was just little when Santa Barbara came on and couldnt fully appreciate it then but have re-watched it much since and what an awesome show it was. Joe and Kelly had a breathtaking chemistry. It still boggles my mind that the show recast Dane and then killed Joe off. I think that was the first of many big mistakes that the show made that contributed to its cancellation. But I could write blogs and blogs about that show. It is sad about Dane. Does anyone know how he died? And I knew him and Robin were involved, but did they actually marry?

    Reply

    k/kay replied

    Robin Wright and he were married for about two or three years. I will never understand why they replaced him he was perfect but SB had probably the most recasts of characters of any soap.

    Reply

    Shay replied

    And I will NEVER understand how one could go from “Joe Perkins” to “Jeff Spicoli!”

    k/kay replied

    @ Shay you threw me off there for a minute yes Mr. Penn was a down grade I will never understand that one!

  11. Cathy Borruso says:

    ♥ A Martinez always a class act and a true friend. Santa Barbara was great loved Cruz & Eden! Very sad news especially being so young!

    Reply

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