David Canary (David Hoyt Canary)

David Canary

After a semi-regular role as Russ Gehring in the prime time serial Peyton Place, David Canary came to international prominence in 1967 on the Western series Bonanza. In 1967, he appeared in the now-classic western movie Hombre, in which he was featured with Paul Newman, Richard Boone, and Cameron Mitchell. Canary guest starred in a two-part episode of CBS’s Gunsmoke entitled “Nitro”, played mobster Frank Gusenberg in the film The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, and appeared on the short-lived CBS western Dundee and the Culhane. A contract dispute that year between Leonard Nimoy and the producers of Star Trek forced Herb Solow, Robert H. Justman, and Gene Roddenberry to compile a list of candidates for consideration to take over the role of Mr. Spock. As revealed in Solow and Justman’s book, Star Trek – The Inside Story, Canary was one of these candidates. David Dortort, the creator/producer of Bonanza, saw David Canary in Hombre and cast him in the role of the new ranch foreman; he said that Canary was “the kind of kid who comes on and suddenly there’s nobody else on the screen”. Canary left Bonanza in June 1970 after a contract dispute. He returned after Dan Blocker’s death in May 1972. Canary said that he loved Bonanza, except for filming in Nevada in 100-degree heat. Canary appeared on Broadway with Colleen Dewhurst in Great Day in the Morning and with Geraldine Page in Tennessee Williams’s Clothes for a Summer Hotel. He did numerous musical stage roles in shows such as Kismet, Man Of La Mancha, and The Fantasticks, and dramatic performances in The Seagull and Macbeth. David’s first daytime television role was on Search for Tomorrow where he played the short-term role of Liza Walton’s agent. He had two short stints on The Doctors as Far Wind, a cult leader who took the hospital staff hostage and killed Melissa Dancy (Dorian Lo Pinto). In 1981, he assumed the role of Steve Frame on the soap opera Another World. The revival of the Steve/Alice/Rachel romantic triangle was unsuccessful, and he left the show in 1983 after his character was killed off.

On New Year’s Eve 1983, David Canary joined the cast of All My Children in the role of Adam Chandler. The following year, he was also cast as Adam’s meek twin brother, Stuart whom everybody (including the audience) believed was Adam. The actor brought several facets to the twins, portraying the impeccably dressed, cutthroat Adam and the messy, big-hearted, guileless Stuart (who was originally a deranged would-be murderer) with equal ability. A May 2009 storyline had Adam accidentally shoot and kill Stuart while using prescription narcotics. Canary retired from full-time acting and departed from All My Children in 2010; his last episode was taped in late March and aired April 23, 2010. He announced that he intended to return to AMC occasionally. He reprised both of his roles as Adam and Stuart Chandler for several days before its September 23, 2011, finale on ABC. In 2013, he returned to the role of Adam when the show began to produce online episodes. Prime-time television guest appearances include Law & Order, Touched by an Angel, S.W.A.T., Primas, Alias Smith and Jones, Police Story, Kung-Fu, Hawaii Five-O, Remember WENN, and Cimarron Strip. The actor also appeared as the locomotive engineer in the movie Atomic Train. In 2004, he appeared as mathematical genius Robert in a well-reviewed[citation needed] production of David Auburn’s Proof in Canton, Ohio, near his hometown of Massillon.

David Canary had been known to be most affable and accessible to fans of both All My Children and Bonanza. At Disney resorts, he did “meet and greet” appearances signing autographs for AMC fans. He also made several appearances at the Lake Tahoe site of the Ponderosa ranch, a tourist attraction from 1967-2004. His last appearance at the Ponderosa ranch in character was in 2002 for a PAX-TV special. It was announced in March 2012 that David would replace the ailing ninety-year-old Jack Klugman in a limited-run production of Twelve Angry Men in New Brunswick, New Jersey. David Canary died on November 16, 2015, of natural causes in Wilton, Connecticut at the age of 77. The family indicated that they would like memorial donations to be made to the Alzheimer’s Association in lieu of flowers.

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Born

  • August, 25, 1938
  • USA
  • Elwood, Indiana

Died

  • November, 16, 2015
  • USA
  • Wilton, Connecticut

Cause of Death

  • natural causes

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