SANTA BARBARA, CAPITOL Star Passes Away

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A Martinez, best known to soap fans as Cruz on the NBC sudser SANTA BABARA, somberly shared the passing of his friend and fellow actor, Dane Witherspoon, 56, on Facebook on March 29. Witherspoon was an original cast member of SANTA BARBARA; he played the wrongly-convicted Joe Perkins, the true love of Kelly Capwell (played by Robin Wright). Witherspoon and Wright were married in real-life from 1986-88.

The actor also played Tyler McCandless on the CBS daytime serial CAPITOL. Martinez wrote the following tribute to his pal on Facebook: "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."

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