Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Buchanans of Llanview

One Life to Live fans are reeling with the double loss of two long-time Buchanan cowboys. Phil Carey, who played Texas tycoon Asa Buchanan for over 20 years on the show, died last week from lung cancer. His death comes on the heals of that of Clint Ritchie, who played eldest son Clint Buchanan during the same period. Though both actors had left the show (another actor currently plays the role of "Clint" and the role of "Asa" died months ago), they left an indelible mark on the canvas of the program. Robert S. Woods, who plays younger brother Beau, remains with the show.
Frankly, I was never a fan of One Life to Live, though I don't doubt it when others proclaim the long-time star of the show, Erica Slezak, to be the best actress currently in daytime (she has six Emmys to prove it, more than any other actress in soaps).

The Buchanan clan was introduced to the show's landscape in the early 1980s as a direct rip-off of prime time's smash at the time, Dallas. Like JR Ewing, Asa Buchanan was a modern Texas oilman with questionable ethics and a killer bedside manner. His eldest son Clint became entangled with the show's heroine and remained central to the action for decades.

(If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, the Dallas creators should be blushing with pride, as several other soaps of the period introduced similar characters. "Cal Stricklin" was a knock-off character over on As the World Turns, and "HB Lewis" brought his two sons with him from Oklahoma to Guiding Light, where the brothers remain major players today).

Anyway, in honor of the Buchanan boys of One Life to Live, giddyup.

Phil Carey (Asa Buchanan), 1925-2009

Clint Ritchie (Clint Buchanan), 1938-2009