November 3, 2023
Peter White was sharing the stage with legend Myrna Loy in the late '60s when he was offered the opportunity to create the role of Alan in the daring play The Boys in the Band. He was nervous — a gay play, albeit playing a nebulously straight man in one, could be career suicide.
Loy told him to get used to taking risks, so he took the part. The show became a must-see event off-Broadway in 1968, and was adapted as a feature film by director William Friedkin.
Since then, most of the cast has died, the majority of AIDS. Laurence Luckinbill, 88, is the only confirmed survivor with White's death November 1 at 86. (Reuben Greene's whereabouts or death details are a point of controversy.)
White's former All My Children co-star and close friend Kathleen Noone announced his passing to Soap Hub, ExtraTV reports, confirming he died of melanoma.
Along with The Boys in the Band, White's other most famous role was Linc, son of Phoebe (Ruth Warrick) on All My Children, a part he played off and on from 1976-2005.
White was adept at the genre, having also appeared on The Secret Storm (1965-1966) and Love Is a Many Splendored Thing (1971), and going on to act on the nighttime soaps Falcon Crest (1982), Dynasty (1983-1984), Knots Landing (1984), Dallas (1984-1991) and The Colbys (1985-1986).
Along with dozens of TV guest spots on everything from Hill Street Blues (1981) to The X-Files (1999), he had a prominent recurring role on Sisters (1991-1996).
White's film career included The Pursuit of Happiness (1971), Dave (1993) and Armageddon (1998). He appears to have largely retired over 10 years ago, though did appear in the feature Punching Henry that came out in 2016.
I was so, so excited to meet Peter at the 2018 Broadway premiere of Joe Mantello's take on The Boys in the Band, where he proudly pointed out he was in Alan's same tuxedo from 1970. This is super depressing, but I had mailed him a letter two days ago asking if he would ever part with it. I'm sure it hasn't even arrived yet.
Rest in peace, Peter.