Susan Lucci is mourning the death of her TV brother and longtime friend, Mark LaMura. The actor, who played popular character Mark Dalton on the long-running ABC soap All My Children for more than 10 years, has died following a battle with lung cancer, according to Deadline. LaMura was 68 years old.
Mark LaMura played Mark Dalton, the half-brother of Susan Lucci’s Erica Kane, from 1977 to 1989 on All My Children, returning to his Emmy-nominated role for guest cameos multiple times after leaving the show. LaMura’s last appearance on All My Children was in 2005, and the Emmy-winning daytime drama signed off from ABC for good in 2011.
After Mark LaMura’s death was made public, Susan Lucci paid tribute to her TV brother in a poignant Instagram post.
“How can this be?” Lucci captioned a throwback photo of herself and LaMura on a disco dance floor. “I just received the shocking and deeply saddening news that wonderful Mark LaMura has passed away! Mark played my brother Mark on All My Children. He was such a talented and accomplished actor / a bright and charming presence in all our AMC lives — and a really great guy. Mark was loved and he will be missed! RIP, my friend.”
In addition to Susan Lucci, many other All My Children alums and soap stars took to Twitter to remember Mark LaMura, including AMC fan favorites Cady McClain (Dixie Cooney) and Alicia Minshew, who played LaMura’s niece, Kendall Hart, on the show.
Longtime All My Children fans remember two of Mark LaMura’s biggest storylines during his many years playing Mark Dalton. Early on, Mark Dalton pursued Erica Kane romantically before he knew they were half-siblings. Once that misunderstanding was cleared up, the Mark character battled a serious cocaine addiction, which prompted Erica and his other loved ones to stage an intervention. The drug storyline was a groundbreaking one for daytime TV at the time. Years later, Mark returned the favor when he returned to Pine Valley to confront Erica over her drinking problem.
In a 1978 interview with Soap Opera Digest, Mark LaMura revealed that he originally auditioned for a minor role on All My Children and was told he wasn’t “right” for the part even after several callbacks. But LaMura received unexpected news shortly after his rejection when his agent told him All My Children producers decided to write a new part in the show just for him.
“And Mark Dalton was born!” LaMura said.
Take a look at the video below to see Mark LaMura and Susan Lucci in a classic scene from All My Children.
[Featured Image by ABC Television/Wikimedia Commons]