John Callahan Dead, ‘All My Children’ Star Dies At 66

John Callahan poses for a picture at the "Days Of Our Lives" 45th Anniversary Party
Toby Canham / Getty Images

All My Children actor John Callahan has died at the age of 66, according to a Soap Opera Digest report.

Callahan passed away after suffering a massive stroke at his home in Palm Desert, California, on Friday, and his death was not related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. He was placed on life support at the Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, California.

His daughter, Kaya Callahan, and his ex-wife, soap star Eva LaRue, who most recently portrayed Celeste on The Young and the Restless, left Los Angeles to be by his side as soon as they learned the news.

“We are extremely saddened and distraught over the loss of John. He was my great friend, co-parent, and amazing father to Kaya. The absence of his bigger than life, gregarious personality, will leave a hole in our hearts forever. Words cannot express the shock and devastation we are feeling at this time. The Yankees just lost one of their greatest fans,” LaRue said in a statement.

The actor portrayed Edmund Grey from 1992-2005 on ABC’s defunct soap opera. He also brought the characters of Dr. Baker, Tyler Malone, and Artie Doyle to life on Days of Our Lives from 1989-2010. In 1984, Callahan also appeared as Leo Russell on General Hospital. Long-time soap opera viewers may also remember the actor from his time as Craig Hunt on Santa Barbara.

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May Flights of Angels Wing You to Your Rest my Dear Friend. Your bigger than life, gregarious personality will leave a hole in our hearts forever. We are devastated-My great friend, co parent partner, and loving father to Kaya. That big belly laugh, bear hugs, bad puns, ability to harmonize to any song, great kitchen table singing-fests, and two steppin bad ass! “Johnny Numbers”, my All My Children soap stud, the great time keeper, Beatles fanatic ( I wish to God we could go back to “Yesterday”)… Kaya and I are beyond broken hearted, so stunned, sorry that my thoughts are a mess. You gave the best most beautifully written tributes, and I am at a complete loss for words right now for you. I hope Heaven has baseball and that your team always wins! The Yankees has just lost their biggest Fan. ♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️????????????????????????????????

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On her Instagram account, LaRue shared a heartfelt goodbye to her ex-husband and father of her daughter. She posted a series of seven beautiful pictures of the late soap star. The actress included a magazine spread of Callahan kissing her stomach during her pregnancy with the headline, “love in the afternoon.” She also shared several shots of herself, Callahan, and their daughter, who was born in late 2001.

Perhaps the most poignant photo in the bunch was one of the late actor standing in front of a rainbow-colored structure with the beach and the ocean in the background. He stood with his back to the camera and his arms wide open, appearing to embrace the whole scene.

Their AMC co-star, talk show host Kelly Ripa (Hayley), replied to LaRue’s tribute with a simple red broken heart emoji, expressing her sadness over Callahan’s passing. Many soap opera fans also flocked to the actress’s Instagram post to leave words of condolence and share their memories of watching the late actor on television.

“I grew up watching AMC, and he was always one of my favorites. So sad to hear this. Sorry for your loss,” wrote one, adding a crying emoji.

Before his marriage to LaRue, Callahan was married to Linda Freeman from 1982 to 1994 and had two stepsons.