‘Santa Barbara’ Star Nicolas Coster Passes Away at 89

Nicolas Coster

Nicolas Coster, a beloved actor known for his roles in popular daytime dramas like “Santa Barbara” and “Another World,” has passed away at the age of 89. The sad news was shared by his daughter on Facebook, expressing her grief and acknowledging her father’s incredible talent. Coster’s agent confirmed that he had succumbed to complications from a long battle with cancer.

Coster had a remarkable career in the entertainment industry, accumulating over 100 credits in film, television, and theater. He rose to prominence for his portrayal of Robert Delaney in NBC’s “Somerset” in 1970, a role he continued to play in the spin-off series “Another World” until 1980. Throughout his time on the show, he appeared in more than 250 episodes, returning for the 25th anniversary in 1989.

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However, Coster’s most recognized role came as Lionel Lockridge in the daytime soap opera “Santa Barbara.” The series, set in an affluent California city, captivated audiences, and Coster’s portrayal of Lionel was a significant part of its success. He appeared in nearly 600 episodes from 1984 to 1993, leaving a lasting impact on viewers.

In addition to his contributions to soap operas, Coster made appearances in other notable shows like “As the World Turns,” “One Life to Live,” and “All My Children.” He showcased his versatility as an actor, taking on diverse roles such as gangster-turned-informant Anthony Makana and kidnapper Steve Andrews. In the 1960s, Coster entered the world of soap operas with his significant role as Professor Paul Britton in “The Secret Storm.”

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Coster’s acting journey began in London, where he was born, and he later moved to California. He studied acting at the Royal Academy of the Dramatic Art in England and refined his skills under the guidance of renowned acting teacher Lee Strasberg in New York City.

Throughout his career, Coster’s talents extended beyond the small screen. He appeared in notable films such as “All the President’s Men” alongside Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman, where he played Markham, a character intricately tied to the Watergate scandal. He also portrayed Colonel Huff in the World War II biopic “MacArthur” and starred in the journalism drama “Reds” alongside Warren Beatty.

Coster’s contributions to television extended beyond soap operas and films. He portrayed David Warner, Blair Warner’s father, in the popular NBC sitcom “The Facts of Life” from 1982 to 1988. He made guest appearances in several well-known shows like “Murder, She Wrote,” “3rd Rock From the Sun,” and in addition to his role as Mayor Jack Madison in the series “The Bay,” Coster also made appearances in the show “Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman.”

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Even in his later years, Coster continued to showcase his talent on both the big and small screens. He appeared in the 2020 horror film “The Last Exorcist” as Archbishop Norman and portrayed LLoyd Cutler in the mini-series “American Crime Story: Impeachment” in 2021. His final credit, in 2023, was for an episode of “The Rookie: Feds” as Joseph Cicero.

Beyond his on-screen endeavors, Coster was also an accomplished author. In 2021, he published his memoir titled “Another Whole Afternoon,” sharing his experiences and insights from his extensive career. He was also highly regarded for his work in theater, with notable performances on and off Broadway.

Nicolas Coster leaves behind a rich legacy in the entertainment industry. His talent, versatility, and dedication to his craft earned him the admiration of audiences and colleagues alike. He will be remembered for his memorable performances and his significant contributions to the world of acting.