Remembering Jed Allan, a star for all TV hours

Daytime-serial veteran also had a ‘Beverly Hills, 90210’ presence

For fans and staff veterans of “Beverly Hills, 90210,” it has been a rough time lately.

Following Luke Perry’s very untimely passing came news over the weekend of the death of Jed Allan, the hugely charismatic actor who had a steadier presence in daytime serials, but also made his primetime mark as Rush Sanders – the wealthy and self-assured, but flawed, father of Steve Sanders (Ian Ziering) — on “Beverly Hills, 90210.”

Whenever it seemed Rush was on the verge of redeeming himself with Steve, he invariably would do or say something that would leave his son with a famously furrowed brow. Rush was featured on the Fox show enough times for its audience to know where Steve got much of his “the world is mine” attitude, something he strived to temper as the years and the series went along.

Weekday-soap-opera viewers knew Allan for his much greater number of appearances on two NBC programs. On “Days of Our Lives,” he spent more than 100 episodes as Don Craig, the first love interest for Dr. Marlena Evans (played by series staple Deidre Hall) when she arrived in Salem. Unfortunately, her scheming twin sister Samantha (portrayed by Hall’s own twin sister Andrea) also came to town … and the rest is soap history.

Allan went on to star in nearly 1100 installments of “Santa Barbara” as the fourth and final actor to play rich family patriarch C.C. Capwell, giving the character a particular energy as he frequently fretted about the lives and loves of his daughters Eden (Marcy Walker) and Kelly (Robin Wright, initially, during Allan’s run on the show). Supposed widower C.C. also had his own romantic entanglements that did much to impact his family and fuel the drama.

Also, Allan had daytime roles on “The Secret Storm” and “General Hospital” over the course of his career, but his first major television part gave him one of the medium’s most famous dogs as a principal co-star: The 1968-70 incarnation of “Lassie” cast him as a forest ranger who often made use of assistance from you-know-who.

Allan hosted the series “Celebrity Bowling” (which even had the “Brady Bunch” youngsters aiming for strikes and spares) through much of the 1970s, and another of his acting jobs turns up frequently on TV. A mainstay of the Turner Classic Movies schedule, the 1968 adventure “Ice Station Zebra” includes him as one of the submarine crew members under the command of Rock Hudson.

Unmistakably personable and ruggedly handsome, Jed Allan – who passed a week after his 84th birthday — was someone whose loss will be mourned by many who appreciated the life he gave to several memorable home-screen characters.

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin has decades of experience covering the television and movie businesses, winning Tribune Media Services’ Crown Jewel Award in 2008 for his performance in the company. Over those many years of interviewing and writing, he has spoken with everyone from Robert De Niro and John Travolta to Paul McCartney and Tony Bennett … from Meryl Streep and Julie Andrews to Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood.

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