Doug Sheehan, Star of ‘General Hospital’ and ‘Knots Landing,’ Dies at 75

A consummate TV dad, the actor also played patriarchs on the ‘90s shows ‘Clueless’ and ‘Sabrina the Teenage Witch.’Updated Jul. 08, 2024 9:54PM EDT / Published Jul. 08, 2024 9:50PM EDT Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty ImagesDoug Sheehan, the Emmy-nominated television actor who scored recurring roles across soaps and sitcoms alike, died last month at his home in Big Horn

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A consummate TV dad, the actor also played patriarchs on the ‘90s shows ‘Clueless’ and ‘Sabrina the Teenage Witch.’

AJ McDougall

Doug Sheehan

Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

Doug Sheehan, the Emmy-nominated television actor who scored recurring roles across soaps and sitcoms alike, died last month at his home in Big Horn, Wyoming. He was 75.

A local funeral home announced Sheehan’s death on its website last Thursday, saying he “passed away peacefully” with his wife at his side. A cause of death was not shared.

A California native born in 1949, Sheehan scored his first television role with a 1978 episode of Charlie’s Angels. A year later, he was given his first regular role, lawyer Joe Kelly on ABC’s General Hospital. Sheehan would go on to appear in 205 episodes of the beloved soap, earning a supporting actor Daytime Emmy nod in the process.

“I was on during the ‘Camelot’ era when Luke and Laura were running around saving the world madly, and I was sort of the nice guy who stood on the sidelines and said, ‘Go Luke, go!’” he recalled in a 1989 interview.

In 1983, he made the jump to CBS, landing a plum role on the Dallas spinoff Knots Landing. For four seasons of the soap, Sheehan played Ben Gibson, a freelance reporter and ex-C.I.A. operative who eventually becomes protagonist Valene Ewing’s second husband. Gibson would eventually be written off the show in season eight, disappearing without a trace to South America.

The actor also racked up credits on shows like Cheers, MacGyver, and Columbo. He was also cast in a main role in the short-lived NBC series Day by Day, starring as a hapless stockbroker-turned-daycare-operator as part of a stacked ensemble that included pre-Seinfeld Julia Louis-Dreyfus and a young Thora Birch.

In the 1990s, Sheehan turned to “TV dad” roles, portraying the fathers of Cher Horowitz and Sabrina Spellman on Clueless and Sabrina the Teenage Witch, respectively.

Though predominantly a small-screen actor, Sheehan also had roles in the movies 10, Victor/Victoria, and Cops N Roberts. In his spare time, he was an avid polo player.

He is survived by his wife, Cate. The pair had been married for more than 40 years at the time of his death.

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