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For nearly 20 years, John Ingle played the feisty Quartermaine patriarch Edward Quartermaine on ABC’s General Hospital. Sadly, the soap world is now mourning his passing following a brave struggle with cancer. Ingle passed away on Sunday, Sept. 16, surrounded by his family in California. He was 84 years old.
Due to his illness, Ingle hadn’t been on screen much but he did tape scenes on Aug. 24 of this year and his final appearance was on the show’s Sept. 11 episode, when he fulfilled his wish to play Edward one final time. During the show’s recent tainted water storyline, Edward gave the only dose of the antidote to Emma Drake, the daughter of the late Robin Scorpio, who Edward adored. In those final scenes, Ingle invoked the kind heart underneath the brusque and often times devious “Grandfather” that viewers knew and loved. It was a fitting end to Ingle's unforgettable portrayal of Edward Quartermaine.
"John Ingle achieved great joy from playing the role of Edward Quartermaine," said GH executive producer Frank Valentini. "In our brief time working together, I have enjoyed getting to know a great man who embraced life, cherished what he did and, most of all, loved his family. He is already truly missed by the General Hospital family."
Ingle had an acting career that spanned three decades, two of which were spent on GH when he assumed the role of Edward Quartermaine in 1993 from David Lewis. Ingle starred in feature films like 1988’s Heathers, 1992’s Death Becomes Her, 1997’s Batman & Robin and voiced the character of Cera’s dad in the beloved 1988 animated feature Land Before Time. In addition, he had a recurring guest role on the hit ABC television comedy The Drew Carey Show, notes the Examiner.com
But, Ingle wasn’t always an actor. He spent the first 30 years of his career schooling and mentoring young actors while teaching English and drama at Hollywood High then at Beverly Hills High School. He also taught at several colleges such as UCLA. Among Ingle’s students, who would later become Hollywood stars in their own right, include Albert Brooks, Nicolas Cage, Richard Dreyfuss, Friends star David Schwimmer and Swoozie Kurtz, who currently stars on the CBS hit sitcom Mike & Molly. Ingle retired from teaching in 1985 and began his acting career the same year.
Born on May 7, 1928, in Tulsa, Okla., in his teens, Ingle moved with his family to Tujunga. He attended Occidental College and graduated with a theater degree in 1950. In 1954, he married Grace-Lynne Martin and they raised five daughters. His wife died in February of this year, as per The Washington Post.
In Ingle’s last scene, Edward’s daughter Tracy, held back tears and said, “He always says there is no reason for sadness. Daddy’s had a long life: A good life, a life filled with laughter, adventure, happiness. A life filled with love, with fortune, friends and family but not without pain, loss, sadness or regret. He wouldn’t change a thing and if this is his time, he’s going to be reunited with the woman he loves.”
On GH the woman referred to was his cherished wife Lila, played by Anna Lee until her death in 2003 but friends, family and fans of Ingle are sure to agree that “Tracy’s” words also summarized Ingle’s own life and legacy.