Gabriel’s death was announced on Instagram by his daughter, actress Andrea Gabriel (Lost). “It is with an incredibly heavy heart that I share the news of my father’s passing,” she wrote. “John Gabriel was my hero, my role model and my champion, but above all my dad. … I will always love you. “
No details of his death were immediately available.
Gabriel appeared in the John Wayne star The golden (1966) – and co-wrote the film’s title track with Nelson Riddle – and had a recurring role as WJM-TV sports presenter Andy Rivers on CBS ‘ The Mary Tyler Moore Show.
He played the professor in the original CBS pilot ‘ Gilligan Island, filmed on the Hawaiian island of Kauai in November 1963, but Russell Johnson ended up with the role when the series aired the following September. (Two other actors, Nancy McCarthy and Kit Smythe, were also dumped.)
“It was the first time in my adult life that I remember crying,” he once said. “And I think part of that has to do with the fact that I built this thing to such a degree that it was going to be my breakthrough. “
Gabriel portrayed Seneca, chief of staff at Riverside Hospital in New York, the Ryan’s Hope from 1975 to 1985, then returned at the end of the show in 1988-89. He received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Actor in a Daytime Drama Series in 1980.
At the beginning of the show, Seneca had come to New York in pursuit of his wife, Nell (Diana Van der Vlis), who had left him. After participating in his murder out of compassion, he married attorney Jill Coleridge (Nancy Addison Altman), who had defended him in the murder trial.
Gabriel was born on May 25, 1931 in Niagara Falls, New York. His parents ran a grocery store. He performed in plays at UCLA and, after a stint in the US Air Force, signed a contract with 20th Century Fox, where he landed small roles in the 1958 films. Young Lions and The hunters.
He has appeared in television series such as Surfside 6, Hawaiian eye, 77 Sunset Strip and The flying grandmother and worked on Broadway in Happy time – as a replacement for Robert Goulet – and Applause before landing on Ryan’s Hope.
Gabriel also acted on other soaps including Days of our lives, General hospital, Magnet, Love glory and beauty and Generations, and on other shows like The murder she wrote, Seinfeld and Law and order.
He also produced Charles Grodin’s talk show for CNBC in 1995 and released an album of pop standards, From John with love, in 1998. (It served as the first nightclub number for Joan Rivers.)
In addition to his daughter Andrea, survivors include his 52-year-old wife, actress Sandy Gabriel, who played Edna Thornton on ABC’s All my kids; another girl actress, Melissa; and two grandsons.