John Callahan from 'All My Children' Dies at 66 — Meet His Ex-wife and Only Daughter

Beloved ‘All My Children’ soap opera star John Callahan passed away at the age of 66 from a stroke.

On March 27, 2020, actor John Callahan suffered a massive stroke at his Palm Desert, California home.

The star of "Santa Barbara," "All My Children," "Days of Our Lives," & "The Bay" was rushed to Eisenhower Medical Center by paramedics and put on life support. 

John studied law at the  University of California at Berkeley as a young man and left college to become an actor

John Callahan at the "Days Of Our Lives" 45th Anniversary Party in 2010 | Source: Getty Images

John Callahan at the "Days Of Our Lives" 45th Anniversary Party in 2010 | Source: Getty Images

A SAD GOODBYE

When it was clear that John was close to death, his ex-wife Eva LaRue and his only daughter, Kaya McKenna, were allowed to say their goodbyes.

Later on the evening of March 28, the hospital contacted the family and informed them that the actor had passed away peacefully.

TRIBUTES TO A STAR

The first tribute to John Callahan was from his ex-wife and "All My Children" alum who shared a moving post on Instagram, along with a gallery of snaps of the actor. Eva wrote:

"Kaya and I are beyond broken-hearted, so stunned, sorry that my thoughts are a mess. (...) I am at a complete loss for words right now for you."

DAYTIME EMMYS MAKES ANNOUNCEMENTS

The Daytime Emmys official Twitter broke the sad news of John's death on Saturday night, along with a recent photo of the actor. They wrote:

"We're devastated to share that John Callahan passed away earlier today. Sending our deepest condolences to Eva La Rue and all his loved ones."

View this post on Instagram

May Flights of Angels Wing You to Your Rest my Dear Friend. Your bigger than life, gregarious personality will leave a hole in our hearts forever. We are devastated-My great friend, co parent partner, and loving father to Kaya. That big belly laugh, bear hugs, bad puns, ability to harmonize to any song, great kitchen table singing-fests, and two steppin bad ass! “Johnny Numbers”, my All My Children soap stud, the great time keeper, Beatles fanatic ( I wish to God we could go back to “Yesterday”)... Kaya and I are beyond broken hearted, so stunned, sorry that my thoughts are a mess. You gave the best most beautifully written tributes, and I am at a complete loss for words right now for you. I hope Heaven has baseball and that your team always wins! The Yankees has just lost their biggest Fan. ♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼

A post shared by Eva LaRue (@evalarue) on

John's former colleagues and fellow actors have also shared their heartfelt condolences on social media, as well as tributes to the soap opera star. Kelly Ripa wrote simply:

"Because there are no words, all i can muster is Rest In Peace #johncallahan My heart breaks for you @evalarue and @kaya_callahan 💔💔💔💔💔"

Sarah Michelle Gellar, who would become a star as "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," revealed that when she played John's daughter on "All my Children," the actor became the father figure she was lacking. Sarah made a moving promise on Instagram:

"I promise you GP just as you were there for me, I will always be there for smoosh (Kaya) and @evalarue as well."

"All my Children" actress Susan Lucci who played Erica Kane for 41 years, extended her sympathies and her prayers to John's ex-wife and daughter and wrote:

"John left us way too early—I am so grateful I got to work with him—I will always remember that ever-present twinkle in his eye💙 RIP, John"

View this post on Instagram

Get past the horrible eyebrows on me and you will notice the incredibly handsome man, standing beside, me at my high school graduation. That’s #JohnCallahan or better know to me as GP (but why I called him that remains between us and those closest to him) He stepped into a lot of moments in my life because I didn’t have a father to be there. Johns greatest joy in his life, was when he had a daughter of his own @kaya_callahan. John left us this morning. I promise you GP just as you were there for me, I will always be there for smoosh (Kaya) and @evalarue as well. I will tape a pic of you to my hand held mirror (that’s for you @kellyripa ) This is all too much, especially right now, but I want the world to know how much you meant to so many people. #RIPJohnCallahan

A post shared by Sarah Michelle (@sarahmgellar) on

DASHING LEADING MAN

John studied law at the  University of California at Berkeley as a young man and left college to become an actor.  He broke into soaps in 1984, with the role of Leo Russell on "General Hospital."

In 1986, John moved into prime time TV with the CBS hit series "Falcon Crest," in which he played billionaire greek industrialist Eric Stavros for two years. He followed his stint on "Falcon Crest" with a role in the daytime soap "Santa Barbara." 

John Callahan and Eva LaRue's elegant, midnight second wedding ceremony on ABC Daytime's "All My Children" | Source: Getty Images

John Callahan and Eva LaRue's elegant, midnight second wedding ceremony on ABC Daytime's "All My Children" | Source: Getty Images

But it was his work on "All my Children," as Edmund Gray where he played opposite actress Eva LaRue. His onscreen marriage to Eva LaRue/ Maria Santos became the real thing in 1996, and in  2001, they welcomed their daughter Kaya.

A LOVING FAMILY MAN

In 2005, the couple divorced, but their relationship remained amicable. John and Eva were close friends and co-parents until his death, and they were both devoted to their daughter, now 18 years old.

THE YANKEES FAN

From 2008 to 2010, John starred in the soap "Days of Our Lives" as Dr. Richard Baker. Since 2014, John starred in a series of films, namely "Tentacle 8,"  "Zoe Gone," "Do It or Die," "Doggone Hollywood," "Doggone Adventure," and "Loyalty."

The dashing actor was known for his good looks, his off-screen zany humor, and his passion for baseball.

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