Philip Carey

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Philip Carey
Eugene Joseph Carey

(1925-07-15)July 15, 1925
DiedFebruary 6, 2009(2009-02-06) (aged 83)
New York City, U.S.
Other namesPhil Carey
Years active1951–2008
Spouse(s)Colleen Welch (1976-2009, his death) 2 children
Maureen Peppler (1949-1972, divorced) 3 children

Philip Carey (born Eugene Joseph Carey, July 15, 1925 – February 6, 2009)[1][2] was an American actor, well-known for playing the role of Asa Buchanan on the soap opera One Life to Live for nearly three decades.

Early life and education[edit]

On July 15, 1925, Carey was born in Hackensack, New Jersey.[2][3] He grew up in Rosedale, Queens and Malverne, New York.[4]

Carey studied drama at the University of Miami.[2]


Carey served in the United States Marine Corps, was wounded as part of the ship's detachment of the USS Franklin during World War II, and served again in the Korean War.[5]

Carey's acting career began in 1950. One of his earliest roles was Lt. (jg) Bob Perry in John Wayne's Operation Pacific. Carey also made appearances in films such as I Was a Communist for the FBI (1951), This Woman Is Dangerous with Joan Crawford (1952), The Nebraskan (1953), Calamity Jane with Doris Day (1953), They Rode West (1954), Pushover (1954), Mister Roberts (1955), The Long Gray Line (1955), and Port Afrique (1956).

In 1956, Carey starred on the NBC series Tales of the 77th Bengal Lancers. Carey's character was portrayed as Canadian because Carey reportedly could not master a British accent.[6] He played the character Dr. Simon Battle, gunfighter turned doctor in the outstanding 1961 episode of The Rifleman S3 E33 "Death Trap". In 1961, he guest-starred in an episode of The Asphalt Jungle.

In a following 1962 episode, "Johnny Brassbuttons", Carey plays Marshal Frank Nolan assigned to bring back to justice a Native Indian accused of conspiracy to commit murder.

Carey had played Custer himself in The Great Sioux Massacre (1965) and played Captain Myles Keogh at the Battle of the Little Big Horn in Walt Disney's Tonka in 1959.

During this period, Carey also appeared on CBS-TV hit sitcom The Lucy Show. The episode entitled "Lucy and the Runaway Butterfly" was broadcast on April 22, 1963. In that installment, Carey played Howard McClay, a boyfriend of Lucy Carmichael's (played by Lucille Ball).

In 1971, Carey guest-starred on the landmark fifth installment of All in the Family, playing Steve, an ex–professional football player friend of Archie Bunker's, who tells Archie he is gay. The episode was entitled "Judging Books by Covers".

He also appeared in the low-budget horror film Monstroid in 1980.

Carey became well known for a series of tongue-in-cheek television commercials for Granny Goose potato chips, in which he self-identified as "Granny Goose", portraying the company's spokesperson as a tough cowboy.[7]

One Life to Live[edit]

Carey joined the cast of One Life to Live in 1980, originating the role of ruthless business tycoon Asa Buchanan. During his time portraying the patriarch of the Buchanan family, he became one of the most often-married characters in daytime television. In addition to One Life to Live, he also played the role in one episode of All My Children in 2003 and another in 2004. A lifelong smoker, he was diagnosed with lung cancer in January 2006, and underwent chemotherapy.

In late March 2007, Carey was announced to be leaving One Life to Live, turning down an offer to go to recurring status with the show.[8] The character subsequently died offscreen in August 2007, coinciding with the series' 10,000th episode celebration, which brought back characters from the show's past to attend the funeral.[9][10] In November 2007, Carey briefly reprised the role for three episodes in Asa's videotaped will, airing November 9 to November 13, 2007. On July 16, 2008, he appeared as Asa's ghost,[11] and also returned on July 21, 2008, for the series' 40th anniversary, as character Victoria Lord, Asa's former daughter in law visits, visits Heaven after a car accident.[12][13][14] He again returned on August 19, 2008 as Asa's ghost.[15] Carey appeared one last time on December 29, 2008, in a videotaped message recorded by Asa before his death.

Personal life[edit]

In 1949, Carey married Maureen Peppler.[citation needed] They had three children, Jeff, Linda, and Lisa. The marriage ended in a divorce. In 1976, Carey married Colleen Welch. They have two children, Sean and Shannon.[16]

Carey was close friends with his on-screen sons, Clint Ritchie and Robert S. Woods.[17]


On February 6, 2009, Carey died of lung cancer at age 83.[2]



  1. ^ "OLTL mourns the loss of another star". Archived from the original on 2014-04-14. Retrieved 2009-02-08.
  2. ^ a b c d Kroll, Dan J. (February 7, 2009). "Phil Carey, One Life to Love's Asa, dead at 83". Soap Central. Retrieved October 26, 2018.
  3. ^ "Phil Carey, 83, Longtime ‘One Life to Live’ Star, Dies", The New York Times via Associated Press., February 13. 2009. Accessed February 13, 2009.
  4. ^ "Phil Carey, One Life to Live's Asa, dead at 83 - One Life to Live @". Soapcentral. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  5. ^ "'One Life to Live's' Philip Carey Dies at 83 - Co-starred in the 1960s TV western 'Laredo' - Zap2it". Zap2it. Archived from the original on 2009-02-13.
  6. ^ The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946-Present. Ballantine Books. 2003. p. 1170. ISBN 0-345-45542-8.
  7. ^ "Philip Carey dies at 83; costarred in 'Laredo' and had long-running role on 'One Life to Live'". Los Angeles Times. 2009-02-10. Retrieved 2020-08-21.
  8. ^ Kroll, Dan J. (March 28, 2007). "Phil Carey, OLTL again at odds over contract". Soapcentral. Retrieved December 29, 2008.
  9. ^ "One Life to Live recap (8/16/07)". (Internet Archive). August 16, 2007. Archived from the original on April 23, 2008. Retrieved April 23, 2008.
  10. ^ "One Life to Live recap (8/17/07)". (Internet Archive). August 17, 2007. Archived from the original on April 23, 2008. Retrieved April 23, 2008.
  11. ^ One Life to Live recap (7/16/08) - Archived September 26, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ Logan, Michael (June 11, 2008). "Soaps News: One Life Celebrates No. 40 with Blasts from the Past". Archived from the original on August 1, 2008. Retrieved December 4, 2008.
  13. ^ "One Life to Live: Big Returns and Plots For 40th Anniversary!". June 10, 2008. Archived from the original on 11 January 2009. Retrieved January 29, 2009.
  14. ^ One Life to Live recap (7/21/08, 40th Anniversary) -
  15. ^ One Life to Live recap (8/19/08) - Archived September 11, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ McClellan, Dennis (February 10, 2009). "Philip Carey dies at 83; costarred in 'Laredo' and had long-running role on 'One Life to Live'". The Los Angeles Times. p. 23. Retrieved October 3, 2023.
  17. ^ Weber, Carol Banks (June 9, 2008). "One Life to Live News & Gossip: News for the week of 09-Jun-2008". Retrieved December 22, 2023.

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