(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Clint Ritchie, “One Life to Live’s” original Clint Buchanan, has passed away in Roseville, California following a brief illness, according to ABC spokeswoman Lauri Hogan. He was 70-years-old.When cowboy Clinton “Clint” Buchanan first rode in Llanview in 1979, America had “Dallas” fever, brought on by the popular CBS primetime sudser featuring the wealthy and scandalous oil loving Ewing class. Cashing in on the success of “Dallas,” “One Life to Live” created the Buchanan family. Headed up by wealthy oil tycoon Asa, the family also included Clint’s younger brother Bo. In 1979, the Buchanans left Texas, moving their multimillion-dollar empire to Llanview, where they remain a central focus of the show to this day. The role often allowed Ritchie to display his rugged persona, but none so much as when the character of Clint Buchanan was transported back in time to the old west town of Buchanan City in 1888. The out of this world storyline played out in the imagination of the elder Buchanan brother following a blow to the head.
Visit http://catherinehickland.com/blog/2009/02/carry-on-clint-ritchie_03.html to read the entry entitled “Carry on Clint Ritchie….” Hillary B. Smith (Nora, “OLTL”) released this statement: “I am saddened by the news of Clint Ritchie’s passing. I had the honor of working with him long after I became a die-hard fan of his work. He was a tenderhearted soul wrapped up in a tough cowboy exterior. He smiled with a naughty twinkle, would pass you in the hall with a wink and a pinch and lived his life with an uncontained passion. What a guy! Here’s to you, Clint! It is amazing to lose Clint Ritchie and Phil Carey in the same week, and yet I don’t think they would have wanted it any other way. I just hope they both end up in the same place or there will be Hell to pay . . . literally.” Robin Strasser (Dorian, “OLTL”), who worked alongside Ritchie for many years, has left a message on her hotline in memory of her former co-star. In reference to both Clint and Phil Carey: “They were both great guys. Not easy, not uncomplicated, bigger than life. Clint, I’m sure, is with as many horses as you can possibly be surrounded by and on top of one of them, riding free. It was never simple with women but it was unconditional about horses. Their spirits are set free and I feel so lucky to have known them. I celebrate their legacy. My condolences to their near and dear… Wherever [Clint] is, I hope that he’s on his favorite horse, riding free, getting together for a few good ones with Phil Carey.” Strasser’s entire message can be heard on her hotline by calling (212) 414-5300. And Ritchie’s long-time onscreen love interest Erika Slezak also recalled her time working with Ritchie on “OLTL” for twenty years. “I was incredibly sad to learn that my colleague and friend, Clint Ritchie, passed away on January 31. Clint and I worked together for nearly twenty years, and shared some wonderful stories together. Clint will be missed by me and his family here at ‘One Life to Live.'” Although Ritchie, who was often quoted as saying “Hey, I may live on a ranch, but I did not just fall off a turnip truck,” once dated Candice Earley (ex-Donna, “All My Children”), the actor was never married and had no children. He is survived by two sisters, Darlys Patton and Marge Virgil, one brother, Roger Ritchie, and countless friends and fans. He was predeceased in death by his parents, J.C. and Charlotte Ritchie and one sister, Charlyne. The Chapel of the Angels Mortuary in Grass Valley, California is handling the funeral arrangements. A memorial service is presently being planned and will be announced at a later date. Fans may pay their respects by visiting Clint Ritchie’s official website/fan club headquarters at http://www.clintritchie.com/. “One Life to Live” airs Weekdays on ABC. Weeknights on SOAPnet. Check local listings.