Best known for his Daytime Emmy Award-winning role as Ross Marler on “Guiding Light” and later Clint Buchanan on “One Life to Live,” veteran actor Jerry verDorn died on Sunday, May 1 after a months-long battle with cancer. Born Gerald “Jerry” M. verDorn on November 23, 1949, in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the actor was just 72 years old.
According to an obituary published on behalf of the actor, verDorn graduated from what is now Minnesota State University Moorhead, with plans to be an English teacher. He later found theatre to be his passion after taking on several roles in various productions before attending acting school in London.
He joined the cast of “Guiding Light” in 1979 and remained with the show until 2005. That same year, he joined “One Life to Live” as Clint Buchanan. He remained with the soap until its conclusion in January 2012. The show was later rebooted in 2013 and aired just over 40 episodes which were available to watch via Hulu and iTunes.
A longtime supporter of those with Autism, helping raise funds and awareness for those on the Spectrum for nearly 20 years through the annual Daytime Stars and Strikes for Autism event, which ran for 17 years and allowed fans to mingle with their favorite daytime actors while enjoying a game of bowling. The event raised thousands of dollars for both the American Cancer Society and Autism Speaks.
The late actor is survived by his wife, Beth; his sons and daughters-in-law Jake and Laura verDorn (RI) and Peter and Erin verDorn; his sister Bonnie Simpfenderfer and brothers Jim verDoorn and Dan Verdorn; several nieces, nephews, and cousins; and those three treasured young grandchildren: Benjamin and Nora verDorn and Penelope verDorn.
The family asks that in lieu of flowers, contributions in Jerry’s memory can be made to the American Cancer Society, Autism Speaks, the Actors Fund, or a charity of choice.
A private memorial celebration will be held later this summer.