Actor On ‘Ryan’s Hope’ Michael Levin Dies At 90!
In the more than 13 years Ryan’s Hope ran on ABC, Michael Levin played the feisty reporter Jack Fenelli. He has now passed away. He was 90.
According to his son Jason Levin, Michael Levin passed away on January 6 in Mount Kisco, New York’s Northern Westchester Hospital, of natural causes.
In addition, Michael Levin made three Broadway appearances in the 1970s: Camino Real by Tennessee Williams (with Al Pacino), Sam Shepard’s Operation Sidewinder (with Garrett Morris), and The Good Woman of Setzuan by Bertolt Brecht. In 1965, he costarred with David Carradine in The Royal Hunt of the Sun (with Colleen Dewhurst).
Helen Gallagher and Bernard Barrow played husband and wife Johnny and Maeve Ryan, owners of the Ryan’s Tavern in New York City, which is located next to a hospital, in the television series Ryan’s Hope, which aired from July 1975 until January 1989.
IMDb lists Levin as having made appearances on 1,074 episodes of the soap opera, including both the premiere and the final episode. Gallagher, Barrow, and Nancy Addison (Jillian Coleridge) were the only ones who appeared more frequently.
He and Kate Mulgrew made one of the most adored couples on daytime television as Johnny and Maeve’s daughter Mary, a TV news reporter.
From 1978 to 1980, Michael Levin received three consecutive nominations for Daytime Emmys for his performance in a daytime drama series. And Levin was ranked number 24 on a list of the 50 Greatest Soap Actors of All Time prepared in 2010 by the website We Love Soaps.
When Was Michael Levin Born?
Levin, who was born on December 8th, 1932, in Minneapolis, spent two years in the U.S. Navy, studied at the University of Minnesota, studied acting in California with Jack Nicholson and Robert Blake, and honed his skills at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, where he began when it first opened in 1962. According to his son, he was pleased to have worked there alongside Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy.
Following his relocation to New York, Levin produced numerous plays for the American Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford, Connecticut, as well as the Repertory Theatre at Lincoln Center, all of which were directed by Jules Irving.
He claimed that he was hired as Italian American reporter Jack on Ryan’s Hope as a result of an advertisement he appeared in for Alitalia Airlines while portraying an Italian spokesman.
St. Benedict the Moor Church on Manhattan’s West Side hosted Jack and Mary’s wedding in 1976, which was captured on camera. In contrast, Mary was eliminated from the soap opera in 1979 after Mulgrew said she was leaving it, passing away in Jack’s arms following a vehicle accident staged by organized crime.
#RIP Michael Levin; as the fiery Jack Fenelli, he spent 13-plus years on ‘Ryan’s Hope,’ on the first episode of the ABC soap as well as the last. He and @TheKateMulgrew (especially when she was a ghost) made for a dynamic daytime couple back in the day! https://t.co/wkf4m37gg9
— Mike Barnes (@MikeBarnes4) January 14, 2023
Mulgrew later made an emotional story arc in 1983 to assist Jack to go on with his life while he was falling in love with another lady but still dealing with his grief over Mary’s passing.
As John Eldridge on As the World Turns on CBS and Dr. Tim Gould on All My Children on ABC, Levin also appeared in two additional daytime dramas. He also appeared in N.Y.P.D., The Equalizer, Law & Order, and New York News episodes aired during prime time.
He’d taken up woodworking in recent years. His wife Elizabeth, sons Jason and Aaron, as well as the granddaughter’s Veronica and Nico, are his only surviving family members.
He claimed in 1978 that had little influence over your own life when working in this line of work. It’s an absurd statement, but if I could choose a profession where I had a little bit more control, I would if I could do it all over again and could change anything I wanted to change. I may work as an architect or something like that.