Benjamin Hendrickson, "As the World Turns" Soap Star Who Played NYC Stages, Is Dead

Obituaries   Benjamin Hendrickson, "As the World Turns" Soap Star Who Played NYC Stages, Is Dead
Benjamin Hendrickson, the actor who played detective Hal Munson on TV's "As the World Turns" for many years, and worked in theatre in New York City, died in his Long Island home in an apparent suicide.
Benjamin Hendrickson
Benjamin Hendrickson Photo by CBS

According to the New York Post, Mr. Hendrickson, 55, shot himself after battling with depression since the 2003 death of his mother. He was an Emmy Award winner for his "ATWT" work. He lived in Huntington, NY, an easy commute to the Brooklyn studios where the serial is taped. His colleagues on the show regularly appear on New York City stages.

Mr. Hendrickson attended the Juilliard School. In his 2003 Emmy acceptance speech, he thanked his mother, who "scrimped and saved" to send him to the famous acting school so he could play the classics. His tone was ironic, of course, as his best known work was the TV soap, where his cop character married a famously salty fashion designer, Barbara Ryan, despite his attraction to his detective partner, Margo Hughes.

The actor's weary, hangdog look and deep-set eyes made it seem like his character spent too much overtime at the station, kept awake by caffeine and flourescent lighting. Mirth seemed a foreign thing to Hal Munson, and any contentment he encountered was fleeting. In recent years, the woes of his children weighed him down.

According to the Daily News, Mr. Hendrickson was a member of the first class of Juilliard's drama division and a founding member of the Acting Company under the late John Houseman.

Among his Broadway credits are Awake and Sing! (1984), the play with music Strider (1979), The Elephant Man (standing by for David Bowie in the title role), The Three Sisters (1975), The Time of Your Life (1975), Edward II (1975), The Robber Bridegroom (1975), Next Time I'll Sing to You (1974), Measure for Measure (1973), The Beggar's Opera (1973), The Three Sisters (1973). His Off-Broadway credits include The Lisbon Traviata, After the Fall, The Rear Column, The Philanthropist and Life and Limb.

Mr. Hendrickson's last appearance on the CBS soap opera will be July 12.

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