Gerald Anthony Bucciarelli,
the Emmy Award-winning actor who was best known for playing the
same character (Marco Dane) on two different daytime soap operas,
passed away on May 28, 2004. His passing sent shock waves through
the New York acting community, but was felt most strikingly here
in Brookline, where the Bucciarelli family has lived for
Gerald was born July 31, 1951,
the eldest of three children (his younger sisters are Mary Lou Bruno
and Josephine Grignon). His parents migrated to America from Italy's
Abbruzzi region shortly after World War II and settled in Pittsburgh,
where his father worked in the steel mills and his mother Marie in a
local department store. The family lived near Moore Park. Jerry was a
graduate of Resurrection Elementary School and South Hills Catholic
High School (Class of 1969).
As a youngster, Jerry joined
with his friends as a player in the Brookline Little League. During
his teen years he teamed up with classmates Mickey
Moreno and Ronnie Adamese as the lead singer in a local
pop band that played
rock 'n roll music around the local dance venues. Even at an early age
Jerry had a flair for the dramatic, displaying a charisma that would soon
propel him to the heights of acting stardom.
After graduating from high school
Jerry moved to the West Coast in what he playfully described as a
"late-60s hippie exodus", where he enrolled at Monterey Peninsula
Junior College and later the University of California at Santa Cruz.
This is where he discovered his passion, the theatre. He formed his
own company, then went on to further study at the University of Washington
and Temple University.
Jerry as the villain
on "One Life To Live" - 1979.
In 1976, Jerry moved to New York
top seek fame and fortune. His stage name changed to Gerald Anthony.
He took an off-Broadway directing job to make ends meet, then in 1977
accepted an offer for an eight-day stint playing a new character called
Marco Dane in the daytime soap opera "One Life To Live." Little did he
know at the time that this short appearance would end up being a 17-year
run playing a character he described as "the first really antiheroic
character. He did rotten things but wasn't totally despicable because
you understood him."
A meeting of the Gerald Anthony
Fan Club on September 1, 1981 (photo from Soap Opera
Yes, Marco Dane was rotten, and
the fans loved him. As Jerry's character matured the accolades started
pouring in. He had become a star of the daytime soap scene and the
viewers couldn't wait to see what Marco would do next. He appeared as
Marco, and for a short time doubled as the villain's brother Mario, on
"One Life To Live" from 1977 to 1986, then returned again in 1989 and
1990. He was nominated for a Daytime Emmi in 1982.
Gerald Anthony and Brynn Thayer - 1982.
From 1981 to 1983 Jerry was married
to actress Brynn Thayer, who co-starred as Jenny on OLTL from
He then took his OLTL role to
ABC's General Hospital from 1992 to 1993, where he received a 1993 Emmy Award as Outstanding Supporting
Actor for his efforts.
In addition to his work in front of the cameras on ABC's daytime lineup,
Anthony also served as a director for "All My Children" and briefly
appeared as Rick Madsen on "Another World" from 1991 to 1992. During this
time he also appeared in the movies "To Die Standing" and "The Secret of
the Ice Cave."
Emmi Award Winner - 1993
After his time with the daytime
soaps, Gerald Anthony moved on to his true love, directing. He wrote
and directed a short movie, "Twisted", that toured the film festival
circuit. He also continued acting, appearing in several prime-time
TV shows, including "Moonlighting," "Jake and the Fatman," "MacGyver,"
"Law and Order" and "Third Watch." He had recurring roles as kind-hearted
Father Pete Terranova on "Wiseguy" from 1987-1989 and as Ross Burnett
on "L.A. Law" from 1988-1989.
In early 2003, Jerry made a brief
return to the daytime dramas, playing a bit part on "As the World Turns."
Asked why he had not returned sooner, he replied, "no one asked
me." His final acting role was as Mr. Jennings in the Spike Lee movie
"She Hate Me," in 2004.
When Jerry passed away suddenly
on May 28, 2004, at age 52, actress Robin Strasser, who played the character
Dorian Lord on OLTL had this to say: "He was a superb human being, a great
actor, so much fun to be around, so volcanic and mesmerizing in his choices
as an actor, so daring, take-away-the-net in his choices as a
Those who knew him agreed.
Gerald Anthony Bucciarelli was a charming man of dedication and spirit.
He may have been a man of energy and insight within the world of
professional acting, but he will always be remembered as a cherished
son of Brookline to those who knew him here at home.
As for myself, I can remember
Jerry and my Uncle Danny, in the late sixties, rehearsing with their
band in the basement. If I was lucky, my grandmother would allow me to
go downstairs and watch them practice. I'll never forget sitting on the
basement steps watching him belt out tunes like "Wipe Out," "Louie, Louie,"
"Alley Ooop," and "96 Tears."
Joey Moreno, Jerry
Bucciarelli, Danny McGibbeny, and Ronnie Adamese
practicing their notes after returning from a baseball game.
Danny's nephew Clint is in front with the toy guitar.
In 1981, he surprised the family by
showing up, unexpectedly, with his wife Brynn, at a New Year's Eve party
at my parents house. My aunt, an avid follower of "One Life To Live," nearly
fainted when "Marco and Jenny" walked through the front door.
On June 24, 2004, "One Life To
Live" paid a beautiful tribute to Jerry at the end of their daily episode.
I missed that one, but I'll always remember those many afternoons
in the early 1980s, spent with my family watching the daytime drama and
eagerly anticipating what "Butchy" would do next.
Jerry, written by his sister Josephine Grignon
Brother, confidante, teacher, leader,
friend, mentor, an inspirational artist. Jerry was all these people wrapped
in one and much more. Anybody who truly knew him and loved him knew he was a
genuine, good-hearted person. We were blessed to have him in our lives. Jerry
was passionate and lived his life with zest. He traveled all over the world
and tried everything from race car driving to parachuting.
Jerry was literally a genius; he was
a brilliant actor and an idealist. Jerry was part of Woodstock, the 60s
revolution. He really believed the movement was about peace, love and harmony.
He tried to live his life according to those values and wanted to spread
those values through his art. He chose the acting profession that at one
time valued true artistic talent and produced worthwhile work, but like so
many things in our world that profession has changed and has taken on such
superficiality that we rarely see great acting or significant artistry
But Jerry was a great actor and he
will be remembered for his triumphs. We will celebrate his achievements today.
We all remember his portrayal of Marco Dane on ABC's soap One Life To Live.
It was one of the most enjoyable times in his life. Not only was he acting
but he was writing and directing for that show as well. His creativity in
that part led to the development of General Hospital's Luke and Laura. His
contribution to daytime TV made them millions. After leaving the soap, Jerry
worked on television in shows like LA Law, Wise Guy, and McGyver. His
successes in the entertainment industry are numerous, from writing and
directing to commercials and on-stage production. He recently had the
opportunity to be part of a Spike Lee production. A movie he will not even
see. To this day, people tell me what a brilliant actor he is and that he
was the best they'd ever seen on soaps.
More than his professional successes,
Jerry triumphed as a human being. He touched the lives of many people with
his generosity and kindness. In the 1980s he made the single largest
contribution in history at that time to the Save the Children Foundation.
With his funding, they developed an entire village in Nepal, high in the
Himalayas, making a monumental difference in the lives of all the people
who lived there. He gave copiously to all kinds of charities, friends and
On a personal level, each person
in my family had a special and unique bond with my brother. The connection
I had with my brother was and is profound. I remember from the time I was
a toddler wrestling with my brother on the living room floor and crying
every time he got on an airplane to California or New York. My brother greatly
influenced the person I am today. He introduced me to New York City, my first
Broadway production, fine dining and limousine service. He helped me pick
the colleges I attended and after graduating invited me to live in his
apartment in SoHo. Those were some of the most exciting and carefree times
in my life. We spent a lot of time together during those years and were
great friends. He was one person whose advice I relied on. He taught me
an appreciation for myself and introduced me to yoga, good books and music
worth listening to! Most of all he listened to me and loved me. He guided
me through my journey in life. I will continue to listen for his words of
wisdom as I travel my path and believe that he will continue to be a
guiding and protective force in my life. I will surely share his love with
my daughter, Francesca and my nieces, Cassi and Carly, who will not have
the opportunity to grow up with him as Mary Lou and I did!
Dear Brother, I love you. Mary Lou,
Mom and Dad love you. Patti loves you and anyone who really knew you, loved
you. Thank you for being my brother.
For an interesting recap
of Marco Dane's escapades in the fictitious town of
Llanview, Pennsylvania on the daytime drama "One Life To Live",
visit the webpage
Llanview Labyrinth - Notoriously Remembered
- Marco Dane
Quotes From Fellow
Actors and Actresses On Jerry Bucciarelli
Frank Valentini (Executive Producer,
"Gerry Anthony was an exceptional
actor and a warm and generous friend. His dedication to his craft was
tireless, his devotion to his friends and colleagues, boundless. Gerry's
friends at ONE LIFE TO LIVE are saddened by his death, but will remember
the amazing talent and good humor he brought to his work."
Anthony Call (ex-Herb,
"I could write a novel about Gerry.
He was totally self-made, remarkably creative. Came out of very humble
beginnings. I met him when I first went on the show. His scenes were
extraordinary, particularly the work he did with Maggie Klenck [ex-Edwina]
and Christine Ebersole [ex-Maxine] and Judy Light [ex-Karen]. He was a
director, that's what he loved. He had a wonderful imagination and he'd
work with these women and they never looked that good. Ever! He would
create a structure - a lot of people hated him for it - he would create
a fabulous structure to a scene and then they'd improvise. I saw some
work that he staged in the theater. He was an alien. I'm telling you,
he did not fit in. I think it hurt him in the long run. He always wanted
to direct the show. They finally gave him a shot at two shows. They said,
'He's going to be long and impossible.' I happened to be in both shows,
which was a thrill, and he directed them exquisitely and brought them in
not long, but under the time limit and with shots and stuff that nobody
ever saw on that show. He was a funny guy. He was always learning. When
I came on the show, he wanted to get into the softball business — playing
competitive softball and volleyball with the other shows — and my image was
... the standing joke was, if there's a team on ONE LIFE TO LIVE, Gerry
Anthony is managing it and he's playing the game with one hand and reading
the manual of how to play the game in the other hand. That was Gerry Anthony.
He constantly learned. I was always flattered that he had a high regard for
me, because I thought he was such an individual and so unique in his
expression. I thought he'd look down his nose at me because I was just
playing a stiff! But he had enormous admiration for me, and I was always
flattered by that. I remember near the end of his run, we had a scene
together, and I remember one of the greatest compliments I've ever been
paid was that he was nervous acting with me. I said, 'Why are you nervous?
I'm the one who doesn't think I can live up to you.' Well, it was a great
compliment. He always looked to the stars for the best. I'm just
Judith Light (ex-Karen,
"Gerry was one of the smartest men
I ever knew, and I'm just so incredibly sad. We hadn't been in touch for a
long time, but [his ex-wife] Brynn Thayer [ex-Jenny] is my best friend.
She's the one who told me. For any of us who had that extraordinary
opportunity to work with him or be with him, it's just devastating. He had
so much to give and so much to do. I just hope that he's at peace now in a
way that he wasn't when he was here. I wish I could tell him all the things
I'm telling you. I told him that when I worked with him, but it's not the
same. That was too many years ago. We had an incredibly creative time
together and the way we worked together was so intense and so layered.
You don't have very much time to do that kind of work when you do a soap,
but Gerry and I always managed to do that. That was something that we both
loved. The work we did was due in great measure to Gerry. He was also a
wonderful director. There were things that we'd talk about and he'd guide
me to. He was much more experienced than I was, because he'd been there
for quite a while when I got there. He was very generous in showing me the
ropes and telling me how everything worked. I was always excited when I
knew I was going to get a chance to work with him ... which I did a lot.
That was a good portion of my storyline. I think I won the Emmy because of
Gerry. He was so much a part of that, giving me that story and helping me.
He was an incredibly generous person. I wish he knew what we all know about
him. It really is a shame."
Gerald Anthony and actress Jessica
Tuck on "One Life To Live" - 1990.
Jessica Tuck (ex-Megan,
"I got to work with him his second
round on ONE LIFE. He was originally there with Judith Light and then he
came back two summers in a row. My character worked with him constantly.
We were thick as thieves. He made me crazy! He'd go off the page. Written
dialogue was something to only take a look at. The fun thing about it was
it worked with our characters and as long as I could run with him, we ended
up having a very spontaneous, crazy relationship on-screen together, which
I loved. It really got me out of my 'do it exactly, perfectly,' box. It gave
me freedom to improv. Gerry Anthony had a lot of spirit. He loved what he
was doing and I felt like it showed. I really enjoyed working with him. He
was a crazy, uncontrollable spirit who I could relate to. For me, he was
coming from Hollywood, so he'd tell me stories about nighttime television
and the world outside of the soaps. I was just starting out, so it was
interesting to hear what he was experiencing in L.A. He used to always say
to me, 'Don't ever take for granted what you have on this show, because
this is a really great gig.' He was absolutely right. Some of the best times
I've had were on ONE LIFE with that group of people. He took me under his
wing. You couldn't help but love him. He was incredibly kind and incredibly
respectful to me as an actress. He gave me a whole new level of confidence
that I had something to offer. I felt like he always trusted me. We had this
kooky storyline - it was ridiculous, but the crazier it got, the more fun it
was. It was the perfect fodder for Gerry to have a good time. He was an
energy who'd come sweeping in. He was great. I think about him because that
was such a fun time and I'm so sorry to hear he's passed away. It's so sad.
He certainly made an impression on me."
by Clint Burton - August 15, 2004
Photos of Gerald Anthony Bucciarelli
and actor comments from Soap Opera Digest,
Josephine Grignon and Elva McGibbeny