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Tony Award-winning performer and One Life To Live actress Patricia Elliott died on this past Sunday, following a battle with a rare cancer called Leimyloma sarcoma, which originates in smooth muscle tissue. Elliott passed away at her home on December 20. She was 77 years old.
Elliott was a longtime veteran of the theater who won a Tony Award way back in 1973 for a role in Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler’s A Little Night Music. She also earned a Tony nod for The Shadow Box. TV fans are more likely remember her for her longtime run on ABC’s One Life to Live, however. In the soapy series, she played Renée Divine Buchanan from 1988 all the way until 2011, although in later years she was a featured player who did not get as much screentime in Llanview. One Life to Live ended its run on ABC in 2012. It then had a brief online life on Hulu and The Online Network before finally getting axed in 2013.
Renée was a former strip club owner whose arcs on the series often revolved around her love life. She ended up marrying Asa Buchanan in a fashionable small screen wedding in the late 1980s; that onscreen partnership would end in divorce, but like all good soaps would not remain that way. In a special episode in 1999, Renée and Asa re-wed before divorcing and re-wedding again. It was all pretty complex, honestly. Her story mostly came to an end after Asa’s death onscreen in 2007, after which the actress would pop up every now and again.
In addition to her role on One Life to Live Elliott also appeared in a slew of other TV projects, including guest stints on Hill Street Blues and St. Elsewhere, not to mention roles in the TV movies A Special Friendship and The Cartier Affair.
Patricia Elliott’s niece reported the news of Elliott’s death to Broadway.com, who also notes Elliott was survived by her aunt, a niece and several cousins. Elliott comes from a pretty important lineage and is directly related to President Ulysses S. Grant, the first governor of Massachusetts John Winthrop, and Holyoke College Founder Mary Lyon.
The news comes a little over a month after other One Life To Live star Nathaniel Marston passed away in Reno, Nevada following a horrific car crash. The actor was not from the same generation as Ms. Elliott on the hit soap and began appearing on One Life To Live in the early 2000s. He was only 40 when the car crash occurred and spent some time in the hospital before ultimately succumbing to his injuries.
Our hearts go out to the former One Life To Live cast and crew, as well as Elliott’s family during this time.