danfling's Cancelled Soap Opera Messageboard (includes The Edge of Night)
Edge actors/set the record straight
Sun Jul 19, 2009 4:20pm

I don't even know where to begin with all these comments. Let me set the record straight, so to speak, on what I know to be true.

Dennis Parker was HIV+. So were Joel Crothers (Miles Cavanaugh) and Irving Allen Lee (Calvin Stoner). To my knowledge Chris Jarrett wasn't HIV+. Chris Jarrett was a stage name. The actor is not listed in the social security death index under his stage name or his real name. I have also been in contact with a childhood friend of Jarrett who says he isn't dead. This is according to Jarrett's own son. Sharon Gabet (Raven) has also stated that as far as she knows, he's alive. Jarrett is an artist now and no longer acts.

Dennis Parker's death is somewhat of a mystery. His real name wasn't Dennis Parker nor was it Wade Nichols. His real name was Dennis Posa. I met him several times in the late 70's/early 80's and found him to be a very nice guy. He adopted the stage name Wade Nichols in the mid-70's when he made a number of x-rated movies. Contrary to some reports, Dennis was indeed gay in real life, although he made some heterosexual porn. He tried to launch a singing career in the late 70's and move into "legitimate" acting. For this, he kept his real first name of Dennis and adopted Parker for his last. This led to confusion when he died. I can't remember if I read it in Variety or The New York Times, but his death wasn't reported in the press until March 1985 because of the aliases. In fact, social security death index lists his death as March 1985, not January as has been reported on most websites. At one point IMDB kept x-rated and legitimate actors separated. Apparently they have now combined the two, and Dennis is credited under Wade Nichols, even though that wasn't his professional name. I would attempt to sort it out if I knew more about the website.

Dennis did have full-blown AIDS and was too ill to continue working on Edge. He was written out in October 1984, just weeks before the soap was cancelled. There is no verification that he committed suicide. None of the obituaries for him mention suicide. Unfortunately, New York death certificates are not a matter of public record as they are in other states. Perhaps we'll never know the exact details of his death.

A number of posts here mention other causes of death. I would like to point out that nobody dies from AIDS. AIDS does not kill the human body. It weakens and destroys the immune system. People therefore die from AIDS-related complications or complications from medications (one of which is heart attacks). The point is that someone can have AIDS, but the cause of death will be listed as the complication, not the virus. As an example, Joel Crothers' death is listed as lymphoma, which he did have, but it was an AIDS-acquired lymphoma.

  • EON - Dennis Parkerdanny, Sun Jul 19 3:33am
    didn't hear anything about suicide, but i did read that he, and three other EON performers also died of AIDS..Amanda Blake, not knowing her husband was gay or bi-sexual, contracted the AIDS virus and ... more
    • Edge actors/set the record straight — ed, Sun Jul 19 4:20pm
      • ThanksKeven Nelms, Sun Jul 19 6:39pm
        Thanks for all the detailed info. Sharon Gabet did an interview on the WOST.org site & she talked about having talked to Chris Jarrett. Interesting. Edge had another mysterious death too. A lady who... more
        • EON Deathsdanny, Mon Jul 20 12:56am
          Grace Garment..i remember Hal Sims' voice-overs at the time of her disappearance, but heard nothing beyond that..i only recently learned of her suicide...
      • Speculationsdanny, Sun Jul 19 5:32pm
        the facts surrounding an actors' death are almost always incomplete: learning intimate facts about a performer, invariably, affects the way people will look at that person - their impression of that... more
    • Christopher JarrettRob, Sun Jul 19 12:24pm
      The claim that the actor who played Damian Tyler (Christopher Jarrett) had died as a result of AIDS has been in doubt over the years. Sharon Gabet, who had played Raven, even said he was alive a few... more
      • ALIVE AND WELLEVE ROBIN JARRETT, Sat Jun 22 4:13pm
        i can assure you that my husband Christopher Jarrett is alive and well and incensed that he is rumored to have died from AIDS...
        • Chris Tom M, Wed Oct 16 1:26pm
          Since Chris is alive, and you are his wife, could you please do me a favor and ask him to contact me? I am a friend of his from university. I assume you will want some verification - tell him it's... more
          • Christopher would love to talk to you!!!!Eve Robin Jarrett, Fri Oct 18 7:09am
            Hi Tom, Christopher would love to get in touch with you. Email me your ph # at eher5548@gmail.com and I will pass it on to him..ok? He wants to know "why the hell you're reading Soap Opera posts, of... more
      • EON Actorsdanny, Sun Jul 19 5:27pm
        so many stories from so many different sources..it's impossible to know what's fact or cover..since so many actors (keeping in mind they are ACTORS) have come out with 'stories' about themselves or... more
Click here to receive daily updates