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Roscoe Born (1950–2020), “One Life to Live,” “The Young and the Restless” actor

by Linnea Crowther

Roscoe Born was an actor best known for his roles on soap operas including “One Life to Live” and “The Young and the Restless.” He was Emmy nominated for his performance on “Santa Barbara.”

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Died: March 3, 2020 (Who else died on March 3?)


Details of death: Died at the age of 69.

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Notable roles: Born’s entry to soap operas came in 1981 when he played Joe Novak on “Ryan’s Hope,” a role that lasted two years. In 1985, he took one of his most recognizable roles, the villainous Mitch Laurence on “One Life to Live.” Born played Mitch for two years until the character’s murder, then returned in 2002, when viewers learned the character had faked his death. Born returned to “One Life to Live” several times in recent years. From 1989 to 1991, he played twins Robert Barr and Quinn Armitage on “Santa Barbara,” and in 1997, he played villain Jim Thomasen on “All My Children.” Born also had roles outside of soap operas, including guest spots on “The Rockford Files,” “The Incredible Hulk,” and “Murder, She Wrote.”

Born’s favorite story from his time in soap operas: “For the last several shows in my first stint on ‘One Life to Live,’ Mitch was trying to escape Llanview disguised as a biker. Before going in front of the cameras the first morning, wearing a heavily padded t-shirt and vest and sporting a long, scraggly male pattern baldness wig, I went upstairs to the head writer’s office, lurking in her doorway until she looked up from her work. She made what can fairly be described as a lunge for her telephone, whereupon I thought it best for everyone’s security to identify myself as her very own creation.” —from a 2000 interview with Soap Opera Weekly

What people said about him: “Mitch Laurence as portrayed by Roscoe Born was one of my all-time favorite TV villains as a teenager watching One Life to Live. I was privileged to get to write for him, and while I eventually sent Mitch to hell, I sincerely hope Roscoe is in heaven.” —Ron Carlivati, “Days of Our Lives” head writer

“I’m deeply saddened to hear of Roscoe Born’s passing. My first acting job was on the soap ‘Ryan’s Hope,’ and Roscoe was a dream to work with. A generous, soulful & talented person. My thoughts are with his family & friends. May he rest in peace.” —actress Marg Helgenberger

“Roscoe Born was a talented and generous actor and a kind man to boot. He would often say that everything he did was for his daughter. My thoughts are with her and his family today.” —actor Greg Rikaart

Full obituary: Variety

Related lives:

  • Kristoff St. John (1966–2019), “Young and the Restless” star
  • Jeanne Cooper (1928–2013), played Katherine Chancellor on “The Young and the Restless”
  • Frances Reid (1914–2010), played Alice Horton on “Days of Our Lives”

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