Philip Carey as Asa Buchanan
|One Life to Live character|
|Portrayed by||Philip Carey|
|First appearance||December 1979|
|Last appearance||December 28, 2008|
|Introduced by||Joseph Stuart|
|Book appearances||Patrick's Notebook|
|Occupation||Founder and CEO of Buchanan Enterprises|
21 Riverside Drive
Asa Jeb Stuart Buchanan is a fictional character and patriarch of the Buchanan family on the American serial drama One Life to Live. The Texan industrialist father of newly arrived characters Clint and Bo Buchanan, Asa was originated in late 1979 by Philip Carey. Carey portrayed the role continually for nearly three decades, through to his final pre-taped appearance in 2008. Throughout those years, Asa's ruthless business dealings and attempts to both protect and control his family members drive much of the drama in the series.
Actor Philip Carey portrayed patriarch Asa as a contract player for over 27 years from the character's on-screen inception in December 1979, after which he turned down the show's offer to play the character in a supporting capacity in 2007; he made his final regular appearance as Asa on the episode first-run April 26, 2007. The character subsequently died offscreen in August 2007, coinciding with the series' 10,000th episode celebration, which brought back characters from the show's past to attend the funeral. In November 2007, Carey briefly reprised the role for three episodes in Asa's videotaped will, airing November 9 to November 13, 2007. On July 16, 2008, Carey appeared as Asa's ghost, and also returned on July 21, 2008 for the series' 40th anniversary, as character Viki Davidson visits Heaven. Beginning in the same episode, Robert S. Woods appears as a young Asa in a storyline in which the characters Bo and Rex find themselves in 1968. Carey returned on August 19, 2008 as Asa's ghost, who appears to Bo. Brian Victor Johnson took over the role of the young Asa from August 22, 2008 to August 25, 2008 after Bo is transported back to 2008. Carey appeared yet again on December 29, 2008, in a videotaped message recorded by Asa before his death.
The patriarch of the Buchanan family, Asa is a self-made billionaire (having purchased his first oil well at age 22) and Chief Executive Officer of Buchanan Enterprises (casually called "B.E." by the family). Born on October 31, 1924  and raised in Texas, Buchanan moves the headquarters of his company to Llanview, Pennsylvania in 1980 to stay close to his sons. Thought dead by her sons, Asa's first wife Olympia had actually been banished to Europe by Asa after having an affair. Living in Paris as her twin sister Nicole Bonard, Olympia (Taina Elg) surreptitiously arrives in Llanview and attempts to shoot Asa as he married Samantha Vernon (Julia Montgomery), but was snatched by Asa's nephew Rafe Garretson (Ken Meekler) before she can reveal herself. An escaped Olympia dons a costume and mask identical to Samantha's and reveals herself at the Buchanan Ball.
In 1986, Tina Lord (Andrea Evans) discovers that Asa has been leading a double life for years; on the tropical island of Malakeva, he is known as Jeb Stuart, and has been "married" to a woman named Pamela (Christine Jones) for a decade. Tina tells Pamela that her "husband" is not a sea captain, as she believes, but actually a millionaire with a family in Llanview. Noting that Asa and Pamela's marriage is not legal, Tina convinces Pamela to pretend she is dying to manipulate Asa into marrying her for real. He does on January 20, 1986, and Pamela springs from her "deathbed" and confronts her husband. Arriving in Llanview to live as "Mrs. Asa Buchanan," Pamela is at first a thorn in his side. As Asa realizes he wants her to be his wife in every sense of the word, she demands a divorce — and half of his fortune. Their marriage ends in 1987.
In 1999, it is revealed that Asa's on-again off-again wife Renée Divine (Patricia Elliott) had conceived a son by Asa when they had been involved in their youth, and had put the boy up for adoption. Max Holden (James DePaiva) poses as the missing heir, but Asa and Renee's real son turns out to be Ben Davidson (Mark Derwin), adopted brother of Sam Rappaport and love interest of Asa's former daughter-in-law Viki Lord Carpenter.
In October 2006, David Vickers (Tuc Watkins) finds out that Asa once had an affair with David's mother, Emma Bradley, but Asa denies it. Later, David's brother Dr. Spencer Truman (Paul Satterfield) claims to be Asa's son, but a DNA test proves otherwise. A conversation between Asa and his longtime butler Nigel Bartholomew-Smythe (Peter Bartlett) hints that there is more to the story.
On August 16, 2007, Asa dies in his sleep and is found by Nigel. Grandsons Cord Roberts (John Loprieno), Kevin Buchanan (Dan Gauthier), and Joey Buchanan (Nathan Fillion), and ex-wife Alex Olanov (Tonja Walker), return for his funeral. On August 17, 2007 Nigel tells a returned Max Holden that Asa does indeed have another son: David Vickers. Max advises Nigel to wait to tell the rest of the family, and an eavesdropping Alex overhears. She begins a search for David herself.
Asa's will is executed in November 2007 as a video is played featuring the Buchanan patriarch. He bequeaths his mansion to former daughter-in-law Nora Hanen (Hillary B. Smith), who has been living there with her and Bo's son Matthew (Eddie Alderson) since her house burned down; he also leaves his yacht, the Jeb Stuart, and his tropical island, St. Blaize's, to loyal servant Nigel. Asa also notes the existence of his other son, though not his identity, and finally states that he will not be splitting Buchanan Enterprises amongst his heirs and taking the chance that the company will be split up or partially sold. He instead challenges the family to run it as a cohesive team and, if the company's stock rises, be rewarded handsomely in a year. Alex appears, married to an in-the-dark David, and blackmails Nigel with the facts of David's parentage. Not wanting the Buchanans to discover that con man David is one of them, Nigel gives his inheritance to Alex in exchange for her silence. Meanwhile, Buchanan Enterprises up-and-comer Jared Banks (John Brotherton)— an admirer of Asa's who is already a favorite of widow Renee and circling Natalie Buchanan (Melissa Archer) romantically — overhears Alex's news and pressures Nigel to pass him off as Asa's heir instead. Nigel does, and Jared feigns disinterest, armed with a lock of David's hair to prove his claim.
The many wives of Asa Buchanan
Asa is one of the most married male characters in daytime television, having been married 14 times to 10 different women (although three marriages were technically invalid).
- Olympia Buchanan (pre-1968–81, dissolved by her death)
- Pamela Oliver Stuart (1976, invalid) 
- Samantha Vernon (June 24, 1981, invalid) 
- Delilah Ralston (February 7, 1983 – 1983, divorced) 
- Becky Lee Hunt (July 11, 1983–83, divorced) 
- Pamela Oliver Stuart (January 20, 1986–87, divorced) 
- Renée Divine (November 30, 1988–92, divorced) 
- Blair Cramer (June 16, 1992–92, divorced) 
- Alex Olanov (November 1994, invalid) 
- Alex Olanov (March 29, 1996–96, divorced) 
- Renée Divine (May 18, 1999 – 2001, divorced) 
- Gabrielle Medina (May 2001–February 2002, divorced) 
- Gretel Rae Cummings (August 2002–February 2003, divorced)
- Renée Divine (February 14, 2004 – August 16, 2007, dissolved by his death) 
Notes and references
- "One Life to Live recap (1980, Part 1)". ABC.com (Internet Archive). Archived from the original on April 23, 2008. Retrieved April 23, 2008.
- Gore, Scotty (December 19, 2008). "One Life Casting Carousel". SoapOperaNetwork.com. Archived from the original on 2 January 2009. Retrieved December 29, 2008.
- Kroll, Dan J. (March 28, 2007). "Phil Carey, OLTL again at odds over contract". SoapCentral.com. Retrieved December 29, 2008.
- One Life to Live recap (4/26/07) - Soaps.com
- "One Life to Live recap (8/16/07)". ABC.com (Internet Archive). August 16, 2007. Archived from the original on April 23, 2008. Retrieved April 23, 2008.
- "One Life to Live recap (8/17/07)". ABC.com (Internet Archive). August 17, 2007. Archived from the original on April 23, 2008. Retrieved April 23, 2008.
- One Life to Live recap (7/16/08) - ABC.com
- Logan, Michael (June 11, 2008). "Soaps News: One Life Celebrates No. 40 with Blasts from the Past". TVGuide.com. Retrieved December 4, 2008.
- "One Life to Live: Big Returns and Plots For 40th Anniversary!". Soaps.com. June 10, 2008. Archived from the original on 11 January 2009. Retrieved January 29, 2009.
- One Life to Live recap (7/21/08, 40th Anniversary) - Soaps.com
- One Life to Live recap (8/19/08) - ABC.com
- One Life to Live recap (8/22/08) - Soaps.com
- One Life to Live recap (8/25/08) - ABC.com
- In the August 16, 2007 episode, Blair Cramer notes this fact, presumably drawn from the obituary she is reading.
- Asa's tombstone was shown August 23, 2011 which reads "Asa Buchanan — October 31, 1924—August 23, 2007 (date obscured, happened on-screen August 16]".
- "One Life to Live recap (1981, Part1 )". ABC.com. Archived from the original on April 23, 2008. Retrieved April 23, 2008.
- "One Life to Live recap (1981, Part 4)". ABC.com. Archived from the original on April 23, 2008. Retrieved April 23, 2008.
- "One Life to Live recap (1981, Part 5)". ABC.com. Archived from the original on April 23, 2008. Retrieved April 23, 2008.
- "One Life to Live recap (1986, Part 3)". ABC.com (Internet Archive). Archived from the original on April 23, 2008. Retrieved April 23, 2008.
- "Asa Buchanan profile". SoapCentral.com. Retrieved March 9, 2010.
- In the August 16, 2007 episode, Rex Balsom (John-Paul Lavoisier) is seen reading a front page article in The Banner titled "Billionaire tycoon Asa Buchanan dead at 82."
- Because Asa had faked Olympia Buchanan's death, his marriage to Samantha Vernon is proven invalid when Olympia reveals herself as alive in 1981 at their reception. In a struggle, she falls over the upper railing and is killed; Samantha then makes the decision not to stay with Asa. Similarly, Asa's previous "marriage" to Pamela Oliver is invalid because he had wed her as "Jeb Stuart" and had been still legally married to Olympia.
- Asa Buchanan profile – ABC.com
- Asa Buchanan profile – SoapCentral.com
- "One Life to Live Photos and Timelines: The Life and Times of Asa Buchanan". SoapOperaDigest.com. 2007. Archived from the original on 26 March 2009. Retrieved February 19, 2009.