Terry Lester

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Terry Lester
Born (1950-04-13)April 13, 1950
Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.
Died November 28, 2001(2001-11-28) (aged 51)
Occupation Actor
Years active 1975–2001

Terry Lester (April 13, 1950 – November 28, 2001) was an American actor.

Early life[edit]

Lester was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, graduating from high school at Southport High School, and began an acting career while at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana in musical theater, concert performances, along with numerous primetime TV guest roles. He starred in the 1976 children's series Ark II, followed with roles in Airport 1975 and the 1978 Kiss movie Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park.


Lester's big break came when he joined CBS daytime soap The Young and the Restless in 1980. He originated the role of Jack Abbott, a scoundrel who never met a woman (including his own father's wife) he didn't want to take to bed. Lester was so popular that The Young and the Restless creator William J. Bell wrote an entire family for him. The series was going through a transition period which many fans believed his star quality helped the show build more viewership rising to #1 in daytime soap ratings.[citation needed]

In spite of his popularity, by the end of the decade Lester felt his role on the show was steadily declining. In 1989 he not only quit but took the rare step of going to the daytime press and singling out Bill Bell's young daughter, Lauralee Bell (who plays ingenue Christine Blair), for his dwindling role. He felt the excess airtime given to her came at the expense of both himself and other actors. Lester was replaced by Peter Bergman, who has played the part of Jack ever since. Lester switched to NBC to take over the role of Mason Capwell on Santa Barbara for a year. In November 1992, he joined As the World Turns to play the charming Royce Keller, who was soon revealed to be suffering from multiple personalities which caused him to kill his own sister in the series. The role was complex, causing raves for Lester, but the headwriter behind the story, Douglas Marland, died suddenly in 1993, and Lester once again found his screentime diminishing. He left the series on May 5, 1994.

Later years and death[edit]

The remainder of his professional life consisted of appearances in primetime shows such as Walker, Texas Ranger and Star Trek: Voyager along with various tours in musicals and plays. Lester died at home of multiple heart attacks in 2003.


Year Title Role Notes
1975 Airport 1975 Mr. Kelly Uncredited
1975 Barbary Coast Bret Hollister Episode: "The Barbary Coast"
1976 Ark II Jonah 15 episodes
1978 Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park Sam Television film
1978 Flying High Billy Bob Episode: "Swan Song for an Ugly Duckling"
1979 Eight Is Enough Reed Ellis Episode: "The Cupid Crisis"
1979 Dallas Rudy Millington Episode: "Return Engagement"
1980 Once Upon a Spy Rudy Television film
1980–1989 The Young and the Restless Jack Abbott 250 episodes
1985 Blade in Hong Kong Joe Blade Television film
1985 Hotel Chad Wheeler Episode: "Echoes"
1987 In Self Defense Dan Edwards Television film
1989–1990 Santa Barbara Mason Capwell 193 episodes
1995 Star Trek: Voyager Haron Episode: "Maneuvers"
1997 JAG Chief Petty Officer Fred Holst Episode: "Rendezvous"
1997 Diagnosis: Murder Jeffrey Porter Episode: "Open and Shut"
1999 Walker, Texas Ranger Earl McMartin Episode: "Power Angels", (final television appearance)


External links[edit]