He was born with the name Eugene Carey on July 15, 1925, in Hackensack, New Jersey. He grew up on Long Island and served with the Marine Corp. during World War II and the Korean War. He attended (briefly) New York's Mohawk University and studied drama at the University of Miami where he met his college sweetheart, Maureen Peppler. They married in 1949, and went on to have three children: Linda, Jeffrey and Lisa Ann.
The 6'4" actor impressed a talent scout with his brawny good looks while doing summer stock play, "Over 21," in New England and was offered a contract with Warner Bros. Billed as Philip Carey, he didn't have to waste any time in bit parts, making his film debut billed fifth in the John Wayne submarine war drama Operation Pacific (1951).
Carey went on to star in films such as This Woman is Dangerous with Joan Crawford (1952) Calamity Jane (1953), Pushover (1954) and Monster (1979).
Carey's career started with ten characters in ten episodes of THE FORD TELEVISION THEATRE, a popular drama series of the 1950s. He narrated thirty-one episodes of the documentary UNATAMED WORLD in the late 1960s. He starred as detective Philip Marlowe in a 1959 series of the same name. He portrayed four different characters on as many episodes of ABC's mystery series 77 SUNSET STRIP starring Efrem Zimbalist, Jr.
From 1965-1967, Carey played Captain Edward Parmalee on the NBC western television series LAREDO, set in the South Texas city located on the Rio Grande. After LAREDO, Carey guest starred on shows like MCMILLAN & WIFE, GUNSMOKE and THE BIONIC WOMAN. In 1971 he guested on ALL IN THE FAMILY as Archie's friend, Steve, who turned out to be gay.
His first soap role was as Bob Corcoran on Frank and Doris Hursley's BRIGHT PROMISE.
He is best known to soap fans as ONE LIFE TO LIVE's Asa Buchana, a role he originated in 1979 and play for nearly 30 years.
Carey was diagnosed with lung cancer in January 2006 and underwent chemotherapy. Carey left the soap but returned for appearances until last spring. His character died last summer on the show. Ghost Asa made an appearance on OLTL in December.
Carey became well-known for a series of tongue-in-cheek television commercials for Granny Goose potato chips, in which he self-identified as "Granny Goose", portraying the company's spokesperson as a tough cowboy.