The late John Ingle had an even longer-running role than he did as Edward Quartermaine in GENERAL HOSPITAL, and it took place in a classroom. Before becoming a full-time actor in the mid-1980s, the native Oklahoman spent 30 years teaching drama to students at Hollywood and Beverly Hills high schools, and moonlighting at Los Angeles City College in the evenings. During that time, he helped nurture the careers of a multitude of future stars.
Here are 12 of his most outstanding pupils:
1. Nicolas Cage. The Beverly Hills High alumnus, who went on to star in hits ranging from Moonstruck and Leaving Las Vegas to the National Treasure films, apparently thought so highly of his former teacher that he showed up to introduce Ingle as master of ceremonies at a 2001 Los Angeles arts festival.
2. Swoosie Kurtz. The star of the TV shows SISTERS and MIKE AND MOLLY took Ingle’s acting class at Beverly Hills High, and in a 1982 interview recalled Ingle as “a great man who really tapped something in me.”
3. Julie Kavner. The Beverly Hills High alumnus appeared in RHODA in the 1970s, but achieved her greatest fame as the raspy voice of Marge Simpson on the long-running animated sitcom THE SIMPSONS. In a 1992 New York Times profile of the actress, Ingle recalled her as a late bloomer who was “excellent at improvisation, but she wasn’t an ingenue.”
4. Richard Dreyfuss. In a 1985 interview, Ingle recalled that he told the star of movies such as Jaws and Close Encounters of the Third Kind that he wouldn’t make it “unless he lost some of his brashness,” adding: “Fortunately, he didn’t listen to me.”
5. Albert Brooks. The comedy director (Defending Your Life, Lost in America) and actor (Broadcast News) paid tribute to Ingle via Twitter: “R.I.P John Ingle. General Hospital star and my high school drama teacher. Wonderful guy.”
6. Linda Evans - The actress starred in DYNASTY as Krystle Carrington and in THE BIG VALLEY as Audra Barkley.
7. Barbara Hershey - The actress won an Emmy and a Golden Globe for A Killing in a Small Town. She won two consecutive Best Actress awards at the Cannes Film Festival for Shy People and A World Apart.
8. Mike Farrell - The actor's 50 year career includes his signature role as Captain B.J. Hunnicut in M*A*S*H.
9. David Schwimmer - The actor is best known for his role as Ross Gellar in FRIENDS.
10. Stefanie Powers - The actress is probably best known for her work in the 1980s crime drama HART TO HART.
11. Meredith Baxter - Most famous for her role as Elise Keaton in FAMILY TIES, the actress is also beloved for her work as Nancy in FAMILY.
12. Jonathan Prince - The producer/writer/actor was the executive producer of shows like AMERICAN DREAMS and CANE.
This is just a small list of the many students touched by Mr. Ingle over the years.