A Martinez, who starred as Cruz Castillo in SANTA BARBARA, revealed the news on his Facebook page:
"Dane passed this morning. People who watched Santa Barbara in its earliest days will remember him as Joe Perkins, a character to which he brought a quiet grace and deep, bittersweet sense of soul. He was a singular, standup guy, loved and admired by many. My first thought, upon meeting him in 1984: 'This is the most beautiful man I've ever seen.' That beauty went all the way to his core."
Witherspoon played "Joe Perkins" in the original cast of NBC daytime drama SANTA BARBARA in 1984 but was fired from the show after a few months.
"From the day the show started I worked 16 hours a day almost every day,” Witherspoon recalled in a 1985 interview. "I was exhausted all the time. I went to Mexico for six months to recuperate. I had to mend myself."
He next played "Tyler McCandless" in the CBS soap opera CAPITOL.
His other television appearances included THE WALTONS, EIGHT IS ENOUGH, plus the TV movies Chameleons and Asteroid.
Witherspoon married his former SANTA BARBARA co-star, Robin Wright, in 1986. He was later married to Tracy K. Shaffer.
Below are scenes from SANTA BARBARA that include Witherspoon as "Joe":
"If Ever You're In My Arms Again"
Cruz Helps Joe