Thursday, December 1, 2011

World AIDS Day Tribute: Robert Christian (1939–1983) -- 'Another World,' 'All My Children,' 'Search for Tomorrow'

On World AIDS Day we pay tribute to some of the actors from the soap opera community who lost their lives to the disease.

Robert Christian (also known as Bob and Bobby) was born in Los Angeles on December 27, 1939. He died of AIDS-related complications on January 27, 1983 in New York City at age 43.

Christian had roles on All My Children and Search for Tomorrow, but his biggest soap role was as Bob Morgan on Another World. He played Bob from January to December in 1982. Bob was married to Henrietta but fell in love with Quinn. He died of a gunshot wound at the video arcade.

Christian last aired a month before he passed away.

His many film credits include Bustin' Loose and ...And Justice for All, which also starred daytime legend Larry Bryggman. In Justice, Christian had a memorable role as a drag queen named Ralph that Al Pacino's lawyer character is defending.

Christian's friend, Bonnie Greer, remembered him in the September 2002 issue of In The Family magazine.

In the role of the Black drag queen whom Pacino helps, is my first friend who died from AIDS, the actor Robert Christian. Bobby was one of those New York actors who could play anything. He lived hard, partied hard, and did all the big roles. One day I got a call from a friend saying that Bobby was in hospital with pneumonia. We all thought it was strange. I expected to see him very soon, being his same crazy self, only, maybe a bit weaker from the illness. Bobby died two weeks after being admitted. No one could understand it. He had gone so quickly, so without warning. It was impossible to imagine the New York theatre world or life without him. I had had a massive crush on him, until I met his gorgeous boyfriend, and to be honest, even he didn’t completely erase my feelings for the handsomest Black man I had ever seen. But it didn’t end there.
The actress who played Christian's Another World love interest, Petronia Paley, spoke about her former co-star in a recent interview with WE LOVE SOAPS TV.

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: Do you have a favorite story from your time on Another World?
Petronia Paley: I guess the story that is most memorable to me, and most touching to me, is such a sad story. The first love interest I had on the show was Robert Christian [who played Lt. Bob Morgan], and he was a wonderful, wonderful actor, and we got along so beautifully. He died tragically, from AIDS, and it was working on that show that I learned about it. In fact, he was one of the first people diagnosed, so it was a sad and tragic time. I had this lovely person who I loved working with, and we had such a great time, and yet it was such a tragic end for him.
Read with the rest of our interview with Paley here.


  1. Oh my!

    I still remember Mr. Christian's wonderful performances from ...And Justice For All & AW. He was such a superior talent. RIP, Robert!

    Brian :-)

  2. We lost so many wonderful people to that horrible disease. The younger generation don't realize how deadly it once was.

  3. The great actor Robert Christian. In one of the greatest movies of all time-Bustin' Loose.

  4. Im watching it right now on HBO he was very striking. May he R.I.P