Tuesday, September 27, 2016

James Westmoreland Dead at 80

James Westmoreland
Actor James Westmoreland died on September 14 in Palm Desert, California. He was 80.

Westmoreland, who also went by the stage name Rad Fulton, appeared in The Monroes (as Ruel Jaxon in 1966-67), General Hospital (as Teddy Holmes in 1972), and The Young and the Restless (as Decker in 1982).

Born on November 25, 1935, in Dearborn, Michigan, Westmoreland went to New York City after graduating high school. After doing modeling work there, he moved to Hollywood to pursue an acting career.

During the 1950s, agent Henry Willson, represented Westmoreland, gave him the name Rad Fulton. Westmoreland appeared in films and television shows including Marjorie Morningstar, No Time for Sergeants, High School Confidential, and The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis.

Westmoreland wrote about working on General Hospital in a story posted on his website.

"When I arrived on stage 3 the whole cast was there and Jim [Young] introduced me to all," he wrote. "I made sure Jim Young was watching me when I dropped my script into the wastebasket. I was put into a hospital bed because I was brought to the hospital ward because I had Serum Hepatitis that my character, Teddy Holmes, had picked up in Vietnam for shooting up with dirty needles. My scene was shot live with three cameras rolling to catch all angles. I was in a delirious state of mind during the whole scene, and the twenty pages of dialog I had studied the whole previous evening paid off to the producer’s delight. From that day on I never carried a script with me because I always made sure I was prepared for that day of shooting. General Hospital was fun for me and the cast were all professionals and easy to get along with. Unfortunately after working on at least one hundred and forty shows I came down with a serious illness and I had to leave the show and the most wonderful part I had ever had came to an end."

The character turned out to be a great con artist and Westmoreland played him in about 150 episodes until his real life health issues arose. Future Ryan's Hope star John Gabriel later played the role.

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