Monday, April 24, 2017

Yahee Fernandes-Baxter Dead at 66

Yahee Fernandes-Baxter, who starred in ABC daytime soap opera The Edge of Night from 1978 to 1982, died on March 30 at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit after a brief battle with a rare cancer.

Yahee was born in Wareham, Massachusetts, the fifth of ten daughters of Arthur and Rose Fernandes. In 1969, she earned an Associate of Arts degree in Theatre and Voice, from Colby Junior College (now Colby-Sawyer College). She then matriculated to Dartmouth College as one of the first 70 women admitted. While at Dartmouth, Yahee was the first female, African-American cheerleader and first woman to pledge a fraternity, Phoenix. When her area of study was discontinued, she transferred to Smith College where, in 1972, she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and Voice. Yahee later changed her major to English and Education and in 1973, Smith, granted her a Master of Arts in Teaching.

Show business was Yahee's vocational calling, and she moved to New York City to pursue her craft. She became an Entertainer – singing, dancing, and acting – and a member of all the performers unions – Screen Actors Guild (SAG), American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA), and Actors Equity Association (AEA).

Yahee fell in love with Broadway, performing both "on" and "off" for many years in numerous shows, including: "The Skin of our Teeth," "Scapino," "Salute to Broadway," "Rockaway Boulevard," "Gotta Dance," "Divine Comedy," "Myths of America Smith," "Silver Queen," "Ragtime Blues," "Three Musketeers," "La Gente," "South Pacific," "Storyville," "Othello," "Hollywood Heartbreak," "The Brixton Recovery" and Starting Over Again."

Yahee appeared in more than 150 television commercials and radio voiceovers, for brands such as: Budweiser, Dawn Dishwashing Liquid, Luvs Diapers, Ford, I Love New.

The multi-talented actress played the role of Star Wilson Stoner on the long-running Edge of Night for nearly five years. Star had a memorable romance and marriage to Calvin Stoner, played by Irving Allen Lee. The couple divorced in 1982 after Star revealed the baby she was carrying was fathered by her New York director, and not Calvin.

In 1984, Yahee married Gregory Baxter and had two sons, Whitney and Ryan. She dedicated herself to being a full-time mother to her sons, and to pursue her volunteerism and community activity. For over 20 years, she was deeply involved with Hunter College Campus Schools, where Whitney and Ryan both attended and graduated. She is a member of Jack & Jill of America., Inc. She was active in St. Andrews Anglican church, the Praise Band, LaSalle Community and the Oasis Women's choirs, Harbour Lights singers and community theatre with Theater Alive.

Yahee is survived by her husband, Gregory, and her sons, Whitney and Ryan. She is also survived by her nine sisters and many, many cousins, nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews, largely in Massachusetts, California and Florida.

On The Edge of Night, Star and Calvin were married on January 10, 1980. Watch the episode below.

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