Soap opera veteran Nicolas Coster, a four-time Daytime Emmy nominee in Lead and Supporting for his role as Lionel Lockridge on Santa Barbara and a winner as Outstanding Supporting or Guest Actor in a Digital Daytime Drama Series for his role as Mayor Jack Madison on The Bay, has died.
Nicolas Coster: In Memoriam
The actor’s passing was reported by his daughter on one of Coster’s social media pages. “There is great sadness in my heart this evening, my father actor Nicolas Coster has passed on,” wrote Dinneen Coster on her father’s book page. “Please be inspired by his artistic achievements and know he was a real actor’s actor! I will remember him as always doing his best and being a great father. Rest In Peace.”
Coster was born Nicolas Dwynn Coster in London, England on December 3, 1933, to an American mother and a New Zealand father who worked as a London theatre critic and marine commander. He grew up in the United States, mainly in California. He went back to England to study at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. He also studied with renowned acting teacher Lee Strasberg in New York City. He appeared on stage with Sada Thompson (Family) in Twigs, in Seesaw with Michele Lee (Karen, Knots Landing), and in Little Foxes with Elizabeth Taylor (ex-Helena Cassadine, General Hospital).
Soap Hopper: Daytime to Primetime and Back
It might be easier to list the soap operas on which Coster didn’t appear throughout his vast career. He appeared on numerous daytime serials starting with Young Doctor Malone. He created the role of Professor Paul Britton on The Secret Storm and as John Eldridge opposite Eileen Fulton (Lisa) on the nighttime drama Our Private World, which was a spinoff of As the World Turns. Coster was paired with Fulton again as Eduardo Grimaldi in the mid-1990s on ATWT.
Coster brought to life the role of Robert Delaney on Another World spinoff Somerset in 1970; he later brought the character to AW where he was paired with Susan Sullivan’s Lenore Curtain. “Nic Coster is an actor of engaging masculine grace and audience appeal,” wrote the late Harding Lemay, a personal friend of Coster’s, in his memoir Eight Years in Another World. “Susan Sullivan and Nic Coster were adroit comedians, both trained in the Broadway theatre as well as in regional and off-Broadway companies. They’re brought unerring style and good humor to their scenes intended to offset the cloying sentimentality of romances established by previous writers.” (Coster would reprise Robert for the show’s 25th anniversary in 1989.)
After AW, Coster played ex-gangster Anthony Makana on One Life to Live. He next traveled 3,000 miles across the country to create the role of Lionel on Santa Barbara where he acted opposite Louise Sorel (Augusta.) He remained on the show until its finale in 1993. His other soap roles include Steve Andrews on All My Children.
Despite being a staple in daytime drama for years on numerous soaps, Coster appeared regularly in primetime and in film. He played Blair’s dad on The Facts of Life, portrayed a bad guy who chased Jaclyn Smith’s Kelly Garrett on a football field on Charlie’s Angels, and acted opposite Bonnie Franklin on One Day at a Time. His other TV credits include The Green Hornet, Little House on the Prairie, Baretta, The Amazing Spider-Man, Family, The Rockford Files, Wonder Woman, The Incredible Hulk, Dallas, Hart to Hart, T.J. Hooker, and Knight Rider.
Nicolas Coster: Another Whole Afternoon
On the big screen, Coster appeared in the films 1776, All the President’s Men, MacArthur, Stir Crazy, The Electric Horseman, and Reds. His other movies include The Concorde – Airport ’79, The Big Fix, A Fire in the Sky, The Pursuit of D.B. Cooper, Little Darlings, The Women’s Room, M.A.D.D.: Mothers Against Drunk Drivers, and Betsy’s Wedding.
Coster continued to work into the 1990s appearing on Star Trek: The Next Generation, Beverly Hills 90210, Reasonable Doubts, Law & Order, Coach, Silk Stalkings, Tracey Takes On, Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman, Time Cop, and 3rd Rock from the Sun.
Coster had a passion for scuba diving and was a scuba diving instructor. He maintained a foundation that puts together sailing trips and teaches scuba to people who are disabled. In March 2021, Coster released his memoir Another Whole Afternoon. The actor leaves behind a hefty legacy of awe-inspiring stage credits, and many television and film roles to be remembered by. He even had a group of loyal fans from his daytime roots called Nick’s Chicks.
Nicolas Coster had two daughters, Candace and Dinneen, with actress Candace Hilligoss (Carnival of Souls) whom he divorced in 1981. He is survived by his daughters, and his third wife, Elena; Coster was predeceased by his son Ian Coster, who died in 2016. Soap Hub sends sincere condolences to Coster’s family at this difficult time.