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Veteran Soap Star Rod Arrants Dead At 76

Rod ArrantsRod Arrants

Rod Arrants, whose credits include The Young and the Restless, Search For Tomorrow, and Days of our Lives, has passed away. He was 76. No other details about Arrants’s passing were made available other than his date of death, February 21, 2021.

Rod Arrants – Dead at 76

On DAYS, Arrants played lawman Richard Cates, a bad guy who romanced Marlena Evans (Deidre Hall) after she thought Roman Brady (Wayne Northrop) had died but before John Black (Drake Hogestyn) came into her life. On Y&R, he was Dr. Steven Lassiter, a psychiatrist who treated and later married Ashley Abbott (Eileen Davidson). However, it was his role as Rusty “Travis” Sentell on axed soap opera Search for Tomorrow, on which Arrants appeared from 1978 to 1984, that shot him to soap opera stardom.

The actor’s popularity as Travis landed him a solo TV Guide magazine cover in 1979. Travis and Liza (the late Sherry Mathis) were a bona fide super couple. The two met and fell in love after Liza’s husband Steve (Michael Nouri) died. Travis and Liza battled many obstacles on the way to the altar. Search for Tomorrow took the characters on remote to Hong Kong where they played out an action/adventure storyline onboard a cruise ship, the Queen Elizabeth II.

From Henderson To Salem

Tragedy struck after Travis was killed in a boat explosion. Arrants went on to join the cast of DAYS as Richard Cates, Salem’s new Chief of Police. Richards appeared to be a good guy but he got mixed up in a drug operation and started killing people including Abe’s (James Reynolds) brother Theo (Rusty Cundieff). Later, Abe shot Richard, killing him.

Next, Arrants had a brief turn on Dallas in a pivotal storyline. He played Andre Schumann, the hitman who killed a witness that could have helped clear Jenna Wade (Priscilla Presley), who was on trial for killing her husband Naldo Marchetta (Daniel Pilon). Andre came clean in exchange for a big payout for his family from Bobby Ewing (Patrick Duffy).

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Rod Arrants Played Ashley Abbott’s Husband On Y&R

In 1987, Rod Arrants returned to soaps to play psychiatrist Dr. Steven Lassiter on Y&R. He treated Ashley following her breakdown after she aborted Victor Newman’s (Eric Braeden) baby. After Steven and Ashley wed, his unbalanced ex-patient Leanna Randolph (Barbara Crampton) came to Genoa City to get rid of Ashley after stalking the two on their honeymoon. Leanna gave up her plan to do away with Ashley, but ironically, Steven was murdered in his office after one of his patients had a breakdown and fatally shot the good doctor.

“You can say what you will about daytime television,” Arrants said in his 1979 TV Guide cover story, “but it’s the only place on network television where you get a chance to act. Look at the nighttime shows: they’re all action and reaction. On daytime, people still have conversations.”

Arrants was married twice, first to Beverle Bava from 1965-1976. They had a son together. Arrants was also wed to actress Patricia Estrin, whom he met when they appeared as siblings Austin and Megan Cushing on Another World spinoff Lovers and Friends. They wed in 1979 and divorced in 1992.

After Y&R, Arrants continued to work in episodic TV. His credits include L.A. Law, Star Trek: Voyager, Baywatch, and the 2005 film adaption of the Broadway musical Rent. His last credit was the 2006 pilot The Darwin Awards. The soap hopper’s death was reported by the actors’ union magazine SAG AFTRA. Soap Hub sends deep condolences to Rod Arrants’s family and loved ones at this difficult time.

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