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7th Heaven Actors You May Not Know Passed Away

The family drama "7th Heaven," which aired on The WB and CW from 1996 to 2007, drew a devoted following for its wholesome story about the Camdens, a large Southern California family headed by Protestant minister Eric Camden (Stephen Collins) and his wife, Annie (Catherine Hicks). The series' gentle moralizing made it a favorite among adults, while an appealing young cast, led by Jessica Biel, Barry Watson, David Gallagher, Beverley Mitchell, and Mackenzie Rosman, earned a following among teen viewers. The series, which netted an Emmy nomination in 1997 for art direction, was also noted for its wealth of guest stars, many of whom were well-liked actors from previous decades.

Among the many familiar faces of yesteryear who turned up on "7th Heaven" were Peter Graves ("Mission: Impossible") as Eric's father, nicknamed "The Colonel," and Barbara Rush as his mother, Ruth; Ed Begley, Jr. ("St. Elsewhere"); "Saturday Night Live" vet Laraine Newman; and Edie McClurg of "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" fame (it should be noted that the series also cast many younger actors, including Tyler Hoechlin, Brenda Strong, and Ashlee Simpson). Those tuning in to "7th Heaven" for the first time in syndication or on home video may note that many of these older performers are no longer with us. To that end, following is a list of the show's guest stars you may not know passed away.

Lorenzo Brino played one-half of the Camdens' fraternal twins

Actor Lorenzo Brino was an infant when he and his siblings — fraternal twin brother Nikolas, sister Myrinda, and brother Zachary, all quadruplets — were cast as the Camden family's own fraternal twins, Sam and Dave. After the Camden twins made their debut in Season 3's "In Praise of Women," all four Brino siblings played the twins until Season 6, when Lorenzo and Nikolas became the primary actors for Sam and Dave, respectively. Both Brinos remained with the series for eight years until its conclusion at the end of its 11th season in 2007.

Lorenzo, who netted two Young Artist Award nominations for his performance (one of which was shared with brother Nikolas), appeared to leave acting after "7th Heaven" ran its course on The CW. On March 9, 2020, the 21-year-old Brino died in a car accident in Yucaipa, California when he lost control of his vehicle and collided with a telephone pole. Brino was pronounced dead at the scene.

Happy was 7th Heaven's longest-running cast member

Canine actor Happy played the Camdens' dog, also named Happy, for the entire network run of "7th Heaven." A true Hollywood rags-to-riches story, the terrier mix was living as a stray on Hollywood Blvd until she was rescued by a veterinarian. Soon after, an animal trainer saw her "star potential" and brought her in to audition for the role of the Camdens' dog. Happy made her debut in the series' pilot episode as a lovable runaway who becomes Simon's best friend, and went on to become the only cast member to appear in all 243 episodes of the series.

The show largely required Happy to hit her marks and look cute, though in Season 2's two-part finale ("Boyfriends..." and "...and Girlfriends"), she enjoyed a bit of drama when her previous owners show up and demand her return. This being "7th Heaven," everything works out just fine. Happy appears to have retired from acting after the series ended; she died in October 2010 at the approximate age of 15.

'70s TV vet Alan Fudge was church deacon Lou Dalton

Lou Dalton was head deacon of Glenoak Community Church, and made his debut in Season 1's "Faith, Hope and the Bottom Line." The episode establishes Lou as a hardliner when he clashes with Eric over the hiring of ex-convict Ron Kramer (Greg Evigan of "My Two Dads") as the church's new organist. But Lou finds himself in hot water in his next appearance (Season 2's "Rush to Judgment") when he's accused of stealing church funds. The episode becomes a lesson in forgiveness when it's revealed that Lou needed the money to help his autistic son.

However, Lou exited "7th Heaven" as he came in: butting heads with the Camdens, this time over a perceived need for a more youthful vibe during sermons. He departed the show in Season 11's "Deacon Blues," shortly before the series itself came to a close.

Alan Fudge played Lou Dalton in 24 episodes of "7th Heaven." The veteran actor began his career on television in the early '70s and remained a staple of small-screen series for the next four decades, including episodes of "M*A*S*H," "Charlie's Angels," the '80s "Twilight Zone," and "Quantum Leap." Fudge also appeared in several movies, including Alfred Hitchcock's "Family Plot" and "Edward Scissorhands." Fudge made his final screen appearance as Dunder Mifflin CEO Alan Brand on "The Office" in 2009; he died of lung and liver cancer on October 10, 2011.

Audiobook publisher Deborah Raffin played Aunt Julie

Eric's younger sister, Julie Carmen, made her debut on the tumultuous Season 1 episode "Last Call for Aunt Julie." The episode established that she had a serious alcohol problem, which led to an intervention with her brother and his family. Julie later went to live with her parents, but eventually returned to Glenoak, where she became embroiled in a romance with Dr. Hank Hastings (played by Ed Begley, Jr.), who nearly killed Matt during his delivery. The couple had a long on-and-off courtship before getting married.

Golden Globe nominee Deborah Raffin played Julie Camden in 18 episodes of "7th Heaven." A popular lead in features and on television in the 1970s and early '80s, Raffin was perhaps best known for sudsy romances like 1975's "Once Is Not Enough" and the 1981 miniseries "Noble House" with Pierce Brosnan. After marrying record and film producer Michael Viner in 1974, Raffin and her husband co-founded the popular and successful Dove Audio Inc., one of the leading producers of audiobooks.

Raffin — who shared a 1994 Grammy with Viner for producing an audiobook of stories narrated by Audrey Hepburn — later moved into producing and directing for features and television, including two episodes of "7th Heaven." Raffin also continued to act, most notably on "The Secret Life of the American Teenager"; she died of leukemia at the age of 59 on November 21, 2012.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration websiteor contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Graham Jarvis essayed the sad life of Grandpa Charles Jackson

Annie's father, Charles Jackson, follows a fairly tragic character arc over the course of his appearances on "7th Heaven." He first contends with the death of his wife, Alice, in Season 1's "In the Blink of an Eye," and spends much of his next few appearances falling apart and mourning her loss. He later falls in love with Ginger (Beverly Garland), and plans to marry her, but their union is bitterly opposed by Annie. The family reconciles by Season 3's "And the Home of the Brave," but Charles has less than a season to enjoy his newfound happiness before he's diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. He eventually died in Season 7 of a heart attack.

Canadian character actor Graham Jarvis played Charles on 16 episodes of "7th Heaven." He began his career on the stage, appearing on Broadway and in the original US production of "The Rocky Horror Show." Jarvis made his television debut in the late 1950s and amassed a wealth of appearances on series like "The Bob Newhart Show" "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman," "Fame," and "Star Trek: The Next Generation." He worked steadily while recurring on "7th Heaven," logging roles on "Six Feet Under," "Home Improvement," and "JAG." Jarvis died of multiple myeloma on April 16, 2003.

Eileen Brennan was convincing as Gladys Bink

Character actress Eileen Brennan played Gladys Bink in nine episodes of "7th Heaven," including the pilot, in which Eric enlists her help to stop Matt from smoking. Gladys pretends that she's lost a lung from cigarettes, which is all the persuading Matt needs to kick the habit. She continues to display a talent for convincing others in later episodes, most notably in the Season 1 finale, "Dangerous Liaisons, Part 2," in which she assists Annie in mending fences with her widowed father (Graham Jarvis) when the two squabble over his new girlfriend.

An Emmy and Golden Globe winner and Oscar nominee, Brennan played tough, salty characters in features and on television from the early 1960s to the late 2010s. Her best-known credit was undoubtedly the feature comedy "Private Benjamin," for which she earned the Oscar nomination as Goldie Hawn's tough sergeant. Other film roles included "The Last Picture Show," which earned her a BAFTA nomination, "Clue" (as Mrs. Peacock), and "Jeepers Creepers," while her TV work included a Golden Globe for the TV version of "Private Benjamin" and Emmy nominations for "Thirtysomething" and "Will and Grace."

Brennan struggled with a number of health issues in the 1980s, including a debilitating car accident and subsequent addiction to painkillers. She died at the age of 80 of bladder cancer on July 28, 2013.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration websiteor contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Comedy legend Phyllis Diller played two wacky characters on 7th Heaven

Stand-up comedian Phyllis Diller enjoyed two typically offbeat but very different roles on "7th Heaven." On Season 3's "Nobody Knows..." she played Mabel the Psychic, who's called in by Ruthie (for reasons she can only explain) to help Simon with his anxiety over girlfriend Deena's leukemia treatment. Diller returned four seasons later to play Gabrielle, a chain-smoking housekeeper sent by the Colonel to keep the Camdens in line. It appears to have worked, as Gabrielle is present later that same season at Lucy and Kevin's wedding ("We Do").

Diller was, of course, a pioneering figure for female comedians, writing and delivering self-deprecating gags that were as sharp-witted as those of any of her male peers. Her outrageous appearance and unique voice led to a acting career that netted Golden Globe and Daytime Emmy nominations, and included her own sitcom ("The Pruitts of Southampton"), guest shots on "Blossom" and "The Muppet Show," and voice acting roles in "A Bug's Life" and on "Robot Chicken." Diller died at the age of 95 at her home in Los Angeles' Brentwood neighborhood on August 20, 2012.

Marcia Wallace of The Simpsons stole scenes in three episodes

Comic actor Marcia Wallace made three minor appearances on "7th Heaven" — she played a nurse in the two-part Season 7 conclusion "Life and Death" (also featuring Orson Bean) and reprised the role in the first half of the Season 8 opener, "Long Bad Summer."

Though these were just extended cameos, there was nothing minor about Wallace's talent and long career. She began her career in improv comedy during the late 1960s, which led to her star-making turn as Bob Newhart's tart-tongued receptionist, Carol, on "The Bob Newhart Show." Other TV appearances including stints on "The Brady Bunch," "Full House," and "The Young and the Restless."

In 1989, Wallace enjoyed a second star turn as the voice of Edna Krabappel, Bart Simpson's long-suffering teacher on "The Simpsons." She netted an Emmy Award for her performance in 1992, and soon added other voice-over work to her credits, including "Rugrats" and "Monsters University." Diagnosed with breast cancer in 1985, Wallace became a tireless advocate of early detection for decades. The disease contributed to her death at the age of 70 on October 25, 2013.

Peter Tork of the Monkees rocked out with Eric Camden

In Season 3's "No Sex, Some Drugs and a Little Rock 'n' Roll," audiences are offered a brief glimpse into Eric Camden's past when members of his old band, the Flower and Vegetable Show, drop by for a visit. Among the graying trio is a bona fide rock star – Peter Tork of the Monkees, who plays the band's frontman, Chris. The character later turns up briefly in Season 5's "One Hundred."

Peter Tork got his start as a folk singer on New York's vibrant Greenwich Village scene before joining the Monkees on the recommendation of his friend, Stephen Stills of Crosby, Stills, and Nash fame. A proficient songwriter and musician on multiple instruments, he chafed at being prevented from playing on the Monkees' first two albums, and eventually departed the group in 1969.

Solo work, including an appearance on George Harrison's soundtrack album, "Wonderwall," preceded his reunion with fellow ex-Monkees Davy Jones and Mickey Dolenz in 1986. Mike Nesmith joined them for the 1996 album "Justus," but remained absent from subsequent reunions. Between tours, Tork also appeared as Topanga's father on "Boy Meets World" and other series. Diagnosed with cancer in 2009, he kept the disease in remission for nearly a decade until he died eight days after his 77th birthday on February 21, 2019.

TV comedian Ray Walston played it straight on 7th Heaven

Two-time Emmy winner Ray Walston, who was best known for comedy roles, took a dramatic turn for his pair of appearances on "7th Heaven." Walston played a homeless Army sergeant who is reluctant to accept assistance in Season 3's "And the Home of the Brave." He later reprised the role with a cameo appearance on Season 5's "One Hundred," which marked his final television appearance.

Walston began his long career on the Broadway stage, where he netted a Tony Award for the musical "Damn Yankees" in 1955. His best known screen roles were in broad comedies — he played the titular role in the sitcom "My Favorite Martian," sang and danced as Pappy in "Popeye," and faced off against Sean Penn as the formidable Mr. Hand ("Aloha!") in "Fast Times at RIdgemont High." Walston's career rebounded in the early '90s with turns as Starfleet Academy groundskeeper Boothby on "Star Trek: The Next Generation," as college professor Glen Bateman in the 1994 miniseries of Stephen King's "The Stand," and as Judge Henry Bone on "Picket Fences," which brought him those two Emmys.

Walston was diagnosed with lupus in 1994 but remained active on screen until 2000. He died at the age of 86 on January 1, 2001, nearly one month prior to the airdate of "One Hundred."

Stage veteran Mako took part in a sensitive storyline

Season 4's "Dirty Laundry" focuses on a mysterious donation of $20,000 to Glenoak Community Church, which is revealed to be a gift from parishoner Sachiko (Takayo Fischer). The money is reparation for her family's internment at a camp during World War II, and Sachiko refuses to accept it. Eric calls in fellow parishoner Henry Muranaka to help Takayo process her long-dormant feelings.

Oscar-nominated actor Mako played Henry in "Dirty Laundry." Born Makoto Iwamatsu, the Japanese-American actor earned his Academy Award nod opposite Steve McQueen in 1966's "The Sand Pebbles," and would go on to essay character roles in "Conan the Barbarian" (1982), "Pacific Heights," and "Pearl Harbor." He also co-founded the celebrated Asian-American theater company East West Players, and lent his distinctive voice to a number of animated series, including "Samurai Jack" and "The Last Airbender," while also voicing Splinter in "TNMT."

Mako completed recording his dialogue as Splinter shortly before his death from esophageal cancer at the age of 72 on July 21, 2006.

Tim Conway made a merry 7th Heaven Christmas

In Season 3's "Here Comes Santa Claus," the Camdens divide their Christmas between gift-giving and good deeds, which for Mary means soup kitchen duty, and for Matt, a stint as a mall Santa Claus. Eric and Annie also impose additional holiday stress on the family by requesting that all gifts are either second-hand or homemade, which requires the intervention of a Santa figure with the improbable name of Rocky.

Essaying Santa/Rocky in "Here Comes Santa Claus" is comedy legend Tim Conway. The six-time Emmy winner began his career on radio and Cleveland regional television before moving to Hollywood in the early 1960s. His big break came with the sitcom "McHale's Navy," though Conway is best remembered for his effortlessly funny work as a cast member on "The Carol Burnett Show." Conway remained a well-loved guest star on numerous series, including "30 Rock," and an in-demand voiceover actor, most notably on "SpongeBob SquarePants" as the voice of Barnacle Boy, sidekick to aquatic superhero Mermaid Man (voiced by Conway's "Navy" co-star, Ernest Borgnine).

Health issues forced Conway to retire from acting in 2016. He died of complications from normal pressure hydrocephalus -– a brain condition –- on May 14, 2019 at the age of 85.

Sarah Danielle Madison was Matt's love for a season

Dr. Sarah Glass went from Matt Camden's co-worker to his wife in the space of a single evening, as detailed in Season Six's "I Really Do." The ultra-fast nuptials was all part of Matt's goal to find the woman he would marry as quickly as possible. The fast-lane approach didn't work for both Matt and Sarah's dad, Rabbi Richard Glass (played by comic actor Richard Lewis), who were already struggling to see eye to eye.

However, Matt and Sarah's relationship endured over the next five seasons, albeit largely off-screen: both Barry Watson, who played Matt, and actress Sarah Danielle Madison, who played Sarah Glass, were actually gone from the series by 2006.

Madison — who was also billed as Sarah Goldberg and Sarah Danielle Goldberg throughout her career — made her screen debut with a minor role on the "Party of Five" spin-off "Time of Your Life" in 1999. Feature work followed, including a supporting turn as an archaeology student in "Jurassic Park III." Prior to her "7th Heaven" stint, Madison had a recurring role on "Judging Amy"; after her time as Sarah Glass ended, she appeared on "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," "In Plain Sight," and in a recurring role as Matt Lanter's mom on "90210." On September 27, 2014, Madison died in her sleep at the age of 40.

Orson Bean added two 7th Heaven episodes to his long resume

Veteran character actor Orson Bean's long list of television credits includes a turn as a hospital patient in the two-part episode "Life and Death," which capped the seventh season of "7th Heaven." Bean, who was in his 80s at the time, was averaging between two and five guest shots on episodic TV each year in the 2000s and 2010s.

Born Dallas Frederick Burrows in 1928, Bean gained his unusual stage name as a stand-up comic in Boston, where the club's piano player would introduce him each night with an offbeat name. "Orson Bean" got the best audience response, and he would go on to log appearances on radio, Broadway, television, and movies with that moniker for more than a half-century.

Though a staple of TV talk and game shows, Bean also earned dozens of acting roles, including parts on the original "Twilight Zone," "Two and a Half Men," "Modern Family," and "How I Met Your Mother." He voiced both Bilbo and Frodo Baggins in the animated TV-movie versions of "The Hobbit" and "The Return of the King," respectively, and earned a Screen Actors Guild nomination as the spectacularly foul-mouthed Dr. Lester in "Being John Malkovich."

Bean's final screen appearance came in a 2020 episode of "Grace and Frankie." While crossing a street in Venice, California on February 7, 2020, the 91-year-old Bean was struck and killed by two motorists.