The world has lost another figurehead of television history. Morgan Stevens, best known for his role in The Waltons, passed away on January 26th, TMZ reports.
Stevens was born on October 16th, 1951. Growing up in Knoxville, Tennessee, the young star headed straight for Hollywood after graduating from college. His first step into acting would be an uncredited role in the 1970 television series Mod Squad. After that, he went on to play Fred in the 1979 series One Day at a Time.
His most well-known role would come in 1979 when he would play Paul Northridge on The Waltons. Paul was the son of the head of Northridge Lumber, Wesley Northridge. The character was also the love interest of Erin Walton, played by Mary Elizabeth McDonough. The two characters would end up getting married on the 1982 special A Wedding on Walton’s Mountain. Sadly, it was not a happily ever after for the lucky couple. In the 1993 special A Walton Thanksgiving Reunionit was revealed that Paul was unfaithful to Erin and they split up.
After his role in The WaltonsStevens would have his first major role in the 1982 series Fame. In it, he played faculty member David Reardon. Stevens would appear in 20 episodes during season 2, then the occasional guest star when the show was syndicated.
Over the years, Stevens also had the occasional one-shot roles on such shows as The Love Boat, The Return of Marcus Welby MD, Airwolf, the original Magnum PI, and more. He also co-starred in the TV movie Roses are for the Rich, alongside Lisa Hartman. He also played Jack Gardner, the drifting son of Joe Gardner in the 1987 series A Year in the Life.
His career would come to a halt at this point. In 1989, Stevens was involved in a minor car accident and arrested on suspicion of DUI by the Los Angeles police. While in custody, he was beaten severely by two jailers. His injuries included a broken nose, fractured cheek, dislocated jaw, and nerve damage to his face. A blood alcohol test later cleared him of the DUI charge, and he would go on to sue to LAPD for treatment of his injuries.
A Return to the Small Screen
Stevens returned to acting in 1992 to roles in The Boys of Twilight and the TV movie Criminal Behavior. His next reoccurring role would be Nick Diamond in the 1995 series Melrose Place. His career after that would be less regular and would mostly consist of one-off roles in TV shows such as 1997’s High Incident. His final TV role would be 1999’s Walker, Texas Ranger where he played Max Henson.
According to TMZ, Stevens was found in his home after a concerned neighbor claimed to have not heard from him in a few days. Police arrived at the residence to make a wellness check and found him in his kitchen. Police currently suspect no foul play and claim he most likely passed away from natural causes. He was 70 years old.
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