He also performed in “All the President’s Men,” “Reds,” and “The Facts of Life” while working with Laurence Olivier and Liz Taylor on Broadway.
Nicolas Coster, a stalwart of soap operas who appeared in All the President’s Men, Reds, and Stir Crazy, as well as Another World, Santa Barbara, and All My Children, has passed away. He was 89.
His daughter Dinneen Coster posted on Facebook that Coster passed away on Monday in a hospital in Florida.
She wrote, “Please remember him as a fantastic artist. He excelled as an actress! He has always been an inspiration to me, and I am so grateful to have him as a parent.”
A well-known character actor who frequently plays stern characters, Coster played chief of detectives J.E. Carson on The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo and subsequently made a cameo appearance as Blair Warner’s billionaire father on The Facts of Life, an episode of another 1980s NBC sitcom.
He frequently performed on Broadway, and in 1961, he made his Broadway debut playing Henry II in Becket as Lawrence Olivier’s understudy. He co-starred with Elizabeth Taylor in Lillian Hellman’s The Little Foxes twenty years later.
In All the President’s Men by Alan J. Pakula (1976), Coster played Markham, a lawyer for the Watergate defendants. He also played a colonel in Joseph Sargent’s MacArthur (1977), the dentist Paul Trullinger in Warren Beatty’s Reds (1981), and the warden in Sidney Poitier’s Stir Crazy (1980).
Coster portrayed the self-destructive Lionel Lockridge, husband to Louise Sorel’s Augusta Lockridge, on NBC’s Santa Barbara from 1984 to 1988, when he left the show after disagreeing with a plot regarding his character fabricating a death in order to collect insurance money. But he came back in 1990 and remained till the show was canceled in January 1993.
In addition, Coster played the roles of psychotic kidnapper Steve Andrews on ABC’s All My Children from 1988 to 1989 and Robert Delaney, the CEO of Delaney Brands who subsequently became an architect, on NBC’s Somerset/Another World in 1970, 1972 to 1979, 1980, and 1989. He once referred to Andrews as “Susan Lucci’s terrorist lover.”
He was nominated for a Daytime Emmy in 1986, 1988, 1991, and 1992 for his work as Lionel, and he eventually took home the prize in 2017 for his portrayal as Mayor Jack Madison on the Amazon digital soap opera The Bay.
His serial work dates back to the 1960s and includes appearances on the CBS dramas Young Doctor Malone, The Secret Storm, As the World Turns, and its primetime offshoot, Our Private World as well as the ABC drama One Life to Live.
On We Love Soaps’ list of the 50 Greatest Soap Actors of All Time from 2010, Coster came in at number 44. It was the rare soap that wasn’t captivated by or with Nicolas Coster, according to one panelist, who also described him as “smart, charming, and very funny.” He also said, “He is always spot on as the grifter/con man/bad boy who is so cool, ice wouldn’t melt in his mouth.”
On December 3, 1933, Nicolas Dwynn Coster was born in London. His mother designed storefront windows, while his father wrote reviews of movies and plays. When Little Foxes visited London, he and Taylor, who went to the same prep school (Byron House), went back to their old playground.
At the age of 16, Coster returned to the United Kingdom after living in Canada and Los Angeles, where he attended Canoga Park High School. He studied acting there and received his degree in 1951.
After appearing in Titanic, The Desert Rats, and Sea of Lost Ships on film two years later, he moved to the United States to study with Lee Strasberg in New York and to play at the Arena Stage in Washington and the Guthrie Theater (where he was a founding member).
Coster discussed supporting the great Olivier in Becket in an interview with the Orange County Register from 2006. Even at the age of 54, Larry was highly athletic, he recalled. “One night, during the first act, he severely twisted his knee. Not tonight, Nicolas, Olivier murmured as he limped off stage as I was observing from the wings.”
Coster joined Jada Rowland on the set of The Secret Storm in 1964 after being hired for the project. On daytime television, “we played the first professor and student to get naughty together,” he claimed. The U.S. Senate used us as an example of immorality on daytime television before we had an affair and eventually got married.
He co-starred in Twigs on Broadway in the 1970s with Sada Thompson, who would go on to win a Tony Award, and also made appearances with Michele Lee in Seesaw and Tom Courtenay in Otherwise Engaged.
His filmography also featured the 1965 film My Blood Runs Cold, which was directed by William Conrad; The Sporting Club, which was directed by Larry Peerce; The Big Fix; Sydney Pollack’s The Electric Horseman; Little Darlings; and Alan Alda’s Betsy’s Wedding (1990).
In addition, Coster appeared on television in a variety of shows and movies, including Naked City, The Green Hornet, Charlie’s Angels, One Day at a Time, L.A. Law, Who’s the Boss?, Star Trek: The Next Generation, and Cold Case.
After being involved in an almost deadly car accident in November 1987 that left him in a coma and temporarily lost his memory, he was able to continue teaching acting at the University of Georgia.
As a passionate diver, Coster established the Challenges Foundation in 1998 to give disabled and impoverished children the chance to enjoy themselves on the open sea. For returning American soldiers, he also started a sailing program.
In March 2021, he released his autobiography, Another Whole Afternoon.
His daughters Candice Jr. and Dinneen, born during his first marriage to dancer-actress Candace Hilligoss, are among his survivors. Between 1960 and their divorce in 1981, he was married to the Carnival of Souls actress.
In 2016, his son Ian passed away.