Michael Nader, an actor whose sharp good looks, leading-man intensity and throaty vocal delivery saw him cast on Dynasty and All My Children as romantic interests for two of the era’s most famous vixens, died Monday at his home in Northern California from an untreatable form of cancer. He was 76.
His death was announced by wife Jodi Lister, who released a statement saying, “With heavy heart, I’m sharing the news of the passing of my beloved, Michael. We had 18 wonderful years together with the many dogs we fostered and adopted. Recently, Michael was so thrilled to reconnect with his friends from the cast of Dynasty during Emma Samms virtual event to help raise funds for Long-Covid research. He was a beautiful and fascinating man with many talents and skills. I will miss him forever.”
Born in St. Louis but raised in California, Nader, a nephew of Hollywood actor George Nader, was an early and ardent surfer, getting his start in show business as one of the wave-riding boys in American International’s string of 1960s beach movies: Beach Party, Bikini Beach, Pajama Party, Beach Blanket Bingo and How to Stuff a Wild Bikini. Around the same time, he had a recurring role on TV’s beach-themed Gidget series starring Sally Field.
Subsequent periodic appearances on TV – three years on As The World Turns, a guest shot on Magnum, P.I. – led up to his big primetime break in the recurring role of Alexi Theopolous on NBC’s 1983 series Bare Essence. Popular with viewers, Nader transitioned to an even bigger hit that same year, playing the role of Farnsworth “Dex” Dexter on the hit ABC nighttime soap Dynasty. His character would become the third – and fan favorite – husband of star Joan Collins’ Alexis Colby.
After Dynasty was canceled in 1989, Nader moved to daytime, taking on the role of a wealthy, dashing and brooding count named Dimitri Marick, the on-again off-again romantic partner of the soap’s most popular bad girl, Susan Lucci’s Erica Kane. With the duo quickly reaching Super Couple status, Nader had scored costarring roles with TV’s reigning divas – Alexis and Erica.
Nader appeared on the ABC daytime series from 1991 to 1999, then returned for a brief stint in 2000-2001. Nader would later speak openly about the substance abuse issues that got him fired from the soap, including a drunk driving arrest in 1997 and, most damningly, a 2001 arrest for attempting to sell what was reported as a $20 bag of cocaine to an undercover police officer in an East Village after-hours bar.
The actor later sued ABC, unsuccessfully, claiming that All My Children producers had reneged on their pledge to rehire him if he sought and completed treatment for his addictions. (According to court documents, Nader completed a 28-day in-patient program at Hazelden). Although Nader was never rehired on the ABC serial, he reprised the role in a shortlived online revival for Prospect Park in 2013.
Nader is survived by wife Jodi Lister, daughter Lindsay, stepmother Lillian, sister Stephanie and other family members.
A Zoom memorial will be planned at a later date.
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