Joel Crothers
Primary Series Role: Joe Haskell 1966-69

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Other Characters: Lieutenant Nathan Forbes 1795

At 21 years of age, the humble and handsome fisherman, Joe Haskell, is a resident of Collinsport and employed at the Collins' Cannery. Joe's father was a local firsherman who died at sea seven years earlier, forcing him to leave school to support the family. Joe dreams one day of owning a boat of his own. He is first attracted to Carolyn Stoddard but soon finds more of a common bond with unassuming local waitress, Maggie Evans. Suddenly, due to sinister supernatural interference, Joe's behaviour becomes irrational, as dark forces conspire to manipulate Joe and Maggie's present, ultimately leading to the destruction of their future...

Joel Crothers was born to parents, Ruth and George, on January 28 1941 in Cincinnati, Ohio. He was raised with brother Michael in New York.

His passion for performing emerged at the early age of nine. Joel auditioned and won a role on the religious television show Lamp Unto My Feet. At the time, Joel's father was a production supervisor on the show. Unbeknownst to him, his son auditioned for the show under a different name, apparently done as a practical joke. Nevertheless, by the age of twelve, he was taking Broadway bows alongside Burgess Meredith for his stage debut in The Remarkable Mr. Pennypacker.

During the 1950s and 1960s, Joel made guest appearances on numerous primetime shows, including Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Defenders, Have Gun Will Travel, Death Valley Days, Rescue 8, The Investigators, Zane Grey Theater, Studio One, Playhouse 90, Kraft Theater and Goodyear Playhouse. His later primetime credits included First Ladies Diaries: Martha Washington.

He graduated Harvard University a Phi Beta Kappa in 1962. In 1966, Joel returned to Broadway in a starring role opposite Joan Van Ark in Barefoot in the Park, which he worked on simultaneously with his stint on Dark Shadows.

For Joel, Dark Shadows was the launch to a successful career in daytime drama. His other credits in the field included Secret Storm, Somerset, The Doctors and the twice Emmy nominated role of Dr. Miles Cavanaugh in The Edge of Night. His final television role was a 1985 stint in Santa Barbara.

Joel's interests included the piano and learning languages. He also recorded talking books for the blind. He also held a lifelong enthusiasm for travel, spurred on by a solo journey to France as a teenager.

On November 6, 1985, Joel, who was only 44, succumbed to Lymphoma cancer complicated by AIDS at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Biography written by Vera Marano

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