Everett’s daughter told the Associated Press that he died Tuesday at his home in Los Angeles after a year-and-a-half-long battle with lung cancer.
Perhaps best known for his role as surgeon Dr. Joe Gannon, the actor was twice nominated for a Golden Globe for his perfomances on “Medical Center.” The series ran seven seasons and, at the time, tied with “Marcus Welby, M.D.” for longest-running medical drama.
But in an acting career that spanned more than 40 years, Everett guest-starred on a wide range of television series, including “The Love Boat,” “Murder, She Wrote,” “Melrose Place” and as a closeted gay police officer on “Cold Case.” Everett found a new audience in 2009 when he acted in an episode of the CW‘s “Supernatural” as an aged version of Dean Winchester, usually played by Jensen Ackles. He recently appeared in the TV series “Castle.”
Everett’s interest in acting began in high school, when he took theater classes in Dearborn, Mich. Everett then attended Wayne State University before moving to Los Angeles and signing a Warner Bros. contract. According to his agent, Everett — born Raymon Lee Cramton on June 11, 1937 — changed his name because he was tired of explaining “Raymon, no ‘D’, Cramton, no ‘P.’”
He began his career with a small role on the detective drama “Surfside 6,” and he followed that with a more notable part in “Claudelle Inglish.”
A conservative Republican, Everett made headlines in 1972 after going toe to toe with Lily Tomlin on “The Dick Cavett Show.” Tomlin, a feminist, became outraged after Everett referred to his wife, horse and dog as his “property.” A 1977 Time magazine profile on Tomlin says she was so infuriated that she “stunned even herself” by storming off the set.
Everett is survived by his two daughters and six grandchildren. He was married 45 years to actress Shelby Grant — who appeared opposite him on “Medical Center” as a dying young woman — until her death last year.
– Carina MacKenzie contributed to this report