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    Santa Barbara's Dane Witherspoon Dies; Actor Was Robin Wright's First Husband

    Dane Witherspoon, Robin Wright Ron Galella/WireImage

    Dane Witherspoon, soap star and first husband of Robin Wright, has died.

    The actor, best known for playing Joe Perkins on the NBC soap opera Santa Barbara, was 56. No cause has been reported. His passing was first announced by former costar A Martinez on Saturday.

    "Dane passed this morning," Martinez, who played Cruz Castillo on the daytime drama, wrote on Facebook. "People who watched Santa Barbara in its earliest days will remember him as Joe Perkins, a character to which he brought a quiet grace and deep, bittersweet sense of soul. He was a singular, standup guy, loved and admired by many. My first thought, upon meeting him in 1984: 'This is the most beautiful man I've ever seen.' That beauty went all the way to his core."

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    With his blond hair and blue eyes, Witherspoon was indeed perfect to play a California golden boy, despite being born in Texas.

    Wright was the first of four actresses who played Kelly Capwell on Santa Barbara, and Witherspoon's Joe was her childhood sweetheart.

    The costars tied the knot in real life in 1986 and divorced two years later. Wright went on to marry Sean Penn in 1996. They divorced in 2010 and the now 47-year-old actress is engaged to Ben Foster.

    Following his brief run on Santa Barbara, which ended after only a few months (though in daily-soap months that was enough time to shoot 60 episodes, after which Joe was played by Mark Arnold), Witherspoon appeared on the soap opera Capitol and in several TV movies.

    He was married to actress Tracy K. Shaffer until 2011. They had two children together, per IMDb.

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