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Beth Peters, Actor on ‘General Hospital,’ Dies at 92

Beth Peters, an actor and singer who had a recurring role on “General Hospital,” died on March 14 in central Florida after a short illness. She was 92.

In the early 1980s, Peters appeared in eight episodes of the popular ABC soap opera as the character Mrs. Whitaker. In an obituary for Peters provided to Variety by her son, her character description reads, “The motherly Mrs. Whitaker dispensed country wisdom from her farm kitchen in Beecher’s Corners, serving as a surrogate mother to Laura Spencer, played by Genie Francis, as the teenager’s story arc saw her fall in love with Luke Spencer, portrayed by Anthony Geary.”

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Peters started her acting and singing career as a teenager in coastal New Jersey. In 1955, she appeared on Broadway for the first time as an extra for the play “Inherit the Wind,” later taking on the role of Mrs. Brady in the last months of the show’s production.

Peters acted in regional theater for much of her career, appearing on stage at the Sacramento Music Circus, Circle Star Theatre, Melodyland, Carousel Theater, Hyatt Music Theater, Dallas State Fair Summer Musicals, Fiesta Dinner Playhouse and Galveston Summer Musicals, among other venues. She played the matriarch Mrs. Paroo in “Marion the Librarian” more than 20 times. She also acted several times in “Sound of Music,” “Show Boat,” “Big River” and “Funny Girl.”

In addition to “General Hospital,” Peters’ television credits include “Mr. Belvedere,” “Quantum Leap,” “Beyond Belief,” “Hart to Hart,” “Simon and Simon,” “Highway to Heaven” and “The Waltons,” among other titles. She also appeared in the films “Where Love Has Gone,” “Fitzwilly,” “Kandyland” and “Back to School.”

Peters is survived by her son Sean Williams, step-daughters Barbara Davison (Don) and Monica Lange, as well as nieces, nephews, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She is predeceased by her husband Jack Danon, who died in 1996; he was also an actor.

Peters was a longstanding member of the Actor’s Equity Association, Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Peters’ name to the Entertainment Community Fund.

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