TV star Lance Kerwin has died at age 62. The small-screen actor — who appeared in the 1970s series “James at 16” and the made-for-TV movie “Salem’s Lot” — passed away Tuesday in California.
The sad news was announced on Facebook by his daughter, Savanah. A cause of death has not been disclosed.
“We appreciate all the kind words, memories, and prayers that have been shared,” his daughter wrote. “As the coming weeks progress, I will share more information about after-life ceremonies.”
Kerwin was born in 1960 in Newport Beach, California. The youngest of five brothers, he grew up in a showbiz family, with an acting coach dad and a talent agent mom.
His first TV role came at 13 when he appeared on a 1974 episode of “Emergency!”
Kerwin quickly became a small-screen staple during the 1970s, guest starring on shows including “Gunsmoke,” “Wonder Woman” and “The Bionic Woman.”
In 1977, he scored the lead role in the made-for-TV movie “James at 15,” which served as a pilot and spawned the popular series of the same name.
In a risky move for the time, the plot of the NBC show’s 12th episode — titled “The Gift” — called for James to shockingly lose his virginity to a Swedish exchange student on the cusp of his 16th birthday, which led to a title shift to “James at 16.”
The sexual nature of the then-controversial storyline prompted viewers to write letters of complaint to the network.
The Emmy-nominated show only ran for one season but was otherwise widely acclaimed, with Kerwin earning particular praise for his performance.
“Dawson’s Creek” creator Kevin Williamson later said the show served as inspiration for his hit 1990s series, telling Entertainment Weekly: “‘Dawson’s Creek’ came out of my desire to do ‘James at 15’ for the ’90s. It was very provocative and way ahead of its time.”
After the success of “James at 16,” Kewin appeared in the 1979 movie adaptation of Stephen King’s hit novel “Salem’s Lot.”
He continued to act into the 1980s and ’90s, appearing in a slew of short-lived series and made-for-TV movies. His last credited appearance was the 2002 drama “The Wind & the Reckoning.”