R.I.P. Lance Kerwin, James At 15 and Salem's Lot star

R.I.P. Lance Kerwin
R.I.P. Lance Kerwin

Lance Kerwin in Salem’s Lot

Lance Kerwin, a former child star who appeared in James At 15 and the Stephen King miniseries adaptation Salem’s Lot, has died, according to his daughter Savanah. The cause of death is not yet known. He was 62 years old.

“I am so sorry to those we have not been able to reach out to personally to notify but Lance Kerwin passed away yesterday morning,” Savanah posted on her Facebook page (per People). “We appreciate all the kind words, memories, and prayers that have been shared. As the coming weeks progress, I will share more information about after life ceremonies. He loved each and every one of you.”

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Kerwin rose to fame as a young actor in the 1970s, becoming a teen heartthrob for his starring role on James At 15 (later, James At 16) in 1977. The show was controversial in its time, garnering criticism for its depiction of James losing his virginity and having premarital sex (per Variety). He went on to appear in the 1979 adaptation of Salem’s Lot under director Tobe Hopper, whom he described in a 2019 interview as on a “whole different level from most directors I had worked with.” He continued to work steadily throughout the ’80s and early a’90s, appearing in shows like Trapper John, M.D., Murder, She Wrote, and Shelley Duvall’s Faerie Tale Theatre. Later, he became a youth pastor in California and Hawaii.

Ike Eisemann, a fellow child star of the era, posted a tribute to Kerwin on his Instagram featuring a photo of the two of them as boys. “I am beyond heartbroken to hear of the passing of one of my greatest friends and co-stars I have ever worked with, Lance Kerwin,” he wrote. “He was the child actor that inspired me to be the best that I could be because he was the best I had ever seen. Rest in peace my friend.”

Per Variety, Kerwin is survived by his five children Savanah, Fox, Terah, Kailani, and Justus.

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