Andrea Evans, a well-known actor who gained popularity in the 1970s and ’80s for her role as the rebellious teenager Tina Lord on the ABC soap opera “One Life To Live,” passed away from cancer at the age of 66. Casting director Don Carroll announced her death.
After her breakthrough role on “One Life To Live,” Evans went on to portray Patty Williams on CBS’ “The Young and the Restless,” Tawny Moore on CBS’ “The Bold and the Beautiful,” Rebecca Hotchkiss on NBC’s “Passions,” and Patty Walker on Amazon Prime’s “The Bay.”
Born in Aurora, Illinois, Evans started her career by participating in beauty pageants and performing in regional theater. Her journey took a significant turn when she appeared as an extra in Brian De Palma’s 1978 horror classic “The Fury.” In the same year, she also appeared in the miniseries “The Awakening Land,” catching the attention of Mary Jo Slater, a renowned casting director in the soap opera industry. Impressed by Evans’ talent, Slater offered her the coveted role of Tina Lord, a character akin to “All My Children’s” Erica Kane.
Robin Strasser, Evans’ co-star from “One Life To Live,” fondly remembered her as an intelligent and determined woman. Strasser admired Evans’ fearlessness and expressed deep sadness over her passing.
Evans’ portrayal of the rebellious Tina Lord resonated with viewers, and she continued in the role until 1981. Following that, she took on the character of Patty Williams on “The Young and the Restless” from 1983 to 1984. Evans returned to “One Life To Live” in 1985, earning herself a Daytime Emmy nomination in 1988.
However, two years after her Emmy nomination, Evans unexpectedly left the show and remained out of the public eye for almost a decade. It was later revealed that she had been the victim of a stalker. In a 2008 interview with People magazine, Evans shared the harrowing experiences that led her to abandon her career and leave New York City.
She recounted a disturbing incident in 1987 when the stalker confronted her in the lobby of the Manhattan studio where “One Life To Live” was filmed. The stalker then attempted suicide by slashing his wrists on the studio’s front steps and identified Evans as his next of kin.
He continued to send her blood-written death threats. Several years later, the man was apprehended outside the Secretary of State’s office in Washington, D.C., armed with a meat cleaver and carrying a picture of Evans. These traumatic events deeply affected Evans and left her fearful of public engagements.
In 2008 and 2011, Evans made a comeback to “One Life To Live,” reprising her iconic role. She expressed her desire to fulfill the audience’s expectations and find closure for her earlier departure. Evans received her second Daytime Emmy nomination in 2015 for her performance in the web series “DeVanity.” Apart from her soap opera work, she also appeared in primetime shows.
Alongside her acting career, Evans dedicated a significant amount of time to various animal rescue organizations and actively supported the City of Hope. She is survived by her husband Steve Rodriguez and her daughter Kylie.