Home Television RIP Actor Matthew Cowles, aka Billy Clyde of “All My Children,” Husband...

Sad news, but little info: Actor Matthew Cowles passed away on May 22nd. His manager Tweeted the information. Cowles was a cult fan favorite from the soap “All My Children” where he played sleazy bad guy Billy Clyde Tuggle starting in 1977, took a break, then returned when the soap was online last year.

He was also the husband of actress Christine Baranski since 1983. They have two grown daughters and a new grandchild. Cowles was also heir to the Cowles Publishing fortune, which produced LOOK magazine a long time ago. (It was a beloved competitor to LIFE.)

Cowles was a breakout young star in key movies like “Slapshot” and “The Friends of Eddie Coyle.” He starred on Broadway in Edward Albee’s “Malcolm” in 1966, and also appeared in Israel Horovitz’s break through one act play “The Indian Wants the Bronx” in 1968 with Al Pacino and the late John Cazale.

On a personal note: Christine Baranski, just about the nicest and most popular actress in New York, is often at movie and theater premieres. Her husband, she often said, was happy to stay at home in Connecticut. I often asked after him, remembering him fondly from “AMC” as a riveting presence. As Billy Clyde, he was scary and funny. Christine always glows when she talks about him. They have such a nice family. Condolences…



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Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.
4 replies to this post
  1. Matthew Cowles Billy Clyde character was my favorite soap Gillian that I love to hate back in the day. My condolences to his wife Christine Baransky and family and may he rest in peace.

  2. I just found this! I didn’t know he passed away. I loved Billy Clyde, and one of my favorite musicians, Jimmy Buffett even mentioned him in “The weather is here, I wish you were beautiful,” “Oh, Billy Clyde wasn’t insane.” Oh, man my condolences to Ms Baranski, and RIP Matthew.

  3. Matthew Cowles was a riveting presence on AMC. It was a real treat and pleasant surprise to see him on the AMC reboot. My condolences to his family and friends.

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