David Hoyt Canary was born in Elwood, Indiana, on August 25, 1938, to Hilary Augustus ("Hi") and Lorena Canary. The family moved to Massillon, Ohio, where David was raised, six years later. David is the second of three brothers: (Hilary) Glenn (1934-2008), worked as a reporter and wrote several novels, while younger brother John is also an actor.
David's father was a manager for J.C. Penney, and it definitely was not a show business family. In fact, David originally planned to apply for medical school. Surprisingly, it was his dad who encouraged him to give singing and acting a try.
The young man also had other talents. He played high school football (Washington High School, 1956), and was recruited by the University Of Cincinnati Conservatory Of Music on a football scholarship. He was the first person ever to graduate from the University in Arts and Sciences with a Major in Music from the Conservatory.
After graduation he was drafted, and in 1963 he won the All-Army Entertainment Contest in Washington, D.C. He was also back auditioning on a weekend pass even before he got his final release.
An agent saw him on stage in San Francisco, and he soon had some small movie parts, including one in Hombre with Paul Newman. It was that role that caught the eye of the Bonanza people.
In 1967 David joined the cast of Bonanza as "Candy" Canaday (who, unlike Hoss, was never given a real first name). His character filled the gap left by Pernell Roberts' exit a year earlier.
In 1973, after 14 years on the air, Bonanza finally folded one season after the untimely death of Dan Blocker (Hoss). Following a couple of years of guest shots and movie roles, Canary moved to the east coast, and has remained there ever since.
The stage, and musicals in particular, has always been the actor's first love, and he has played more roles than he can remember over the years, both on Broadway and in regional theatre. In New York, though, he also got something that is very rare for a person in his profession - a steady job. Since 1983 David Canary has been primarily known to television viewers for his work on the ABC daytime drama All My Children, where he has won five 'Best Actor' Daytime Emmy Awards for his dual roles of brilliant, ruthless tycoon Adam Chandler and his sweet, gentle twin, Stuart.
Canary is probably the only actor who played two roles on a show for so many years, and he enjoyed it as much as his fans did. He loved the opportunity to play two such different characters, and credits them with his awards.
He appreciated All My Children, because it gave him a steady income and home while the children from his second marriage grew up. But he enjoyed Bonanza, too:
My agent once said "Maybe we shouldn't have done Bonanza. Maybe we should have just stuck with films", because I'd made a couple before that, and I said "Nah. It felt too good, it had to be right."
Canary currently lives with his wife, actor and singer Maureen Maloney, in Connecticut. They have two children, Christopher and Kate, both now young adults. David also has another daughter, Lisa, from his previous marriage to Julie Anderson.
Now 72, the actor recently retired from All My Children after nearly 27 years. However, fans will be glad to hear that he says: "I'm not going to retire from acting. I'm just going to retire from being tense, and learning lines every day."
For now, he is taking time to relax, and pursue his hobby of woodworking.
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