Lance Kerwin

Lance Kerwin
James at 15 Lance Kerwin 1977 No 2.jpg
Kerwin in 1977, in James at 15
Lance Michael Kerwin

(1960-11-06)November 6, 1960
DiedJanuary 24, 2023(2023-01-24) (aged 62)
Years active1974–1995; 2022
Spouse(s)Kristen Lansdale (divorced)
(m. 1998)

Lance Michael Kerwin[1] (November 6, 1960 – January 24, 2023) was an American actor, known primarily for roles in television and film during his childhood and teen years in the 1970s. He played lead roles in the TV series James at 15,[2] and the made-for-TV films The Loneliest Runner and Salem's Lot.

Early life and career

Kerwin was raised in Lake Elsinore, California.[3] His father, Don Kerwin, was an acting coach, who brought home scripts for his son to read.[4] His mother, Lois, was also a performer and later, a talent agent.[3][5] He was the youngest of five brothers. His brother Shane was his stand-in.

In the 1970s, Kerwin appeared in a number of made-for-TV movies and series. He was, said former theater critic and British Film Institute governor John Holmstrom, "probably America's leading boy actor of the late Seventies ... a handsome lad ... [with] considerable sensitivity as an actor".[6] His serious acting roles often portrayed anguished characters facing difficult challenges, such as in The Loneliest Runner, The Boy Who Drank Too Much, and Children of Divorce.

In 1985, he co-starred in the "Snow Queen", a retelling of Hans Christian Andersen's classic tale in an episode of Shelly Duvall's children's television series, Faerie Tale Theatre, alongside Melissa Gilbert, Lee Remick, and Lauren Hutton.[7]

Personal life and death

Kerwin had a daughter, Savanah Paige, with Kristen Lansdale, and four children with his wife Yvonne Kerwin. He gave up acting in the mid-1990s, but returned to the screen in 2022 for The Wind & the Reckoning, filmed in Hawaii.

In July 2010, it was reported that Kerwin was working as a pastor at Calvary Chapel in Kapaa, Hawaii, and a program leader at U-Turn for Christ,[8] a drug and alcohol rehabilitation organization. The report also stated that Kerwin and his wife Yvonne pleaded guilty to falsifying documents to obtain state medical assistance in Hawaii, after neglecting to report his ownership of three properties on the mainland. Kerwin was sentenced to five years probation and 300 hours of community service.[8] He publicly apologized.

Kerwin died in San Clemente, California, on January 24, 2023, at the age of 62.[9]



  1. ^ "Lance M Kerwin, Born 11/06/1960 in California |". Retrieved 2023-01-25.
  2. ^ Labov, William; Browne, Ray Broadus; Browne, Pat, eds. (2001). The Guide to United States Popular Culture. Madison: Univ of Wisconsin Press. p. 252. ISBN 978-0879728212.
  3. ^ a b "Lance is 'Off And-Running'" The Robesonian (Lumberton, N.C.) January 15, 1977 p. 10.
  4. ^ The Instructor 1979 vol. 88; p. 18.
  5. ^ Diaz, Johnny (2023-01-26). "Lance Kerwin, 'James at 15' and 'Salem's Lot' Star, Dies at 62". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2023-02-07.
  6. ^ Holmstrom, John (1996). The Moving Picture Boy: An International Encyclopaedia from 1895 to 1995. Norwich: Michael Russell. pp. 328–329. ISBN 978-0859551786.
  7. ^ "The Snow Queen (Faerie Tale Theatre Series) (TV) (1985)". Retrieved January 26, 2023.
  8. ^ a b Lileks, James (July 28, 2010). ""James at 15" star pleads guilty". Star Tribune. Minneapolis.
  9. ^ Evans, Greg (25 January 2023). "Lance Kerwin Dies: 'James at 15', 'Salem's Lot' Actor Was 62". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 25, 2023.

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