Former child star Lance Kerwin, known for James at 16 and Salem’s Lot, died on Tuesday, January 24, 2023. His daughter, Savanah, announced his passing on Facebook, though she did not provide a cause of death. He was 62 years old.
Kerwin played title character James Hunter on James at 16, about a teenage boy who must adjust to his new life in Boston after his family relocates there from Oregon. His role on the late ‘70s drama turned Kerwin into a teen heartthrob. In ’79, he played Mark Petrie, a boy tormented by vampires in Salem’s Lot, the miniseries adaptation of Stephen King’s novel.
He was born on November 6, 1960 in Newport Beach, California, to a father who was an acting coach and a mother who was a talent agent. Kerwin’s acting career began in episodes of Emergency!, Shazam!, Little House on the Prairie, Police Story, and the TV movies The Greatest Gift and Reflections of Murder – all in 1974.
Before James at 16, Kerwin was also in Gunsmoke, Escape to Witch Mountain, Long Way Home, he starred in the short-lived series The Family Holvak, ABC Afterschool Specials, Wonder Woman, and The Bionic Woman. In the ‘80s, Kerwin was in The Boy Who Drank Too Much, Side Show, a few episodes of Insight, Trapper John, M.D., and Murder, She Wrote.
Kerwin’s acting career slowed down in the ‘90s with roles in The New Adam-12, The New Lassie, and Outbreak. In 2022, he returned to acting in The Wind & the Reckoning.