2017-03-26 23:42:19 UTC
Erik M. Howell 1941 - 2017
July 20, 1941 - March 18, 2017 To all the good people of the world with love in your hearts, thank you for all the healing spirit and vitality you sent to Erik Howell in the final days and weeks of his wonderful life. He fell gravely ill at home and was resuscitated by his husband who, with each compression, whispered three words, as if a magical spell that would bring him to life. The magic worked, if only for a while. Erik began his life in the South, moving with his mother to New York City where he became an actor at the age of three or so. Acting was the only paying work he ever did. As a boy, he tagged along with his mother, Karen, to the Copa Cabana nightclub where she mingled with the mighty and he toe-tapped with the showgirls. They summered in Norway with Erik's grandparents, eating fish for every meal, and he never ate fish again. His lovely mother, a model herself, married a rich man with children, sending Erik off to military school. It was a harsh reality for such a sweet boy. He was a trooper, nonetheless, quickly matriculating and going off to the College of William & Mary at the age of sixteen. Erik graduated with a degree in Acting and never looked back. He appeared on Broadway and off-Broadway in multiple productions, most notably "The Fantasticks," as Matt (the Boy). He springboarded from there to television, where he took over the role of Johnny Fletcher in "The Guiding Light." Erik had character roles in many prime-time dramas during the '70s. He returned to daytime drama in the '80s in a role heard only via the telephone on "General Hospital." Many will remember Erik from his memorable turn on the sit-com "Night Court," where he played an actor playing George Washington. Erik never considered himself retired from acting because, as most actors know, you just never know. Erik knew or worked with many of the greatest luminaries of the day including Rock Hudson, Tab Hunter, John Gavin and Troy Donahue. He also worked with Richard Chamberlain, Richard Thomas and his great friend, Michael York. Erik had the good fortune to know Elizabeth Taylor, Angela Lansbury, and Glynis Johns. He also befriended Susan Sarandon, Annette O'Toole and Demi Moore. Acting was Erik's first love for most of his life until he met Randy, but he was always surrounded with love. He is leaving his most loyal friends, including Rick and Jim, his regular Sunday dinner partners; Zane, Mark, Brian, Rob and Herb, as well as longtime friends Ken, Jay, and Byna, and more recent friends Blanca, Mary and Julia, and so many others. He will be deeply missed by devoted Alex, Alma, Mike Cooper, and Dr. Solymanijam. Many thanks go out to the caring medical professionals who worked so valiantly on Erik's behalf. Gigi, the cat, was Erik's constant companion and she searches for him every time a door opens. Lastly, Erik leaves behind Randy, his beloved and broken-hearted husband. Every day, in those final weeks, Randy prayed to the good people of the world to bring Erik hope, to give him peace, and to grant him the joy of life. And it was through your light that Erik found the strength and serenity to say in return, one last time, those three magical words, "I love you." Services for Erik will be held Saturday, April 8, 2017, 2:30PM at the Old North Church, Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills, 6300 Forest Lawn Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90068. All who knew Erik and admired his work are welcome.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from Mar. 24 to Apr. 1, 2017