Obituary: Actor & Philanthropist Edgar Foster Daniels Dies, Aged 88

By Logan Martell

It has been announced that Broadway actor and philanthropist Edgar Foster Daniels has died of natural causes on July 31, 2020, at the age of 88.

Born in 1942, in Raleigh, North Carolina, Daniels’ parents owned and operated the News and Observer Publishing Company, which published several local newspapers. Developing a love for acting early in life, Daniels attended the University of North Carolina, and then Columbia University, where he studied acting under Milton Smith, who was the former director of their School of Dramatic Arts.

His career lasted for three decades, with appearances on stage and screen, in television shows such as “Bonanza,” “The Young and the Restless,” and “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.”

Retiring in 1983, Daniels moved to Santa Fe, where he would become closely involved with The Santa Fe Opera due to his love for the arts and his longtime friendship with company founder John Crosby.

After his family’s publishing company was sold to The McClatchy Company in 1995, Daniels established The Edgar Foster Daniels Foundation with the goal of supporting opera companies worldwide. In this capacity, he has served on the Board of Directors for companies such as The Metropolitan Opera, The San Francisco Opera, The Santa Fe, Opera, The Los Angeles Opera, and the Lyric Opera of Chicago, where he was a lifetime board member. His foundation has also supported festivals such as the Salzburg Festival, the Bayreuth Festival, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, and the Glyndebourne Festival.