|Don Matheson starred in Land of the Giants.|
Matheson, who worked as a Detroit narcotics cop before becoming an actor, died in his sleep in the Woodland Hills home of his daughter, actress and musician Michele Matheson, and her family. He had been diagnosed with lung cancer 10 months ago.
In primetime television, Matheson was best known for playing short-tempered businessman Mark Wilson on ABC sci-fi series Land of the Giants, which aired for two seasons from September 1968 until March 1970.
Matheson wed his co-star, Deanna Lund, in 1970 shortly after Land of the Giants was canceled, but their marriage ended in divorce. He never remarried, and their daughter said they remained the best of friends.
"They talked several times a day, laughed and drove each other nuts and lived across the street from one another or within a couple blocks for the last 35 years," said Michele, who had a recurring role on the 1985-90 ABC sitcom Mr. Belvedere.
Matheson later played millionaire industrialist Cameron Faulkner on ABC's daytime drama General Hospital from 1975-76. Cameron married Lesley Williams (Denise Alexander) but had an affair with his secretary, Peggy Lowell, played by Lund.
His TV resume also included such serials as Falcon Crest, Days of our Lives, Dynasty, A New Day in Eden, Santa Barbara and 7th Heaven.
A native of Dearborn, Michigan, Matheson served in the Korean War and was awarded the Bronze Star. He joined the Detroit police force, and while investigating a crime at a theater, asked the theater director how to get involved when he noticed everyone who worked there "looked so happy," his daughter said. He returned to perform a monologue from "A Streetcar Named Desire" and joined the group, launching his acting career.
In addition to Deanna and Michele, survivors include his son-in-law, Jason, grandchildren Jack and Jolene and stepchildren Randy and Kim.
You can catch a glimpse of Matheson's work on General Hospital in the 1975 promo clip below: