David Hoyt Canary (born August 25, 1938) is an American actor, who starred in both soap operas and prime time television. He is best known for his roles as the ranch foreman, Candy Canaday on Bonanza (a role he played from 1967–1970; 1972–1973) and identical twins Adam Chandler from 1983 to 2010 and Stuart Chandler from 1984 to 2009 on the daytime serial, All My Children. He has won five Daytime Emmy Awards for Lead Actor in 1988, '89 , '93, '95 and 2001, and has been nominated an additional eleven times, most recently in 2008.
Although Canary was born in Elwood, Indiana, he grew up and attended high school in Massillon, Ohio. He played football for the famed Massillon Tigers of Washington High School before earning a football scholarship to the University of Cincinnati, where he trained as a singer and became a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity. "I got it from both sides. The guys on the football team laughed about the music studies. My musical classmates could not believe I was a jock", says Canary. Acting soon became his goal, following college performances and summer stock shows. Three days after his graduation, he went to New York City and landed a chorus line job on Broadway.
The year 1967 was very good to Canary and his resume. Canary saw the release of the now classic western movie Hombre, in which he was featured with Paul Newman, Richard Boone, and Cameron Mitchell. Canary guest starred in a two-part Gunsmoke episode entitled "Nitro", and played a mobster with Jason Robards in the movie, The St. Valentine's Day Massacre.
A contract dispute that year between Leonard Nimoy and the producers of Star Trek forced Herb Solow, Robert H. Justman and Gene Roddenberry to compile a list of candidates for consideration as replacements for Mr. Spock. As revealed in Solow and Justman's book, Star Trek - The Inside Story, Canary was one of the "A List" candidates.
When David Dortort ("Bonanza", "High Chaparral", "The Cowboys", and "Ponderosa" creator/ producer) was looking for a new Ponderosa foreman, he saw Canary in Hombre and cast him in the role. According to Dortort he is, "the kind of kid who comes on and suddenly there's nobody else on the screen". Canary left Bonanza in June 1970 after his own contract dispute. He would return after co-star Dan Blocker's May 1972 death. Canary said that he loved "Bonanza", except for the on-location Nevada filming in over 100 degree heat.
Canary appeared on Broadway with Colleen Dewhurst in, "Great Day In The Morning", and with Geraldine Page in Tennessee William' "Clothes For A Summer Horse". He has done numerous musical/stage roles in shows such as "Kismet", "Man Of La Mancha", "The Fantastics", as well as dramatic performances in, "The Seagull", and "MacBeth".
In 1981, he assumed the role of Steve Frame on the soap opera Another World. However, the effort to revive the Steve/Alice/Rachel triangle was largely unsuccessful and Canary left the show in 1983, after the character of Steve Frame was killed off in a car crash.
That same year, he joined the cast of All My Children in the role of the cunning Adam Chandler. The following year, he was also cast as Adam's meek, perhaps developmentally-challenged—twin brother, Stuart. The actor brought several facets to the twins, portraying the impecably dressed Adam as a cut-throat businessman, and the big-hearted, guileless Stuart appearing with mussed hair, loud sweaters, hiked pants and an occasional droopy sock. One familiar publicity shot of the character shows him with one shirt collar under his sweater and the other collar over the sweater. In May 2009, Adam accidentally shot and killed Stuart while using prescribed narcotics. Canary retired from full time acting and departed from All My Children in April 2010 (last taping in late March and last airing April 23, 2010). Adam left Pine Valley to regain both his health and the love of Brooke English (Julia Barr), an ex-wife.
Additional daytime television roles have included the part of a cult leader on The Doctors and a role on Search for Tomorrow. Other prime time television guest appearances include:Law & Order, Touched by an Angel, S.W.A.T., Primas, Alias Smith and Jones, Police Story, Kung-Fu, Hawaii Five-O, Remember WENN, and Cimarron Strip. The actor also appeared as the locomotive engineer in the movie Atomic Train. In 2004, he appeared as mathematical genius Robert in a well-reviewed production of David Auburn's Proof in Canton, Ohio, near his hometown of Massillon.
Canary has been known to be most affable and accessible to fans of both All My Children and Bonanza. At Disney resorts, he has done "meet and greet" appearances signing autographs for AMC fans. The actor has also made several appearances at the Lake Tahoe site of the Ponderosa ranch, a tourist attraction from 1967-2004. His last appearance at the Ponderosa ranch, as Candy, was in 2002 for a PAX-TV special.
When Canary departed the soap, he had stated he intended to return to AMC occasionally. Canary returned to All My Children to reprise both of his roles as Adam and Stuart Chandler, for several days before its grand September 23, 2011 finale on ABC.