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John Dye: 'Touched by an Angel' star dead at 47

January 14, 2011 | 10:52 am

John Dye of Touched by an Angel dead at 47

John Dye, costar of the long-running TV series "Touched by an Angel," was found dead Monday in his San Francisco home, a medical examiner's spokesman said Thursday.

Though the cause of death wasn't official, relatives said the actor died of heart failure.

"I like the role because death isn't something we talk about much in America," Dye wrote in a 1997 compilation of "Touched by an Angel" scripts. "As a nation, we find it difficult to mourn or grieve, labeling tears a sign of weakness. Because of that, Andrew is a rather loud character, helping us face something we would rather ignore."

"Dear, sweet John Dye, rest in peace," costar Valerie Bertinelli said Tuesday on Twitter.

Dye joined Roma Downey and Della Reese on "Touched" -- in which heavenly messengers helped people get through tough patches in life -- as a sort of angel of death, though his role evolved. He was on the CBS series from its second season in 1995 until it ended in 2003.

"He turned the idea of the angel of death into something that was compassionate and welcoming," his younger brother, Jerre Dye, told Tennessee's Commercial Appeal.

Dye also appeared in the spinoff "Promised Land" and had regular roles in the prime-time TV series "Hotel Malibu," "Jack's Place" and "Tour of Duty."

A memorial service is planned for Jan. 22 at St. Andrew's United Methodist Church,in Amory, Miss., Dye's hometown.


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-- Christie D'Zurilla

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo: Roma Downey, left, Della Reese and John Dye in  "Touched by an Angel" promotional shot from 1997. Credit: Cliff Lipson / CBS / Associated Press