Soap opera fans are mourning the loss of a popular "All My Children" actor.
Cowles was best known for his role as Billy Clyde Tuggle, a villainous character he created and portrayed for more than four decades.
No cause of death has been released, but his manager Tsu Tsu Stanton confirmed his passing. On Thursday, Stanton tweeted, "He was a very gifted and kind man who loved life and everyone."
Fans, along with other industry leaders, also expressed their sadness on social media. Actor Alec Baldwin had this to say on Twitter: "Deeply sorry to learn about Matthew Cowles, who I worked with on two films. A great gentleman..."
Besides his soap opera stardom, Cowles also appeared in a series of small parts in TV series over the years, including bit roles in Kojak (1976), Miami Vice (1985), Law & Order (1991) and a recurring role in HBO's Oz (2003) and BBC One's Life on Mars (2008-09).
He played the trainer for the minor-league Charlestown Chiefs hockey team in Paul Newman's Slap Shot (1977) and had roles on The Juror (1996) and Martin Scorsese's Shutter Island (2010).
Survivors include his wife of more than 30 years, Christine Baranski. Most recently associated for her role on "The Good Wife," Baranski is a multiple Emmy nominee and Tony award winner.