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Ronald Dean Whitney

Born: August 23, 1949; Wheeling, WV.

Orphaned at the age of three when his parents were sucked into a sink hole, Whitney was taken in and raised by his ultra-conservative, deeply religious great aunt Myra Dean. Aunt Myra was a strict disciplinarian and a firm believer in corporal punishment. The young Whitney sought refuge from the stiflingly repressive environment in his first love, music. Frustrated in his attempts to master the guitar by his diminutive hands, he turned to the drums and became a proficient percussionist by the tender age of six.

Coming of age in the sixties, Whitney discovered himself a free-thinking liberal in a myopic middle-class world. As a junior in high school, he joined a rock band called the Suede Dazies and started playing proms and small clubs mostly out-of-state. Unsure about a future career path, he spent the next several years attending a local junior college and working in a string of menial jobs, including coal miner, short order cook, logger, ditch digger, gas pumper and steel factory worker.
Ronald Dean Whitney in his one great role: Wade Cantrell.

Aimless and adrift, Whitney was searching for a sense of purpose in his life when Suede Dazies frontman Alf Scanlon approached him in 1977 with the idea of going to Los Angeles with the band to pursue a recording career. Whitney readily agreed and in a few short weeks found himself living in a squalid apartment in West Hollywood. A month later the band would be broken up and a penniless Whitney would find himself working as a parking attendant at the swank "La Vie" restaurant in Beverly Hills. It was here that a close encounter with the hood of Kresky producer Matt Jameson's Mercedes (see Season Three Production History) propelled the young man through an astounding reversal of fortune.

Despite Whitney's excellent body of work on Kresky and Cantrell, the West Virginian never really considered himself an actor and was frequently quoted in the press as "not caring for show biz". In 1980, the reluctant thespian even had to brave a "Ron is dead" rumor which purported that the actor had died in an on-set fire and had been replaced by a look-a-like. Although the story was most likely generated by a fan, counter-rumors immediately popped up attributing the report to both a bitter Matterly and a publicity hungry network.

In 1982, soured by his experiences on the two series, he quit the profession entirely and redirected his energies into the burgeoning computer software field. Working in a garage with former Suede Dazies bassist and computer prodigy Bucky Steward, the neophyte Whitney began to build a pioneering computer gaming business. Twenty years later, the two men would find themselves the heads of Stewhitcomp Software, Inc., the multibillion dollar success story responsible for such best-selling interactive CD-rom games as "Realms of the Gryffyn", "Goremaster General" and " Hang-glider Simulator II".

In 1994, Whitney married ESPN II fitness star Melody Shayne. They live in a rustic mansion on the northern California coast and raise Chinese Pug dogs in their free time.

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