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Death of David Gail, ‘Port Charles’ Star, Was Drug Related, Publicist Says

Death of David Gail, ‘Port Charles’ Star, Was Drug Related, Publicist Says

David Gail, the “Port Charles” and “Beverly Hills, 90210” actor who died in a Tampa, Fla. hospital on Jan. 16, had been intoxicated from a mix of drugs and alcohol that caused him to go into cardiac arrest, his publicist said on Tuesday.

A number of drugs were found Mr. Gail’s system, including amphetamines, cocaine, alcohol and fentanyl, according to a statement from the publicist, Linda Brown. The cardiac arrest led to a brain injury, which ultimately caused his death days later, she said.

The Hillsborough County Medical Examiner did not immediately respond to a request for Mr. Gail’s autopsy report on Tuesday evening.

The family previously said that Mr. Gail, 58, had died from complications from a sudden cardiac arrest.

Paramedics who found Mr. Gail after he went into cardiac arrest performed CPR and used a defibrillator to try to revive him, but he ultimately wound up on life support at the hospital, according to Ms. Brown.

Mr. Gail’s mother, Mary Painter, said in the statement that her son had for years been reliant on medication to manage pain from hand and wrist surgeries that kept him out of work for nearly a decade.

“It breaks my heart to learn my son died this way,” Ms. Painter said, adding, “I can only assume that his former dependence played a part in self-medicating from uncontrolled sources.”

Her son’s death, she said, highlighted victims of pharmaceutical addiction and the fentanyl epidemic.

Mr. Gail had a bountiful television acting career in the mid- to late 1990s, including his most prominent role, as Dr. Joe Scanlon on the “General Hospital” spinoff show “Port Charles.” Mr. Gail played Dr. Scanlon in 216 episodes in one season, which ran in 1999 and 2000, according to IMDb.

Years before that, Mr. Gail appeared on eight episodes of “Beverly Hills, 90210,” playing a minor part in an episode in the first season and returning to the show for the fourth season in a more established role.

“When I came back it was such a shock, I was asking, ‘How could I possibly come back?’” Mr. Gail said about his return on the “Beverly Hills Show Podcast” in 2021.

“But it worked,” he added.

He also made dozens of appearances in a variety of television shows throughout the 1990s and several films in the 2000s.


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