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See '80s Teen Idol Peter Barton Now at 65

The actor is known for some '80s horror classics and a popular soap opera.

Not many people can look back and say they were once a teen idol, but Peter Barton definitely can. After becoming an actor in his early 20s, he starred on the TV shows Shirley and The Powers of Matthew Star. Around the same time, he started making appearances on the teen magazines of the early '80s, earning him even more fans. He considered leaving the business in the years that followed, but he ended up continuing to act until 2005. Now 65, the actor is most famous for his roles in two '80s horror classics and for starring on a hugely popular soap opera. Read on to find out more about Barton's career and his life today.

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He was a reluctant horror movie star.

A portrait of Peter Barton circa 1980
Vinnie Zuffante/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Barton starred in the horror movies Hell Night (1981) and Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984), neither of which he really wanted to make.

"I had just been talked into doing this movie called Hell Night, with Linda Blair," he said in Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History of Friday The 13th (via "I didn't even want to do it—they had to get me drunk to convince me. So it was a miserable time, and it was a great time. I wouldn't exchange the experience of making Hell Night, even though I was petrified all the way through it. So when The Final Chapter was offered to me, I was like, 'I don't really want to do Friday the 13th.' Eventually, I only did it because of Amy Steel—she talked me into it."

Barton said that he thought it was "cool" that he was going to be in the last Friday the 13th movie, but many more ended up being made after. "In my mind, I thought, 'Oh, I'll be in the last one. That's kind of cool. These things are famous.' Little did I know," he said.

He became a soap opera actor.

Peter Barton posing with a dog in 1991
Donaldson Collection/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

After Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, Barton made a few guest appearances on TV shows but only landed his next big role when he began starring on The Young and the Restless as Dr. Scott Grainger in 1988. He played the role until 1993 and then returned to the series for three episodes in 2005. Barton's final film role was also in 2005, in the movie Repetition.

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He made headlines for something surprising.

Peter Barton at the Chiller Theatre Expo in 2013
Bobby Bank/WireImage via Getty Images

In 2013, Barton was well into his retirement from acting when he made the news for something very unexpected. When a man from Illinois named Ray Fulk died, Barton found out that Fulk had left him and his Hell Night co-star Kevin Brophy his estate, which was worth more than $1 million. According to The State Journal-Register, Fulk considered the actors friends, although he had never met him. After receiving the news, Barton and Brophy reportedly thought it might be fake or some sort of scam, but Barton visited Fulk's home and found out that it was true.

He has a daughter.

Peter Barton in a video clip about "Hell Night"
ScreamFactoryTV / YouTube

Barton sometimes gives interviews about his acting past—particularly about his horror movies—but otherwise he keeps his live pretty privately these days. In a 2017 interview with Soap Hub, he did mention his daughter, Bella, who was 11 at the time. Barton took Bella to visit the Young and the Restless set.

"I probably wouldn't have gone back this time, but my daughter was my inspiration," he said. "She watches Disney and, like every little kid, wants to be an actress. She was blown away by what she saw at the studio. Everyone was so good to her."

In the same interview, Barton was asked if he could return to his The Young and the Restless role, even though his character died. "I said to one of the writers 'If you want me to be a ghost…"

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Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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