03/07/1983 at 01:00 AM EST
When actor Al Corley was fired from ABC's Dynasty last year in a row over his role as tycoon Blake Carrington's bisexual black sheep son, Steven, his character literally lost face: Steven's mug was mangled in an oil rig explosion designed to get him off the series for a while. But chalk up another triumph for TV medicine. Finally last month doctors removed Carrington's bandages, and what emerged was the golden locks and blue eyes of Jack Coleman, 25, Corley's replacement.
Coleman's only previous TV role was a year-long stint on NBC's Days of Our Lives as a homicidal maniac. His Dynasty job poses a different image problem. "When I got the role and confronted the reality of saying on TV 'I'm gay,' I couldn't help but have second thoughts," Jack concedes. As it happens, he does live in a gay section of Los Angeles sometimes called the "Swish Alps." But his 25-year-old actress girlfriend, Christine Kellogg, for one, isn't confused by his on-and off-tube personas.
Jack, who grew up in Easton, Pa., is the son of a retired history professor and a onetime fashion model—and, says his proud mother, Agnes Agar Coleman, a direct descendant of Ben Franklin. After getting a B.A. in drama at Duke University in 1980, he landed a part in a Glen Cove, N.Y. production of Grease, then moved on to L.A. and Days of Our Lives. Though he's now collecting his weekly four-figure Dynasty salary, it may be a while before all the show's fans get used to the new Steven Carrington. Coleman's mom quips happily that "due to the President's inconsiderately planned press conference, all our friends were asleep" when Jack was unveiled. But it appears the operation is a success. Says co-star Linda Evans: "Jack's so divine-looking, everyone'll be calling to find out who his plastic surgeon is."