It's been announced that actor Christopher "Chip" Mayer died July 24 in Sherman Oaks, Calif., of natural causes. He was 57.

Born George Charles Mayer, III, he was raised in Ridgewood, New Jersey and attended Colgate University.

He made his TV debut in the 1980 ABC pilot 'Stunts Unlimited,' in which he starred as one of a group of stuntmen recruited for espionage work.

Mayer's first major TV role was in the top-rated CBS series, 'The Dukes of Hazzard.' He and Byron Cherry were brought in as Vance and Coy Duke for the 1982-3 season after stars Tom Wopat and John Schneider walked out in a contract dispute.

Mayer and Cherry were contracted to do 10 episodes but ended up appearing in at least 17. Warner Bros. ultimately reached a settlement with Wopat and Schneider after the show's ratings sagged and they returned for the final four episodes of the season.

Mayer also contributed his voice to an animated CBS spin-off called 'The Dukes.'

He was a series regular on daytime soap 'Santa Barbara,' playing T.J. Daniels in over 130 episodes in 1987 and 1988.

Mayer was also a series regular on Aaron Spelling's 'Glitter' in 1984, and he guest-starred on numerous TV series in the 1980s and 1990s, including 'The Love Boat,' 'Xena: Warrior Princess,' 'Silk Stalkings' and 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.' His most recent role was '18 Wheels of Justice' in 2000.

In addition to his TV work, Mayer also took on movie roles, appearing in 'Liar, Liar,' 'The Hunted' and 'Hard Time.'

Mayer is survived by his fiancée Catherine and three daughters. His ex-wife, 'The Young and The restless Star' Eileen Davidson told 'Soap Opera Digest' "I am very, very sad about his death. ... Chip was a troubled soul, but he had a hilarious sense of humor and a big heart."
Tags: byron cherry, ByronCherry, chip mayer,