Nikki Nelson / WENN / WENN 1 / 2
Nikki Nelson / WENN / WENN 1 / 2

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- James Mitchell, who for nearly three decades played patriarch Palmer Cortland on the ABC soap opera "All My Children," has died. He was 89.

Mitchell's longtime partner Albert Wolsky said Sunday night that the actor died Friday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Wolsky says Mitchell suffered for years from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and had recently gotten pneumonia.

Mitchell appeared in more than 300 episodes of the popular soap from 1979 until a 40th anniversary episode this month. He was a regular on the show until 2008.

Wolsky says Mitchell loved playing the gruff, wealthy Palmer, who wielded power over the show's fictional town of Pine Valley. He says Palmer "loved playing mean."

Earlier in his career Mitchell had leading parts in the Broadway musicals "Brigadoon" and "Paint Your Wagon."