Man Leaves Estate to Actors He Never Met

An Illinois man's will surprised two American soap actors after he left them his $1 million estate despite never even having met them.

Ray Fulk, who died alone in his farmhouse last year at age 71, left his 160-acre estate to Kevin Brophy and Peter Barton. He reportedly referred to the stars as "my friends" and had previously written them letters, according to

"He just said they were friends of his," attorney Donald Behle, who is the executor of Fulk's estate, told ABC News.

Fulk, who is believed to have died from natural causes, reportedly died without family and friends.

Behle contacted both Barton, 56, and Brophy, 59, via mail and informed them of the inheritance. In separate letters he explained that they would receive their inheritance upon sale of the estate. However, both initially assumed that they were the targets of a scam.

"What's the first thing you would think if you got a letter like that?" Behle told The Illinois State Journal-Register. "You'd think it was some kind of scam."

He also explained that the only correspondence that the actors had with Fulk was their individual response to his fan mail.

"They sent back responses that basically said thanks for writing and please watch me in whatever their next movie or show was," he said.

Eventually both actors flew out to Fulk's estate, currently appraised at $1.1 million, which is located near Broadwell. Behle admitted that the property needed some work.

"His house was an absolute filthy mess! We wore masks when we were in there," Behle told ABC.

Fulk also left $5,000 to Chicago's largest humane society, the Anti-Cruelty Society, in addition to the estate. Brophy and Barton are expected to split the inheritance.

Brophy is best known for his role in "Lucan," which aired on the ABC network during the period of 1977 to 1978. Barton is best known for his role as Dr. Scott Grainger on the daytime soap "The Young and the Restless."