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Richard Mulligan

Richard Mulligan

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Also Known As: Died: September 26, 2000
Born: November 13, 1932 Cause of Death: cancer
Birth Place: Bronx, New York, USA Profession: actor, writer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A lanky American character player whose plummy voice, mobile features and accomplished timing made him a natural for nervous, befuddled, often clumsy comic roles, Richard Mulligan began in show business with ambitions to be a playwright but instead found work more readily as an actor. Keeping busy shuttling back and forth between the stage, screen ("The Group" 1966, "The Undefeated" 1969) and TV guest spots, he was briefly given a chance in the sitcom spotlight as "The Hero" (NBC, 1966-67), a klutzy actor portraying a TV lawman. It was not until the late 1970s, however, that his broadly-played brand of quirky comedy found a niche in the ABC soap-opera satire "Soap" (1977-81), created by the team of Susan Harris, Tony Thomas and Paul Junger Witt and the same producing trio again found work for Mulligan in their later sitcom "Empty Nest" (NBC, 1988-95). (He won Emmy Awards for his work on both series.)A regular fixture in Blake Edwards's 1980s comedies ("S.O.B." 1981, "Micki and Maude" 1984, "A Fine Mess" 1986), the actor got his first screen break in a small role in "Love With the Proper Stranger" (1963), directed by his older brother Robert Mulligan. He also delivered a memorable turn as General...

A lanky American character player whose plummy voice, mobile features and accomplished timing made him a natural for nervous, befuddled, often clumsy comic roles, Richard Mulligan began in show business with ambitions to be a playwright but instead found work more readily as an actor. Keeping busy shuttling back and forth between the stage, screen ("The Group" 1966, "The Undefeated" 1969) and TV guest spots, he was briefly given a chance in the sitcom spotlight as "The Hero" (NBC, 1966-67), a klutzy actor portraying a TV lawman. It was not until the late 1970s, however, that his broadly-played brand of quirky comedy found a niche in the ABC soap-opera satire "Soap" (1977-81), created by the team of Susan Harris, Tony Thomas and Paul Junger Witt and the same producing trio again found work for Mulligan in their later sitcom "Empty Nest" (NBC, 1988-95). (He won Emmy Awards for his work on both series.)

A regular fixture in Blake Edwards's 1980s comedies ("S.O.B." 1981, "Micki and Maude" 1984, "A Fine Mess" 1986), the actor got his first screen break in a small role in "Love With the Proper Stranger" (1963), directed by his older brother Robert Mulligan. He also delivered a memorable turn as General Custer in "Little Big Man" (1970). Mulligan has been married four times and his wives include the late Joan Hackett, opposite whom he appeared in "The Group", and adult star Rachel Ryan (a.k.a. Serina Robinson).

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Neil Simon's "London Suite" (1996) Dennis Cummings
2.
 Guess Who's Coming For Christmas? (1990) George Walters
3.
 Oliver & Company (1988) Voice Of Einstein
4.
 Poker Alice (1987) Jake Sears
5.
 Babes in Toyland (1986) Barnaby Barnacle; Bernie
6.
 Fine Mess, A (1986) Wayne "Turnip" Farragalla
7.
 Heavenly Kid, The (1985) Rafferty
8.
 Jealousy (1984) Merrill Forsythe
9.
 Doin' Time (1984) Mongo Mitchell
10.
 Teachers (1984) Herbert
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Served in the Navy as a crash rescue man in Pensacola, Florida
:
En route to Miami, stopped at a local theater hoping to sell a play; ended up auditioning and getting a role in production of Eugene O'Neill's "Beyond the Horizon"
1960:
Made Broadway acting debut in "All the Way Home", as understudy to Arthur Hill and Tom Wheatley
:
Acted in such plays as "Nobody Loves an Albatross", "Never Too Late", "The Mating Game", and "Everybody Out, the Castle Is Sinking"
:
Appeared in guest roles during the 1960s in such TV series as "The Defenders", "Route 66", "The DuPont Show of the Month" and "Armstrong Circle Theater"
1963:
Film debut directed by older brother Robert in "Love with a Proper Stranger"
1964:
Portrayed Barbara Barrie's ex-husband in the drama "One Potato, Two Potato"
1966:
Co-starred in Sidney Lumet's "The Group", opposite soon to be second wife Joan Hackett
1966:
Played leading role of Sam Garret, TV cowboy star and offscreen klutz, in the NBC sitcom "The Hero"
1970:
Delivered a strong turn as an unhinged General Custer in "Little Big Man"
:
Acted featured role of Jeff Harmon in TV comedy "Diana" (NBC), starring Diana Rigg
:
Played panicky patriarch Burt Campbell, one of the leading roles in ABC serial comedy "Soap"; received Emmy Award
:
Acted in a number of Blake Edwards feature film comedies during the 1980s, including "S.O.B." (1981), "The Trail of the Pink Panther" (1982), "Micki and Maude" (1984) and "A Fine Mess" (1986)
1983:
Starred as Reggie Potter in the short-lived ABC sitcom, "Reggie"
1987:
Appeared alongside Elizabeth Taylor in the CBS TV-movie "Poker Alice"
1988:
Provided a character voice for the Disney animated film "Oliver & Company"
1988:
Portrayed US Secretary of State William Seward in the NBC miniseries "Gore Vidal's Lincoln"
:
Starred as flustered father Harry Weston in NBC comedy series, "Empty Nest"; earned second Emmy Award
1996:
Co-starred in the NBC telecast of "Neil Simon's London Suite"
1997:
Played opposite Olympia Dukakis in the CBS movie romance "Heaven Will Wait"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Cardinal Hayes High School: New York , New York -
Columbia University: New York , New York -
Maryknoll Junior Seminary: -

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Patricia Jones. Married in 1955; divorced in 1960.
wife:
Joan Hackett. Actor. Born on March 1, 1934; acted with Mulligan in "The Group" (1966); married in 1965; divorced in 1973; died of cancer October 8, 1983.
wife:
Lenore Mulligan. Interior designer. Married on June 25, 1978; separated in 1989; filed for divorce in September 1990.
wife:
Serina Robinson. Former adult movie actor. Married in April 1992; separated.
VIEW COMPLETE COMPANION LISTING

Family close complete family listing

mother:
Ann-Elizabeth Mulligan.
father:
Robert Edward Mulligan. Policeman.
brother:
Robert Mulligan. Director. Born on August 23, 1925; films directed include "Fear Strikes Out" (1957), "To Kill a Mockingbird" (1962), "Love with the Proper Stranger" (1964), and "Summer of '42" (1971).
brother:
James Mulligan.
son:
James Mulligan. Mother, Patricia Jones.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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