Richard Mulligan

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Richard Mulligan
File:Richard Mulligan at the 1991 Emmy Awards2.jpg
Richard Mulligan at the 1991 Emmy Awards
Born (1932-11-13)November 13, 1932[1]
The Bronx,[1] New York City, New York
Died September 26, 2000(2000-09-26) (aged 67)
Los Angeles, California
Cause of death Colorectal Cancer
Occupation Actor
Years active 1960–2000
Spouse(s) Patricia Jones (1955–1960)
Joan Hackett (1966–1973)
Lenore Stevens (1978–1990)
Rachel Ryan (1992–1993)
Children James Mulligan

Richard Mulligan (November 13, 1932 – September 26, 2000) was an American television and film actor best known for his role as Burt Campbell in the sitcom Soap (1977-81) and later as Dr. Harry Weston in Empty Nest (1988-95).[1]

Early life and career

Mulligan was born in New York City, the younger brother of director Robert Mulligan. After attending Columbia University, Mulligan began working in theater, making his debut as a stage manager and performer on Broadway in All the Way Home in 1960. Additional theatre credits included A Thousand Clowns, Never Too Late, Hogan's Goat, and Thieves.

Mulligan made a brief, uncredited appearance in the 1963 film Love with the Proper Stranger, which was directed by his elder brother. He starred with Mariette Hartley in the 1966-67 season comedy series The Hero, in which he played TV star Sam Garret, who in turn starred on a fictional series as Jed Clayton, U.S. Marshal. The Hero lasted only 16 episodes. Another notable TV appearance was on the I Dream of Jeannie episode "Around the World in 80 Blinks", as a navy commander accompanying Major Nelson (Larry Hagman) on a mission.

From the 1970s onwards

Mulligan's most notable film role was as General Custer in Little Big Man, whom he portrayed as a borderline psychotic. He also appeared in the disaster movie spoof The Big Bus (1976), where he was reunited with Larry Hagman, with whom he starred in an episode of I Dream of Jeannie (see above). As for his radio work, he starred in the adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Oblong Box" heard on The CBS Radio Mystery Theater (1975).

His highest profile roles in television were as Burt Campbell in the sitcom Soap (1977-81), for which he won a Best Actor Emmy Award, and as Dr. Harry Weston in the NBC series Empty Nest, a spinoff of The Golden Girls in which his character had appeared in a couple of episodes. Empty Nest ran for seven seasons, and Mulligan won a Best Actor Emmy Award as well as a Golden Globe Award for his performance. He also played Secretary of State William Seward in Lincoln (1988), a TV movie based on Gore Vidal's novel.

Mulligan returned to perform on Broadway and in films, in which he usually played supporting roles. A notable exception was the black comedy S.O.B. (1981), in which he played lead character Felix Farmer, a Hollywood producer-director modeled on the film's actual producer-director, Blake Edwards. The film again featured Larry Hagman. Mulligan was cast as Reggie Potter in the television series Reggie (1983). Lasting for only six episodes. it is a loose adaptation of the BBC series The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin.

In 1985, he appeared in The Twilight Zone episode "Night of the Meek, where he took on the role of Henry Corwin, an alcoholic department store Santa Claus who becomes the genuine article, in the remake of the 1959 Christmas episode "The Night of the Meek", the character that Art Carney had played in the original version. The next year, he appeared in another episode of the series, "The Toys of Caliban".

He appeared in Disney's 1988 film, Oliver & Company, as the voice of the oafish Great Dane named Einstein. His final performance was a voice over on Hey Arnold in 2000 as the voice of Jimmy Kafka, the long mentioned but never seen former friend of Arnold's Grandpa.


Mulligan married four times. He was first married to Patricia Jones from 1955 to 1960, with whom he had a son, James.[citation needed] That was followed by marriages to Joan Hackett from January 3, 1966 to June 1973 and Lenore Stevens from 1978 to 1990. His last marriage was to adult film actress Rachel Ryan on April 27, 1992, which lasted two years.[2]


After making his last appearance in an episode of Hey Arnold!, on September 26, 2000, Mulligan died of colorectal cancer at his home in Los Angeles, California. At his own request, his remains were cremated and there was no funeral service. Mulligan was survived by his son James Mulligan from his first marriage, and two brothers, Robert and James.[3]

Mulligan has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6777 Hollywood Blvd.[4]



Year Title Role Notes
1962 40 Pounds of Trouble Bellhop Uncredited
1963 Love with the Proper Stranger Louie Uncredited
1964 One Potato, Two Potato Joe Cullen
1966 The Group Dick Brown
1969 The Undefeated Dan Morse
1970 Little Big Man George Armstrong Custer
1972 Irish Whiskey Rebellion Paul
1972 Harvey Dr. Lyman Sanderson Television movie
1973 From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler Mr. Kincaid
1974 Visit to a Chief's Son Robert
1976 The Big Bus Claude Crane
1978 Having Babies III Jim Wexler Television movie
1979 Scavenger Hunt Marvin Dummitz
1981 S.O.B. Felix Farmer
1982 Trail of the Pink Panther Clouseau's father
1984 Jealousy Merrill Forsyth
1984 Meatballs Part II Coach Giddy
1984 Teachers Herbert Gower
1984 Micki + Maude Leo Brody
1985 The Heavenly Kid Rafferty
1985 Doin' Time Mongo Mitchell
1986 A Fine Mess Wayne 'Turnip' Parragella
1986 "Babes in Toyland" Barnie/Barnaby Barnicle
1988 Lincoln William H. Seward
1988 Oliver & Company Einstein Voice
1996 London Suite Dennis Cummings Television movie
1997 Dog's Best Friend Fred Television movie


Year Title Role Notes
1963 Car 54, Where Are You? Patrolman Episode: "The Curse of the Snitkins"
1963 Route 66 County Prosecutor Episode: "Shadows of an Afternoon"
1966–1967 The Hero Sam Garret 16 episodes
1967 The Rat Patrol Major Lansing Episode: "Take Me to Your Leader Raid"
1967 Mannix Dr. Bob Adams Episode: "Beyond the Shadow of a Dream"
1967 Gunsmoke Jud Pryor Episode: "Wonder"
1969 I Dream of Jeannie Wingate Episode: "Around the World in 80 Blinks"
1970 The Most Deadly Game Jordan Episode: "Witches' Sabbath"
1971 Love, American Style George Episode: "Love and the Jury"
1971 Police Surgeon Kramer Episode: "A Taste of Sun"
1971 Bonanza Dr. Mark Sloan Episode: "Don't Cry, My Son"
1971 Bonanza Farley Episode: "Kingdom of Fear"
1971 The Partridge Family Dr. Jim Lucas Episode: "Why Did the Music Stop?"
1972 Circle of Fear Tom Episode: "House of Evil"
1973 Diana Jeff Harmon 2 episodes
1973 The Partridge Family Mr. Lipton Episode: "The Diplomat"
1975 Medical Story Dr. Ted Freeland Episode: "The Right to Die"
1975 Matt Helm Jack Harte Episode: "Dead Men Talk"
1976 Little House on the Prairie Granville Whipple Episode: "Soldier's Return"
1976 Switch Andy Rowen Episode: "The Argonaut Special"
1976 Charlie's Angels Kevin St. Clair Episode: "Night of the Strangler"
1976 Spencer's Pilots Babcock Episode: "The Matchbook"
1976 The McLean Stevenson Show Lloyd Episode: "Oldie But Goodie"
1976 Gibbsville Ben Episode: "Saturday Night"
1977 Hunter Dr. Harter Episode: "Mirror Image"
1977 Kingston: Confidential Harlan Scott Episode: "Triple Exposure"
1977 Dog and Cat Brother Saul Episode: "Brother Death"
1977 The Love Boat Ron Larsen Episode: "Ex Plus Y"
1977–1987 Soap Burt Campbell 82 episodes
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
1978 The Love Boat Mark Littlejohn Episode: "Where Is It Written?"
1983 Reggie Reggie Potter 6 episodes
1986 The Twilight Zone Ernie Ross Episode: "The Toys of Caliban"
1986 Highway to Heaven Jeb Basinger Episode: "Basinger's New York"
1988–1995 Empty Nest Dr. Harry Weston 170 episodes
Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy (1990–91)
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series (1990–91)
Nominated—Viewers for Quality Television Award for Best Actor in a Quality Comedy Series (1990–91)
1988–1989 The Golden Girls Dr. Harry Weston 3 episodes
1991–1993 Nurses Dr. Harry Weston 4 episodes
1995 The John Larroquette Show Richard Hemingway Episode: "An Odd Cup of Tea"
1997 The Angry Beavers Old Gramps Episode: "Fish and Dips"
2001 Hey Arnold! Jimmy Kafka Episode: "Old Iron Man"


External links