In Season 4, we were introduced to the Latin American revolutionary “El Puerco” and his small band of soldiers, including his right-hand man, Juan One. Look closer and you’ll notice that Juan One is actually the distinguished actor Joe Mantegna, who has been a fixture on American television and in films for many years — most recently in the CBS crime drama Criminal Minds. Despite a heavy work schedule and the fact that it was New Year’s Eve, Mantegna took the time to speak with me yesterday for the book.
Yet another example of a Soap alumnus who had some significant stage experience under his belt before joining the series, Mantegna had the additional distinction of actually having his own play, Bleacher Bums, being performed elsewhere while he was on the show. (It will come as little surprise to learn that he and Billy Crystal would later bond over their shared love of baseball.)