Oh Richard Mulligan…

Going through some of the scraps from the interviews that we couldn’t fit in the book, I came across this one just now from Donnelly Rhodes:

“Richard Mulligan was so expert – he was the only person who could sort of mug and be funny. He was a great physical comedian. I remember imitating him one day in a scene and he looks at me and says there’s only room for one of us here – get up!”

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3 comments on “Oh Richard Mulligan…

  1. Of course everyone has his or her favorites, and I am unashamed in my adoration of Richard Mulligan. But I do think that he, in particular, reflected the breadth of Soap’s appeal. He could be as silly as coming up from an explosion with his hair smoking, as powerful as insisting on getting his life back from alien Burt, and as heartbreaking as saying goodbye to Mary at the institution. It isn’t that everyone in the cast wasn’t versatile and talented–they were. It’s only that Richard Mulligan was able to go so very far in each direction without ever losing the reality or the humor of the characterization.

    • Very well said, Lee. I would go so far as to say that he was probably one of the best television actor of his generation.

      • He really was. I think his reputation has unfairly suffered a little since his death because he was, for whatever reason, not doing really good material for the last several years of his life. (He was always good, even in junk, which I think is the hallmark of a real professional.) But his work in Soap, early Empty Nest, and a few one-shot roles should earn him a place in the pantheon.

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