The character actor Richard Mulligan, remembered for his hangdog looks and big-eyed takes in TV's "Soap" and "Empty Nest" — but who as a young man hoped to be a playwright — has died at the age of 67, according to the Associated Press.
Mr. Mulligan died Sept. 26 in Los Angeles, after a battle with cancer.
As young man, the Bronx native thought about being a priest and a playwright before settling into acting roles. AP reported he "fell into acting when was drafted into playing a role at a rehearsal while trying to sell a play."
He acted in a 1972 television film of Harvey with Jimmy Stewart, Helen Hayes, Madeline Kahn and Fred Gwynne. He appeared on Broadway in Ronald Alexander's Nobody Loves and Albatross, with Robert Preston, in 1963, and a play called Mating Dance in 1965.He also appeared in Herb Gardner's Thieves on Broadway. His films included "Little Big Man," "The Big Bus," "S.O.B." and "The Undefeated."
He won Emmy Awards for playing working class patriarch Burt Campbell on "Soap" (in the comedy series, Burt was abducted by aliens and believed he had the power to turn invisible) and "Empty Nest," a spinoff of "Golden Girls." He was married four times, include a marriage to actress Joan Hackett. His son, James, survives, as do brothers James and Robert (director of "To Kill a Mockingbird").
-- By Kenneth Jones