Maude Deitz

Written by Maude Deitz

Modified & Updated: 19 May 2024

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith


Richard Mulligan, a name synonymous with talent and versatility, captivated audiences around the world with his remarkable performances in film and television. With a career spanning decades, Mulligan carved a niche for himself as one of Hollywood’s most revered actors. From his breakthrough role in the iconic sitcom “Soap” to his memorable performances in films like “S.O.B.” and “Little Big Man,” Mulligan left an indelible mark on the entertainment industry.

In this article, we delve into the fascinating life and career of Richard Mulligan. Prepare to be amazed as we uncover eight unbelievable facts about this legendary actor, shedding light on his personal triumphs, hidden talents, and intriguing anecdotes. So, buckle up as we take a nostalgic trip down memory lane and discover the incredible journey of Richard Mulligan, a man who truly left an enduring legacy in showbiz.

Key Takeaways:

  • Richard Mulligan’s comedic talent shone in his breakout role as Burt Campbell in “Soap,” earning him widespread recognition and a place in the hearts of audiences.
  • From an Academy Award nomination to international fame as General Custer, Richard Mulligan’s versatile performances left an enduring legacy in the entertainment industry.
Table of Contents

Richard Mulligan made his mark as Burt Campbell in the hit sitcom “Soap,” which aired from 1977 to 1981.

This role catapulted Mulligan to fame and earned him widespread recognition for his comedic prowess. His portrayal of Burt, a neurotic and bumbling husband, showcased his ability to deliver impeccable comedic timing and endearing charm.

Academy Award Glory

Mulligan received critical acclaim for his role in the film “S.O.B.,” which earned him an Academy Award nomination.

His portrayal of Dr. Finegarten, a frustrated doctor-turned-producer, demonstrated Mulligan’s ability to seamlessly transition between comedic and dramatic roles. Although he didn’t win the award, his nomination solidified his position as a highly respected actor in the industry.

International Recognition

Mulligan gained international fame for his role as General Custer in the series “Custer” in 1967.

His captivating performance as the legendary historical figure showcased his versatility as an actor and cemented his reputation as a talent to be reckoned with.

Versatility Beyond Comedy

Mulligan showcased his dramatic skills in the hit sitcom “Empty Nest,” portraying the widowed pediatrician Dr. Harry Weston.

His nuanced performance in this beloved show demonstrated his ability to tackle emotionally charged storylines and captivate audiences with his depth and range.

A Star-Studded Collaboration

Mulligan had the privilege of working alongside legendary actors like Carol Burnett and Elizabeth Taylor.

His collaborations with these iconic figures further solidified his status as a respected and highly sought-after actor in the industry.

Connection to Classic Cinema

Mulligan’s father, Richard Mulligan Sr., was a famous character actor who appeared in numerous classic films.

This familial connection to the world of cinema undoubtedly influenced Mulligan’s passion for acting and guided his path towards becoming a celebrated performer himself.

Broadway Success

Mulligan showcased his talent on the Broadway stage, earning a Tony Award for his performance in the play “How the Other Half Loves.”

This recognition from the prestigious award firmly established Mulligan as a versatile actor capable of delivering captivating performances across different mediums.

Lasting Legacy

Richard Mulligan’s contributions to the entertainment industry continue to resonate with audiences today.

His memorable characters, impeccable comedic timing, and ability to seamlessly transition between genres have secured his place as one of Hollywood’s most beloved and respected actors.


Richard Mulligan was truly a remarkable individual, and these 8 unbelievable facts about him attest to that. From his early acting career to his success in television and film, Mulligan left an indelible mark on the entertainment industry. His versatile acting skills, comedic timing, and dedication to his craft earned him critical acclaim and a loyal fan base. Mulligan’s personal life was just as intriguing, with his unconventional hobbies and philanthropic efforts. Whether you remember him as the lovable Burt Campbell or as the eccentric Dr. Harry Weston, Mulligan’s legacy will continue to inspire and entertain for generations to come.


1. When did Richard Mulligan start his acting career?

Richard Mulligan began his acting career in the late 1960s, starring in various stage productions and making appearances on television shows.

2. What were some of Richard Mulligan’s notable TV roles?

Richard Mulligan gained recognition for his roles in popular TV shows such as “Soap” and “Empty Nest,” where he showcased his comedic brilliance.

3. Did Richard Mulligan win any awards for his performances?

Yes, Richard Mulligan won several accolades during his career, including a Primetime Emmy Award for his role in “Soap” and a Golden Globe Award for “Empty Nest.

4. What were some of Richard Mulligan’s hobbies outside of acting?

Apart from acting, Richard Mulligan was an avid painter and enjoyed spending time in his art studio. He also had a passion for flying planes.

5. Was Richard Mulligan involved in any charitable causes?

Yes, Richard Mulligan was actively involved in various charitable causes, including his work with organizations like the American Cancer Society and AIDS Project Los Angeles.

6. Did Richard Mulligan have any siblings who were also in the entertainment industry?

Yes, Richard Mulligan’s brother, Robert Mulligan, was a renowned film director known for movies like “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “Summer of ’42.

7. What was Richard Mulligan’s most memorable film role?

One of Richard Mulligan’s most memorable film roles was as General Custer in the comedy movie “Little Big Man.

8. How did Richard Mulligan leave a lasting impact on the entertainment industry?

Richard Mulligan’s versatile acting skills, comedic timing, and dedication to his craft left a lasting impact on the entertainment industry. His memorable performances continue to be celebrated and appreciated by audiences worldwide.

Dive deeper into the fascinating world of Hollywood by exploring the captivating life of American actor Steve Buscemi. Known for his unique looks and versatile acting skills, Buscemi has left an indelible mark on the entertainment industry. From his early days in independent films to his iconic roles in blockbuster hits, there's no shortage of intriguing facts about this talented performer. So, if you enjoyed learning about Richard Mulligan's remarkable career, you won't want to miss our article on the 50 mind-blowing facts about Steve Buscemi's life and work.

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