Saturday, August 3, 2013

Fame and the evolution of an actor -- and a ground-break television series ...

I was a big fan of the 1970's ground-breaking comedy series "Soap." 

In 1977, before moving to Los Angeles, I got to interview series creator and producer Susan Harris for my WBZ Radio/Boston interview show. 

Then, in 1992, we were lucky enough to have series star Robert Mandan pay us a visit on "Lemack & Company Live," our little Beverly Hills-based coffee shop chat show. We talked about his life before, during and after his role as Chester Tate. We just added that interview to our collection.

Robert's story is an interesting on in the discussion of a career journey. He was a seasoned New York-based actor prior to coming to Los Angeles, where sit-com fame came to him. 

Much like other strong, comedic television characters (Carroll O'Connor's Archie Bunker, Jean Stapleton's Edith Bunker, Sherman Hemsley's George Jefferson and Isabel Sanford's Weezy Jefferson come to mind, among others), Mandan's "Soap" fame got him typecast in his Chester Tate character persona.

Fame ... It's an odd dilemma. Robert talks about what happened to him, casting-wise, post-"Soap" in our interview.

You can view a promo clip on YouTube.


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