Robert Mandan had a long and storied career that spanned decades in Hollywood but he got his start on a New York soap opera.
The prolific character actor, who began his career in the late 1950s on both Kraft Theater and From These Roots, passed away on April 29, 2018, from an undisclosed illness, according to multiple reports.
Mandan worked until 2014, with his last role in a short film called Our Man in Madras. Early in his career, he was Nathan on the soap The Edge of Night in 1963 and also Mike Hennessey on The Doctors that year. From 1966-1970, he was Sam Renoylds on Search For Tomorrow.
But his big breakout role was as Chester Tate on the primetime sitcom, Soap from 1977-1981. The show, which also starred Billy Crystal and Katherine Helmond, catapulted him and the basically unknown cast into the hearts of millions with the hilarious soap opera antics.
Mandan and Helmond, who had played husband and wife on Soap, reunited on her next series, Who’s The Boss? for two episodes.
He also appeared on the TV version of Private Benjamin, Three’s A Crowd (the spinoff from Three’s Company), Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and countless other primetime shows before he returned to soaps in 1990 as Maxwell Hammer on Santa Barbara.
More appearances on episodics followed and then in 1998, he joined Days of Our Lives as Steven ‘Jonesy’ Jones from 1997-1998. In 2006, he played Judge Bryant on General Hospital.
Mandan was born on February 2, 1932 in Clever, Missouri. He was married to Sherry Dixon. In addition to his TV work, he starred on stage, including as Davies in Harold Pinter’s The Caretaker. It was at the Zephyr Theatre in Los Angeles. He received Ovation and LA Weekly awards for that performance.
He also was in Just Men, at the Stella Adler Theater in Hollywood in 1996.