Robert Mandan (February 2, 1932 – April 29, 2018) was an American actor, best known for his role as Chester Tate, the womanizing businessman husband of Jessica Tate (Katherine Helmond) on the satirical sitcom Soap from 1977–81.
Mandan in 1977
February 2, 1932|
Clever, Missouri, U.S.
April 29, 2018 (aged 86)|
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Sherry Dixon (married 1963; his death 2018)|
Mandan first acted in such television serials as NBC's From These Roots (1958-61) and businessman Sam Reynolds on Search for Tomorrow (1965-70). He also appeared on Broadway in the 1970 musical Applause.
His sitcom appearances prior to Soap include an auctioneer in the 1972 premiere episode of Sanford and Son, attorney Mr. Morrison in a 1973 episode of All in the Family, and Barry, gay friend of Maude on a 1974 episode of Maude. He also guest-starred in an episode of the western series Sara in 1976. He played Mr. Kirby in the 1979 NBC television adaptation of You Can't Take it With You and the ineffective but well-meaning Colonel Fielding on the 1981 TV adaptation of Private Benjamin. Roles in two movies in 1982 were Zapped! as Walter J. Coolidge and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas as Senator Charles Wingwood.
In 1984–85, he played James Bradford on ABC's Three's a Crowd opposite John Ritter and in 1986 as Peace Corps member Dr. Bruce Gaines, who married Mrs. Garrett (played by Charlotte Rae) in her final episodes on The Facts of Life. He appeared as Steven in the 1990 episode of The Golden Girls entitled "Great Expectations". In 1991, he reunited with Katherine Helmond for two episodes of her next series, of Who's the Boss?, and in the 2002 production of A Twilight Romance at the Falcon Theatre in Burbank, California.
In 1993, he played Cardassian character Kotan Pa'Dar in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Cardassians", and in Married... with Children in the episode "The D'Arcy Files" (1994). His return to serials include the role of Maxwell Hammer, a friend of Minx, in Santa Barbara (1990), Mr. Jonesy alongside Louise Sorel on Days of Our Lives from 1997–98 and guest-starred as a judge on General Hospital in Tearly 2006.
He appeared onstage throughout his career. Aside from Applause, he starred in the pre-Broadway version of the 1990s revival of How to Succeed In Business Without Really Trying as J.B. Biggley. He also played Andrew Wyke in several touring company productions of the Anthony Shaffer mystery, Sleuth.
Mandan was a frequent special guest on The $25,000 Pyramid during the 1980s. He also appeared on many other game shows, including Match Game, Family Feud, Super Password, and Hollywood Squares.
Mandan died in Los Angeles on April 29, 2018, following a long battle with cancer. He was survived by his wife, Sherry Dixon, a licensed primal psychotherapist; the couple wed in 1963. Upon his death, he was cremated.
- The Carey Treatment (1972) – Dr. Barr
- Hickey & Boggs (1972) – Mr. Brill
- MacArthur (1977) – Representative Martin
- The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982) – Senator Wingwood
- Zapped! (1982) – Walter J. Coolidge
- The Nutt House (1992) – Mr. Henderson
- The Matchmaker (1997) – McGlory Senior
- Teddy Bears' Picnic (2002) – Stanton Vandermint
- Robert Mandan on IMDb
- Wilson, Earl (March 30, 1978). "Robert Mandan of 'Soap' Series Has Become Somebody At Last". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. p. 8F. Retrieved June 1, 2018.
- "Talk Show Guests: John Davidson". Boca Raton News. October 31, 1980. p. 7. Retrieved June 1, 2018.
- Barnes, Mike. "Robert Mandan, the Womanizing Chester Tate on 'Soap', Dies at 86". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 4, 2018.