Tom Wopat

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Tom Wopat
Tom Wopat 1979.JPG
Tom Wopat (1979)
Born Thomas Steven Wopat
(1951-09-09) September 9, 1951 (age 62)
Lodi, Wisconsin, U.S.
Occupation Actor, singer
Years active 1977–present
Spouse(s) Vickie Allen (divorced)
Kathy Wopat (present)

Thomas Steven "Tom" Wopat (born September 9, 1951) is an American actor and singer. He first achieved fame as Luke Duke in the long-running 1979 television series The Dukes of Hazzard, along with John Schneider. He also played Jeff, one of Cybill Shepherd's ex-husbands on the sitcom Cybill.

Life and career[edit]

Thomas Steven Wopat was born in Lodi, Wisconsin, the fifth of eight siblings born to Albin Carl Wopat (December 10, 1919 – January 27, 1983) and his wife, Ruth Arlene (née Skarda) Wopat (May 20, 1920 – September 23, 1959).[1]His father, a devout Roman Catholic,[2] who raised his children in that faith, was a dairy farmer of Czech descent.[3]

Wopat attended the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and made his television debut on One Life to Live. He achieved television fame in the popular television series The Dukes of Hazzard (1979–85), then embarked on a music career. He has recorded eight albums. Musically, he switches between rock and roll and country music styles, though his last two albums have been of classic pop standards. The latter recording, Dissertation on the State of Bliss, is a collection of Harold Arlen songs. Wopat first appeared on the Broadway stage as a replacement in the 1977 musical I Love My Wife, as "Wally". He later appeared as a replacement in the stage musicals City of Angels, and Guys and Dolls. He appeared in the opening cast of the 1999 revival of Annie Get Your Gun as "Frank Butler", opposite Bernadette Peters, Susan Lucci and Crystal Bernard, who played Annie Oakley (in consecutive order); he was nominated for a Tony Award in 1999 for his performance as Butler. He later appeared in revivals of Chicago and 42nd Street.[4][5]

In 1996, Wopat served as the first host of Dick Clark's new country music performance show on The Nashville Network, "Prime Time Country". However, his time on the show was short-lived. Before the end of the first season, Wopat was replaced by Gary Chapman as host.[why?]

In 2005, Wopat appeared in the Broadway revival of David Mamet's Pulitzer Prize-winning play Glengarry Glen Ross as James Lingk. He starred in the North Carolina Theatre's production of The Music Man as Harold Hill in November 2006.[6]

In 2008, Wopat starred on Broadway as the father in A Catered Affair, written by Harvey Fierstein (book) and John Bucchino (score), which opened on April 17, 2008 at the Walter Kerr Theatre.[7] He received his second Tony nomination for that performance.

Wopat and Nathan Lane took part in a workshop of a new musical, Catch Me If You Can, in July 2007, based on the film directed by Steven Spielberg (2002).[8]

In July 2009, he originated the role of Frank Abignale, Sr. in the musical Catch Me if You Can (based on the film of the same name) in July and August 2009 at the 5th Avenue Theatre, Seattle, Washington.[9]

Wopat was featured in the new musical revue Sondheim on Sondheim, conceived and directed by James Lapine, presenting the life and works of Stephen Sondheim. The revue premiered on Broadway at the Roundabout Theatre's Studio 54 on March 19, 2010 in previews and closed on June 27.[10]

Wopat had a small role, as U.S. Marshal Gil Tatum, in the Quentin Tarantino film Django Unchained (2012).[11] Wopat portrayed Ryan Hutton in the musical Lovestruck in 2013.

Filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1979–85 Dukes of Hazzard, TheThe Dukes of Hazzard Luke Duke Television series
1980 Fantasy Island David Chilton Episode: "Flying Aces/The Mermaid Returns"
1983 Dukes, TheThe Dukes Luke Duke 7 episodes
1984 Story, Songs and Stars Television program
1984 Burning Rage Tom Silver Television program
1987 Christmas Comes to Willow Creek Pete Television program
1988 Blue Skies Frank Cobb Television series
1989 Peaceable Kingdom, AA Peaceable Kingdom Dr. Jed McFadden 12 episodes
1992 Just My Imagination Bobby Rex Television program
1995–98 Cybill Jeff Robbins Television series
Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series (shared with Christine Baranski, Dedee Pfeiffer, Alan Rosenberg, Cybill Shepherd and Alicia Witt)
1996 Murder, She Wrote Bill Dawson Episode: "Kendo Killing"
1997 Contagious Sam Television program
1997 Crisis Center Chuck Goodman Episode: "Someone to Watch Over Me"
1997 Dukes of Hazzard: Reunion!, TheThe Dukes of Hazzard: Reunion! Luke Duke Television program
1997–98 Home Improvement Ian Episodes: "Jill's Passion", "Taking Jill for Granite"
1998 Meteorites! Tom Johnson Television program
1999 Dukes of Hazzard: Racing for Home, TheThe Dukes of Hazzard: Racing for Home Luke Duke Video game
2000 Dukes of Hazzard: Hazzard in Hollywood, TheThe Dukes of Hazzard: Hazzard in Hollywood Luke Duke Television program
2001 100 Centre Street Hanley Rand Episode: "Lost Causes"
2001–02 All My Children Hank Pelham unknown episodes
2004 Dukes of Hazzard: Return of the General Lee, TheThe Dukes of Hazzard: Return of the General Lee Luke Duke Video game
2005 Smallville Senator Jack Jennings Episode: "Exposed"
2006 Standoff Rick Keeslar Episode: "Pilot"
2006 Bonneville Arlo
2007 History of Wisconsin Football, TheThe History of Wisconsin Football Voice role
2008 Hive, TheThe Hive Bill Television program
2008 Understudy, TheThe Understudy Detective Jones
2009 Taking Chance John Phelps Television program
2010 Phineas and Ferb Wilkins Brother No. 2 Episode: "Just Passing Through/Candace's Big Day"
2010 Jonah Hex Colonel Slocum
2010 Main Street Frank Father of Mary Saunders
2012 Longmire Sheriff Jim Wilkins Episode: "An Incredibly Beautiful Thing"
2012 Django Unchained Marshall Gill Tatum
2012 Mariachi Gringo Ron
2013 Lovestruck: The Musical Ryan Hutton Mirabella's Father

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Year Album
1981 The Dukes of Hazzard (1981 Soundtrack)
1983 Tom Wopat
1987 A Little Bit Closer
1990 Don't Look Back
1992 Learning to Love
1995 Hands On
2000 The Still of the Night
2005 Tom Wopat Sings Harold Arlen:
Dissertation on the State of Bliss
2009 Consider it Swung
2013 I've Got Your Number

Singles[edit]

Year Single Chart Positions Album
US Country CAN Country
1986 "True Love (Never Did Run Smooth)" 39 A Little Bit Closer
"I Won't Let You Down" 44
1987 "The Rock and Roll of Love" 16 14
"Put Me Out of My Misery" 28 25
"Susannah" 20
1988 "A Little Bit Closer" 18
"Hey Little Sister" 40 singles only
"Not Enough Love" 29
1991 "Too Many Honky Tonks (On My Way Home)" 46 46 Learning to Love
"Back to the Well" 51 54

References[edit]

  1. ^ Wopat genealogy site; accessed February 26, 2014.
  2. ^ Info re Wopat's ethnic background; accessed February 26, 2014.
  3. ^ Info re funeral of Albin Carl Wopat; accessed February 26, 2014.
  4. ^ Tom Wopat at the Internet Broadway Database
  5. ^ Tom Wopat at the Internet Off-Broadway Database
  6. ^ Music Man playbill, November 4, 2006.
  7. ^ Playbill article "One White Dress": New Fierstein-Bucchino Musical A Catered Affair Opens on Broadway, April 17, 2008.
  8. ^ Jones, Kenneth."Lane and Wopat Invited to Catch Me If You Can Workshop", playbill.com; May 3, 2007.
  9. ^ Hetrick, Adam.Broadway-Aimed "Catch Me If You Can Ends Seattle Premiere Run Aug. 16", playbill.com, August 16, 2009.
  10. ^ Jones, Kenneth."Sondheim on Sondheim, a New Musical Reflection of a Life in Art, Begins on Broadway", playbill.com, March 19, 2010; accessed March 23, 2014.
  11. ^ Tom Wopat role in Django Unchained, reservoirwatchdogs.com, November 11, 2011; accessed March 23, 2014.

External links[edit]