Tom Wopat in 1979.
|Born||Thomas Steven Wopat
September 9, 1951
Lodi, Wisconsin, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Vickie Allen (divorced)
Kathy Wopat (present)
Thomas Steven "Tom" Wopat (born September 9, 1951) actor and singer, He first achieved fame as Lucas K. "Luke" Duke in the long-running 1979 television series The Dukes of Hazzard. Since then Wopat has worked regularly, most often on the stage in musicals and in supporting TV and movie roles. He was a semi-regular guest on the 1990s comedy series Cybill, and had a small U.S. Marshal Gil Tatum in Django Unchained (2012). Wopat also has a recurring role as Sheriff Jim Wilkins on the television series Longmire. Additionally Wopat has recorded several albums of country songs and pop standards, scoring a series of moderately successful singles in the 1980s and '90s.
Life and career
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). His father, a devout Roman Catholic, who raised his children in that faith, was a dairy farmer of Czech descent.
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 two most recent albums have been of classic pop standards. His 1980s albums were on EMI Nashville. 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.
In 1981 he played the main character, Billy Bigelow in the musical Carousel, at the Augusta Barn Theatre in Augusta, Michigan. 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.
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. 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. He received his second Tony nomination for that performance.
In July 2009, he originated the role of Frank Abagnale, Sr. in the musical Catch Me if You Can (based on the film of the same name) in July and August 2009 at Seattle's 5th Avenue Theatre. He 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. He portrayed Ryan Hutton in the musical, Lovestruck, in 2013.
|1979–85||Dukes of Hazzard, TheThe Dukes of Hazzard||Luke Duke||128 episodes|
|1980||Fantasy Island||David Chilton||Episode: "Flying Aces/The Mermaid Returns"|
|1983||Dukes, TheThe Dukes||Luke Duke (voice)||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||22 episodes
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||Crisis Center||Chuck Goodman||Episode: "Someone to Watch Over Me"|
|1997||Dukes of Hazzard: Reunion!, TheThe Dukes of Hazzard: Reunion!||Luke Duke||Television movie|
|1997–98||Home Improvement||Ian||2 episodes|
|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 movie|
|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"|
|2007||Manhunt 2||The Bloodhounds||Video game|
|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|
|2010–11||Phineas and Ferb||Wilkins Brother No. 2||2 episodes|
|2010||Jonah Hex||Colonel Slocum|
|2010||Main Street||Frank||Father of Mary Saunders|
|2012–16||Longmire||Sheriff Jim Wilkins||5 episodes|
|2012||Django Unchained||Marshall Gill Tatum|
|2013||Lovestruck: The Musical||Ryan Hutton||Mirabella's Father|
|2015||Lost Cat Corona||Jimmy Pipes|
|1981||The Dukes of Hazzard (soundtrack)|
|1987||A Little Bit Closer|
|1988||Don't Look Back|
|1991||Learning to Love|
|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|
|2014||Home for Christmas (with John Schneider)|
|US Country||CAN Country|
|1982||"Full Moon, Empty Pockets"||—||—||Tom Wopat|
|1983||"(Till) I Kissed You"||—||—|
|1986||"True Love (Never Did Run Smooth)"||39||—||A Little Bit Closer|
|"I Won't Let You Down"||44||—|
|"The Rock and Roll of Love"||16||14|
|1987||"Put Me Out of My Misery"||28||25|
|1988||"A Little Bit Closer"||18||—|
|"Hey Little Sister"||40||—||Don't Look Back|
|"Not Enough Love"||29||—|
|1991||"Too Many Honky Tonks (On My Way Home)"||46||46||Learning to Love|
|"Back to the Well"||51||54|
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart|
- "Tom Wopat role in 'Django Unchained'", reservoirwatchdogs.com, November 11, 2011; accessed March 23, 2014.
- Wopat genealogy site; accessed February 26, 2014.
- Info re Wopat's ethnic background; accessed February 26, 2014.
- Info re funeral of Albin Carl Wopat; accessed February 26, 2014.
- Tom Wopat at the Internet Broadway Database
- Tom Wopat at the Internet Off-Broadway Database
- Music Man playbill, November 4, 2006.
- Playbill article "One White Dress": New Fierstein-Bucchino Musical A Catered Affair Opens on Broadway, April 17, 2008.
- Hetrick, Adam. Broadway-Aimed "Catch Me If You Can Ends Seattle Premiere Run Aug. 16", playbill.com, August 16, 2009.
- 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.