Most fans of classic television will recognize Tom Wopat for his role on “The Dukes of Hazzard.” He played Luke Duke on the show, which aired from 1979 until 1985.
What television fans might not know is that Wopat is a respected performer in another medium. This is the Broadway stage. And, while that seems like a far cry from Hazzard County, Georgia, the actor found a home there.
Before he appeared in “The Dukes of Hazzard,” Wopat acted on Broadway in the show, “I Love My Wife.” According to Playbill.com, his time in the show took place in 1977. In 1989, he returned to the Broadway stage in the show “City of Angels.” Then came “Guys and Dolls” in 1992 and “Chicago” in 1996, according to Playbill.com.
A highlight of Wopat’s stage career came in the late 1990s when he was cast in a starring role in the classic musical “Annie Get Your Gun.” He played Frank Butler and starred alongside Broadway legend Bernadette Peters.
“Working with Bernadette Peters was really, really amazing – a high point of my career,” Wopat told PopEntertainment.com. “Our last show, on Sept. 1, 2001, I will remember for the rest of my life. She is an amazingly talented performer.”
Stage Career Gave ‘Dukes of Hazzard’ Star Chance to Work with Several Great Actors
Bernadette Peters isn’t the only co-star who impressed Tom Wopat over his years on stage. In 2005, he had the chance to star alongside a stellar cast in a revival of “Glengarry Glen Ross.” According to PopEntertainment.com, also part of this cast was M*A*S*H star Alan Alda.
Also starring in the show were Liev Schrieber, Jeffrey Tambor, Frederick Weller, Gordon Clapp, and Jordan Lage. Needless to say, this lineup impressed Wopat.
“There are so many fine actors out there these days. In this show alone, you have Alda, Schrieber, Tambor, Lage and Clapp. That’s number one stuff,” he said in 2005. “Fred Weller, who is probably the least well known in the bunch, is maybe the most consistent night after night.
He smacks you right in the middle of the nose, as far as the acting note goes. This is really an interesting and diverse group, all with different styles and different approaches to how it works. But it all came together. It’s been a very synergistic experience.”
After that 2005 production of “Glengarry Glen Ross,” Tom Wopat continued to appear on Broadway. Playbill.com reports that he also appeared in such shows as “A Catered Affair” in 2008, “Sondheim on Sondheim” in 2010, “Catch Me If You Can” in 2011, and “The Trip to Bountiful” in 2013.
He has even been nominated for two Tony Awards. One for “Annie Get Your Gun.” The other was for “A Catered Affair,” according to Playbill.com