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Which '70s TV show spawned tons of Broadway stars?

Check out all the impressive the stage credits from the cast of the silly ’70s sitcom

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Soap

Just as soap stars have migrated to the stage — Susan Lucci in Annie Get Your Gun, anyone? — so have the stars of TV’s Soap (like Jay Johnson in his just-opened The Two and Only!). Here’s just a sampling of the cast’s many Broadway credits. And to get you in the mood, here’s a link to the late-’70s sitcom’s insanely catchy instrumental theme song.

ROBERT MANDAN
ON SOAP Wealthy patriarch and philanderer Chester Tate
ON BROADWAY Applause (1970) as Howard Benedict; But, Seriously… with Richard Dreyfuss and Dick Van Patten, which ran for four performances in 1969

KATHERINE HELMOND
ON SOAP Ditzy, put-upon wife and accused murderer Jessica Tate
ON BROADWAY A 1969 revival of Noël Coward’s Private Lives (understudied star Tammy Grimes); in 2004, played a prostitute on the senior-citizen circuit in an Off Broadway revival of Paula Vogel’s The Oldest Profession.

CATHRYN DAMON
ON SOAP Mary Dallas Campbell, Jessica Tate’s droll, pawn-in-chaos sister
ON BROADWAY The late actress appeared in many stage shows. Among them: By the Beautiful Sea, Shinbone Alley, Sweet Bird of Youth (opposite Christopher Walken), and Lincoln Center’s 1977 Cherry Orchard (which featured a very young Meryl Streep as a chambermaid).

RICHARD MULLIGAN
ON SOAP Mary’s loony, alien-abducted second husband
ON BROADWAY Herb Gardner’s A Thousand Clowns in 1962 (he stood by for star Jason Robards); the long-running play Never Too Late; Special Occasions, which lasted a single performance in 1982.

ROBERT GUILLAUME
ON SOAP Wisecracking butler Benson DuBois, a role he reprised in the 1979-86 spin-off series Benson
ON BROADWAY Guillaume’s been a musical-theater mainstay for more than 30 years, with stints in Finian’s Rainbow, Purlie, and the notable all-black revival of Guys and Dolls in 1976, playing gambler/reluctant fiancé Nathan Detroit.

JAY JOHNSON
ON SOAP Mary’s acerbic ventriloquist stepson Chuck, plus brash puppet alter ego Bob
ON BROADWAY The current Jay Johnson: The Two and Only! Finally, almost 30 years after chewing scenery on Soap, Bob gets to steal scenes on the Great White Way.

BILLY CRYSTAL
ON SOAP Jodie Dallas, Mary’s son by her first marriage, and one of TV’s first prime-time gay characters
ON BROADWAY His 2004 autobiographical solo show, 700 Sundays, broke box office records, drew a celeb-packed crowd nightly, and earned the comedian/actor/Oscar host a Tony Award.

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