Robert Mandan dead: 'Soap' actor dies at 86

Robert Mandan, the actor best known for his role as the adulterer Chester Tate on the ABC drama Soap, has died. He was 86.

Born in Clever, Mo., Mandan’s April 29 death in Los Angeles was confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter.

After growing up in Southern California and studying theater at Pomona College, Mandan worked in the theater on both coasts before transitioning to TV in the ’50s and ’60s in shows like Edge of Night, The Doctors, and Edge of Tomorrow. The small screen kept him busy for the next four decades; he appeared in everything from Fantasy Island and The Love Boat to Three’s Company and The Facts of Life. But it was his role as Chester Tate from Soap that brought him fame. He played the knee-slapping part from 1977 to 1981.

He continued to pay tribute to his start in the daytime drama business by returning to the genre — first in 1990 with Santa Barbara and Days of Our Lives in 1998. One of his last TV appearances was on General Hospital in 2007.

Mandan’s film credits included The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, MacArthur, and Zapped!

He is survived by his wife, Sherry.

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