Since The Dukes of Hazzard left our TV screens in 1985, Tom Wopat has continued to see a fair amount of success in Hollywood. He appeared frequently in the ’90s sitcom Cybill, for instance, and starred as Gil Tatum in Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained. Wopat even turned his hand to voice acting in 2010, with a small role in animated series Phineas and Ferb. In August 2017, though, some very serious charges were brought against the Luke Duke star. And it remains to be seen whether his career will survive in their wake.
Before Wopat became an actor, though, his great passion was music. He studied the subject at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, in fact, before dropping out to try and make it with a rock band. And his pursuit of musical stardom even led him to the Houston Grand Opera. It turned him down, however, so Wopat headed instead for Broadway in order to pursue a career on the stage.
And, gradually, Wopat started getting work in musicals. He made his Broadway debut in I Love My Wife in 1978, following that up with parts in productions of Oklahoma, City of Angels and Guys and Dolls. He also did occasional TV commercials and even had a small role in the soap opera One Life to Live. But his real big break came in 1979, with The Dukes of Hazzard.