This dashing Irish-born actor (although perceived as being very British in the USA), Edward Mulhare won his place in American TV history playing the sea captain who haunts his former home in the TV series version of "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir" (NBC, 1968-69; ABC, 1969-1970), opposite Hope Lange. He had a longer run as the agent sent to watch over David Hasselhoff in "Knight Rider" (NBC, 1982-1986).
Although Mulhare made his stage debut in his native Cork, Ireland, in 1942 and was a London stage veteran, having co-starred with Orson Wells in a 1951 production of "Othello" directed by Laurence Olivier, he became best recalled for replacing Rex Harrison on Broadway in "My Fair Lady" in 1957. For three years and 1,000 performances Mulhare was Henry Higgins in New York, before continuing the role on an international tour. It has been said that he played the role more times than Harrison, particularly because the actor continued to perform the role in summer theatres and for touring companies well into the 70s. Among his other stage credits were "Devil's Advocate" (1960), "Mary, Mary" (1961), and the 1973 revival of Shaw's "Don Juan in Hell."
Mulhare began acting in TV in England in 1956, with an episode of "The Adventures of Robin Hood," which was shot there for international release. His US debut came with an episode of "Kraft Television Theatre" in 1957, and over the course of the next 40 years, Mulhare frequently guest starred on TV episodics. His last came in 1996 on an episode of "Baywatch Knights," which was executive produced by his "Knight Rider" co-star and friend, Hasselhoff. Mulhare appeared in only a handful of TV-movies, including "Gidget Grows Up" (ABC, 1969), in which he was the surf princess' boss as she become a tour guide at the United Nations. He reprised his role of Devon Miles for a "Knight Rider" reunion movie in 1991, and also appeared in a "Hart to Hart" revival, "Secrets of the Hart" (NBC, 1995).
Work in feature films was sporadic, although Mulhare is recalled for his turn as the counterpoint to Richard Harris' mysterious Brit opposite Doris Day in "Caprice" (1967). He began in films in 1955 with "Hill 24 Doesn't Answer," about the fight for Israeli independence. Mulhare also had supporting roles in "Von Ryan's Express" (1965) and "Our Man Flint" (1966). In 1982, he was the sponsor of the "Megaforce," a $20 million disaster. Mulhare, who died of lung cancer in May 1997, could also be seen posthumously as Walter Matthau's rival for Dyan Cannon in "Out to Sea" (1997).
Cast (Feature Film)
Stage acting debut, "The First Mrs. Fraser", in Cork, Ireland
Featured opposite Orson Welles in a production of "Othello" on the London stage directed by Laurence Olivier
Feature film debut, "Hill 24 Doesn't Answer"
Appeared in the British series "The Adventures of Robin Hood" (aired in USA on CBS)
Succeeded Rex Harrison as Henry Higgins in the Broadway production of "My Fair Lady"; NY stage acting debut
Made first TV-movie, "Gidget Grows Up" (ABC)
Final TV appearance, a guest shot on "Baywatch Nights", starring Hasselhoff
Final feature appearance, "Out to Sea"; released posthumously