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Bob Crane was born in Waterbury, Connecticut, on July 13, 1928, his varied career included work as a disc jockey and television appearances in situation comedies, musical variety hours and game shows. One of his first acting credits was a supporting role in the film "Return to Peyton Place" (1961). The next year, he appeared in an episode of "The Dick Van Dyke Show" as handsome Harry Rogers. The show centered around Rob's difficulty in directing his wife Laura in a love scene with Harry. Crane's first recurring role on a TV series was on "The Donna Reed Show" as the Stones' next-door neighbor, Dr. David Kelsey (1963-1965). Immediately following that stint, Bob starred in his most famous television show, "Hogan's Heroes," as Colonel Robert "Papa Bear" Hogan, from 1965-1971. Set during World War II, this sitcom derived its humor from the inhabitants of a Nazi POW camp equipped with a steam room, barbershop and all the amenities of home. The American prisoners took their orders from Col. Robert Hogan (Bob Crane), whose men were held in Stalag 13 and supplied classified information about the enemy to the Allied forces. The camp's monocle-wearing commandant, Col. Klink (Werner Klemperer), proved no match for the POWs, who repeatedly helped prisoners escape and kept the Germans from successfully carrying out any of their plans. In its first year, "Hogan's Heroes" was the only new series to do well in the ratings, landing ninth in the Nielsen's for the season.
"Hogan's Heroes" allowed Bob to guest-star in many variety shows, including "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour," "The John Gary Show," and the 1965 broadcast of "Hollywood Talent Scouts" (as the celebrity who presented his "discovery," singer Marilyn McCoo--later the lead singer of The Fifth Dimension). Keeping it all in the family, he appeared with "Hogan's Heroes" cohorts John Banner and Werner Klemperer in the flop romantic comedy film "The Wicked Dreams of Paula Schultz" (1968). He received Emmy nominations for Best Actor in a Comedy Series twice during "Hogan's Heroes"--for the 1965-66 and 1966-67 seasons. When "Hogan's Heroes" ended in 1971, Bob went on to do a few television movies, such as "The Delphi Bureau" (1972), and theatrical films like Disney's "Superdad" (1974). In March of 1975, NBC gave him his own sitcom, "The Bob Crane Show." It only lasted a few months.
Crane was found murdered in a condo in Scottsdale, Ariz. on June 29, 1978. He had been there appearing in a dinner theater production. At that time, it was revealed that Crane and friend of his John Carpenter, had a history of performing sex acts together and with strange women Crane had picked-up. The two "wild and crazy guys", had appearantly filmed many of these events without the women's knowledge for their own entertainment. Speculation is that their relationship had soured in some way and Carpenter had ended it , killing Bob brutally with a combination of strangulation with a phone cord and blunt force trauma to the head, although he was aquitted of these charges by a jury in 1994. During the trial , Carpenter sat quietly writing in a notebook at the defense table, said to look more like an attorney than his attorney.
One morning before testimony started, Judge Martin spoke to a group of high school students visiting his courtroom... "The courtroom has some of the best theatre in town,... It's real life and you don't need a ticket to get in." he said " If you're ever bored, don't be afraid to drop in."
More Bob Crane Online @ The Bob Crane Experience
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