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Bob Crane

Mostly Credited As: Bob Crane
Birth Name: Robert Edward Crane
Date Of Birth: July 13, 1928 (Age 49)
Country Of Birth: USA
Birth Place: Waterbury, Connecticut
Date Of Death: June 29, 1978
Cause Of Death: Homicide (Scottsdale, Arizona)
Height: 5' 10" (1.77 m)

Bob Crane


Bob Crane was born Robert Edward Crane, in Waterbury, Connecticut, July 13th 1928. In 1942, at the age of 14, Bob began drumming for the Connecticut Symphony Orchestra. He was dismissed a year later because he was not considered "serious enough." Shortly thereafter, Bob began a radio career which eventually took him west to Los Angeles, and landed him in the morning drive slot at CBS powerhouse KNX, where he became known as "The King of the Los Angeles Airwaves." His show was not only wildly successful, it was revolutionary. Bob filled the broadcast booth with wry wit and charisma, not to mention drums, chimpanzees, and movie stars. His show was the number-one-rated morning show in Los Angeles, and Hollywood's biggest stars were regular guests on his show; Marilyn Monroe, Ronald Reagan, Jayne Mansfield, Mary Tyler Moore, Bob Hope, and Frank Sinatra, to name only a handful.

It was during his reign as "King of the L.A. Airwaves" that Crane captured the attention of CBS television executives. He began making guest appearances on The Dick Van Dyke Show, among others. Soon he landed himself a regular role on The Donna Reed Show as "Doctor David Kelsey." However, Crane's character was dropped after two seasons because executives decided the flirtatious Kelsey, was "too suggestive." Then, in 1965 Crane was offered the starring role in a highly controversial television pilot about Allied prisoners in a German P.O.W. camp. The pilot made a splash and Hogan's Heroes went on to become one of the most successful sitcoms of all time. In 1966 and 1967, Bob was nominated for two Emmy awards - this would be the peak of his career. In 1971, after a six-year run, CBS inexplicably canceled Hogan's Heroes when management decided to take the entire network in a different direction.

In the years following the cancellation of Hogan's Heroes, Bob stayed busy with various film and television appearances, including two Disney films, Superdad and Gus. Bob also remained a regular guest on the talk show circuit, as well as a guest host for Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show. In 1975 NBC gave Bob another shot at prime time with The Bob Crane Show. However, the show was not a critical success, and it was canceled after only thirteen episodes. For the next several years Bob showed his wares on the dinner theater circuit, acting and directing in Beginner's Luck, among other productions. It was during a 1978 run of Beginner's Luck that Bob Crane was brutally murdered in a Scottsdale hotel room.

His murder remains unsolved and one of Hollywood's biggest mysteries.

TV Appearances

Main cast 
The Bob Crane Show (1975)As: Bob Wilcox
Hogan's Heroes (1965)As: Col. Robert Hogan
The Donna Reed Show (1958)As: Dr. Dave Kelsey (S05-S07)
Episode Cast Credits 

The Love Boat (1977) 
  Cinderella Story/Too Hot to Handle/Family Reunion 01x13: (Jan/07/1978) As Teddy Anderson 

The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries (1977) 
  A Haunting We Will Go 01x08: (Apr/03/1977) As Danny 

Quincy, M.E. (1976) 
  Has Anybody Here Seen Quincy? 02x07: (Mar/18/1977) As Dr. Jamison (credited with character name) 

Gibbsville (1976) 
  Trapped 01x03: (Dec/09/1976) As ... 

Spencer's Pilots (1976) 
  The Search 01x07: (Oct/29/1976) As Cozens 

Ellery Queen (1975) 
  The Adventure of the Hard Hearted Huckster 01x21: (Mar/21/1976) As Jerry Crabtree 

Joe Forrester (1975) 
  The Invaders (a.k.a Hard Core) 01x18: (Feb/23/1976) As Alban 

Police Woman (1974) 
  Requiem for Bored Wives 01x10: (Nov/29/1974) As Larry Brooks 

Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In (1968) 
  Episode #126 06x10: (Nov/20/1972) As Himself 
  Episode #119 06x03: (Sep/25/1972) As Himself 

Night Gallery (1970) 
  House - with Ghost 02x27: (Nov/17/1971) As Ellis Travers 

The Barbara McNair Show (1969) 
  B. B. King / Bob Crane 01x16: (Mar/15/1970) As Himself 

The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour (1967) (1967) 
  Show #4 01x04: (Feb/26/1967) As Himself 

The Lucy Show (1962) 
  Lucy and Bob Crane 04x22: (Feb/21/1966) As Himself 

The Donna Reed Show (1958) 
  Friends and Neighbors 05x29: (Apr/04/1963) As Dr. Dave Kelsey 

The Alfred Hitchcock Hour (1962) 
  The Thirty First of February 01x15: (Jan/04/1963) As Charlie Lessing, [Co-Guest Stars]

The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961) 
  Somebody Has to Play Cleopatra 02x14: (Dec/26/1962) As Harry Rogers 

General Electric Theater (1953) 
  The $200 Parlay 10x05: (Oct/15/1961) As Harry 
  Ride the River 01x02: (Feb/08/1953) As guest star 

The Twilight Zone (1959) 
  Static 02x20: (Mar/10/1961) Voiced  Disc Jockey, [Uncredited]
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Trivia

Bob and Hogan's Heroes co-star Werner Klemperer frequently argued politics on the set with Crane taking the conservative side and Klemperer espousing the liberal viewpoint.

In 1974, Bob appeared on The Zero Hour - a syndicated radio theater show produced by Rod Serling. Bob was the Star of five epsiodes.

Bob Crane: I joke. It's a comic’s defense. If they get you in a corner—throw a funny line and run!

Bob Crane: I wanted to be a musician, a drummer, and studied and practiced my head off for 20 years. And if you ask anyone today in show business they will tell you that I never made it.

Bob Crane: I’m a video nut. It’s my hobby, and I spend as much time playing with it and experimenting with it as possible.

One of Bob's first acting jobs was in Return to Peyton Place (1961).

Bob occasionally appeared as a guest host for Johnny Carson on the Tonight Show.

In 2002, Bob was the subject of a "noise opera" by the experimental band Facetious (released on CD under the title Raw Biscuits: The Bob Crane Story).

Bob was a drummer with the Connecticut Symphony Orchestra for about a year.

Bob began his acting career around the age of 33.

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