Bob Crane facts for kids
Quick facts for kids
Crane in Hogan's Heroes, 1969
Robert Edward Crane
July 13, 1928
Waterbury, Connecticut, U.S.
|Died||June 29, 1978
Scottsdale, Arizona, U.S.
|Cause of death||Homicide|
|Resting place||Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery|
(m. 1949; div. 1970)
Crane was a drummer from age 11, and he began his entertainment career as a radio personality, beginning in Hornell, New York and later in Connecticut. He then moved to Los Angeles, where he hosted the number-one rated morning radio show. In the early 1960s, Crane moved into acting, eventually landing the lead role of Colonel Robert Hogan in Hogan's Heroes. The series aired from 1965 to 1971, and Crane received two Emmy Award nominations.
Crane's career declined after Hogan's Heroes. He became frustrated with the few roles that he was being offered and began performing in dinner theater. In 1975, he returned to television in the NBC series The Bob Crane Show, but the series received poor ratings and was cancelled after thirteen weeks. Afterward, Crane returned to performing in dinner theater and also appeared in occasional guest spots on television.
Crane was killed in June 1978.
Bob Crane was born in Waterbury, Connecticut, the younger of two sons of Rose Mary (née Ksenich) and Alfred Thomas Crane - the original spelling of the family name was Crean. He spent his childhood and teenaged years in Stamford.
Crane began playing drums at the age of 11, and by junior high was organizing local drum and bugle parades with his neighborhood friends. He joined his high school's orchestra and its marching and jazz bands. Crane also played for the Connecticut and Norwalk Symphony Orchestras as part of their youth orchestra program. He graduated from Stamford High School in 1946. Then, in 1948, he enlisted for two years in the Connecticut Army National Guard and was honorably discharged in 1950. The previous year he married his high-school sweetheart, Anne Terzian. The couple had three children: Robert David, Deborah Anne, and Karen Leslie.
In 1950, Crane began his career in radio broadcasting at WLEA in Hornell, New York. He soon moved to Connecticut stations WBIS in Bristol and then WICC in Bridgeport, a 1,000-watt operation with a signal covering the northeastern portion of the New York metropolitan area. In 1956, Crane was hired by CBS Radio to host the morning show at its West Coast flagship KNX in Los Angeles, California, partly to re-energize that station's ratings and partly to halt his erosion of suburban ratings at WCBS in New York City. In California, Crane filled the broadcast with sly wit, drumming, and such guests as Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, and Bob Hope. His show quickly topped the morning ratings with adult listeners in the Los Angeles area, and Crane became "king of the Los Angeles airwaves".
Crane's acting ambitions led to guest-hosting for Johnny Carson on the daytime game show Who Do You Trust? and appearances on The Twilight Zone (uncredited), Channing, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, and General Electric Theater. After Carl Reiner appeared on his radio show, Crane persuaded Reiner to book him for a guest appearance on The Dick Van Dyke Show.
The Donna Reed Show (1963–1964)
After seeing Crane's performance on The Dick Van Dyke Show, Donna Reed offered him a guest shot on her program. After the success of that episode, his character, Dr. David Kelsey, was incorporated into the show's storyline, and Crane became a regular cast member, beginning with the episode "Friends and Neighbors". Crane continued to work full-time at KNX during his stint on The Donna Reed Show, running back and forth from the KNX studio at Columbia Square to Columbia Studios. He left the show in December 1964.
Hogan's Heroes (1965–1971)
In 1965, Crane was offered the starring role in a CBS television sitcom set in a World War II POW camp. Hogan's Heroes involved the sabotage and espionage missions of Allied soldiers, led by Colonel Robert Hogan, from under the noses of the oblivious Germans guarding them. The show was an immediate hit, finishing in the top 10 in its first year. The series lasted for six seasons on CBS, and Crane was nominated for an Emmy Award in 1966 and 1967.
After having a love affair with Hogan co-star Cynthia Lynn, the actress who played Helga, Crane became romantically involved with Lynn's replacement Patricia Olson in 1968, who played Hilda under the stage name Sigrid Valdis. Crane divorced Terzian in 1970, just before their 21st anniversary, and married Olson on the set of the show later that year, with series co-star Richard Dawson serving as best man. Their son, Scotty, was born in 1971, and they later adopted a daughter, Ana Marie. Crane and Olson separated in 1977, but according to several family members, had reconciled shortly before Crane's death in June, 1978.
After Hogan's Heroes
In 1968, Crane and Hogan co-stars Werner Klemperer, Leon Askin, and John Banner appeared with Elke Sommer in a feature film, The Wicked Dreams of Paula Schultz, set in the divided city of Berlin during the Cold War. In 1969, Crane starred with Abby Dalton in a dinner theater production of Cactus Flower.
Following the cancellation of Hogan's Heroes in 1971, Crane appeared in two Disney films: Superdad (1973), in the title role, and a small role in Gus (1976). In 1973, he purchased the rights to a comedy play called Beginner's Luck and began touring it, as its star and director, at the Showboat Dinner Theatre in St. Petersburg, Florida; the La Mirada Civic Theatre in California; the Windmill Dinner Theatre in Scottsdale, Arizona; and other dinner theaters around the country.
Between theater engagements, Crane guest-starred in a number of television shows, including Police Woman, Gibbsville, Quincy, M.E., and The Love Boat. In 1975, he returned to television with his own series, The Bob Crane Show on NBC, which was cancelled after thirteen episodes. In early 1978, Crane taped a travel documentary in Hawaii and recorded an appearance on the Canadian cooking show Celebrity Cooks. Neither aired in the U.S. after his death the following June. His appearance on Celebrity Cooks was broadcast in Canada in late 1978, and was recreated in the biopic film Auto Focus.
Crane's body was found on June 29, 1978. The police ruled his death a homicide.
Crane's funeral was held on July 5, 1978, at St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church in Westwood, Los Angeles. An estimated 200 family members and friends attended, including John Astin and his wife, Patty Duke and Carroll O'Connor. Pallbearers included Hogan's Heroes producer Edward Feldman, co-stars Robert Clary and Larry Hovis, and Crane's son Robert. He was interred in Oakwood Memorial Park in Chatsworth, California. Patricia Olson later had his remains relocated to Westwood Village Memorial Park in Westwood, and after her death in 2007, she was buried beside him under her stage name, Sigrid Valdis.
|1961||Return to Peyton Place||Peter White||Uncredited|
|1964||The New Interns||Drunken Prankster at Baby Shower||Uncredited|
|1968||The Wicked Dreams of Paula Schultz||Bill Mason|
|1976||Gus||Pepper||His final film role|
|1953||General Electric Theater||Episode: "Ride the River"|
|1959||Picture Window||Jerry McEvoy||Unaired pilot|
|1961||The Twilight Zone||Disc Jockey||Episode: "Static", uncredited|
|1961||General Electric Theater||Harry||Episode: "The $200 Parlay"|
|1962||The Dick Van Dyke Show||Harry Rogers||Episode: "Somebody Has to Play Cleopatra"|
|1963||The Alfred Hitchcock Hour||Charlie Lessing||Segment: "The Thirty-First of February"|
|1963||Channing||Prof. Arlen||Episode: "A Hall Full of Strangers"|
|1963–65||The Donna Reed Show||Dr. Dave Kelsey||62 episodes|
|1965–71||Hogan's Heroes||Col. Robert E. Hogan||168 episodes|
|1966||The Lucy Show||Himself||Episode: "Lucy and Bob Crane"|
|1966||Password||Himself||Game Show Contestant / Celebrity Guest Star|
|1967||The Green Hornet||Uncredited Non Speaking Role||1 episode|
|1967||The Red Skelton Show||Col. Hogan||Episode: "Freddie's Heroes"|
|1969||Arsenic and Old Lace||Mortimer Brewster||Television film|
|1969||Love, American Style||Howard Melville||Episode: "Love and the Modern Wife"|
|1971||Love, American Style||Mark||Episode: "Love and the Logical Explanation"|
|1971||Love, American Style||Episode: "Love and the Waitress"|
|1971||The Doris Day Show||Bob Carter||Episode: "And Here's... Doris"|
|1971||Night Gallery||Ellis Travers||Episode: "House – with Ghost"|
|1972||The Delphi Bureau||Charlie Taggart||Television pilot|
|1974||Tenafly||Sid Pierce||Episode: "Man Running"|
|1974||Tattletales||Himself||Game Show Contestant / Celebrity Guest Star|
|1974||Police Woman||Larry Brooks||Episode: "Requiem for Bored Wives'|
|1975||The Bob Crane Show||Bob Wilcox||14 episodes|
|1976||Joe Forrester||Alban||Episode: "The Invaders"|
|1976||Ellery Queen||Jerry Crabtree||Episode: "The Adventure of the Hardhearted Huckster"|
|1976||Spencer's Pilots||Cozens||Episode: "The Search"|
|1977||Quincy, M.E.||Dr. Jamison||Episode: "Has Anybody Here Seen Quincy?"|
|1977||The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries||Danny Day||Episode: "A Haunting We Will Go"|
|1978||The Love Boat||Edward 'Teddy' Anderson||Episode: "Too Hot to Handle/Family Reunion/Cinderella Story", (final appearance)|
Awards and nominations
|Year||Award||Category||Title of work||Nominated/Won|
|1966||Primetime Emmy Award||Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series||Hogan's Heroes||Nominated|
|1967||Primetime Emmy Award||Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series||Hogan's Heroes||Nominated|
In Spanish: Bob Crane para niños
Bob Crane Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.