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Bob Crane
Original name: Robert Edward Crane
Birth: Jul. 13, 1928
New Haven County
Connecticut, USA
Death: Jun. 29, 1978
Maricopa County
Arizona, USA

Actor. He is best remembered for his role as 'Colonel Robert E. Hogan' in the CBS television sitcom World War II series "Hogan's Heroes" that aired from September 1965 until July 1971. Born Robert Edward Crane, he grew up in Stamford, Connecticut and began playing the drums, joining the Stamford High School marching and jazz bands and the orchestra. He graduated from high school in 1946 and two years later he enlisted in the Connecticut Army National Guard for two years. In 1950 he began his broadcasting career at WLEA in Hornell, New York and from there he moved to WBIS in Bristol, Connecticut, and then WICC in Bridgeport, Connecticut. In 1956 he was hired by the CBS radio network to host the morning show at its west coast flagship KNX in Los Angeles, California. There he filled the broadcast with sly wit, drumming, and such guests as Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, and Bob Hope, and his show quickly topped the morning ratings with adult listeners in the Los Angeles area. By then he had ambitions to become an actor and he began guest-hosting for Johnny Carson on the ABC daytime television game show "Who Do You Trust?" and appearances on "The Twilight Zone" (uncredited), "Channing," "Alfred Hitchcock Presents," and "General Electric Theater." After comedian/screenwriter Carl Reiner appeared on his radio show, he persuaded him to book a guest appearance on "The Dick Van Dyke Show" where he was noticed by Donna Reed, who suggested him for the role of neighbor 'Dr. Dave Kelsey' in her ABC television sitcom "The Donna Reed Show" from 1963 through 1965. In 1965 he was offered the starring role in a television comedy pilot about a World War II German POW camp "Hogan's Heroes." It became a hit and finished in the Top Ten in its first year on the air. The series lasted six seasons, and Crane was twice nominated for an Emmy Award in 1966 and 1967. He also appeared in television's "The Lucy Show" and "The Red Skelton Show" during this time. In 1968 he and several "Hogan's Heroes" costars appeared in a feature film called "The Wicked Dreams of Paula Schultz." In 1969 he starred with Abby Dalton in "Cactus Flower." When "Hogan's Heroes" was cancelled in 1971 he appeared in two Walt Disney films, "Superdad" (1973) in the title role and "Gus" (1976) in a featured role. In 1973 he purchased the rights to "Beginner's Luck," a play that he starred in and directed. The production toured for five years, predominantly at dinner theaters around the country, and he became a fixture in that venue. During breaks he guest starred in a number of television shows, including "Tenafly," "Police Woman," "Gibbsville," "Ellery Queen," "Quincy, M.E.", and "The Love Boat." In 1975 he returned to television with his own series, "The Bob Crane Show" that was canceled by NBC after three months. In June 1978 he was appearing in "Beginner's Luck" at the Windmill Dinner Theater in Scottsdale, Arizona and when he failed to show up for a lunch meeting, he was discovered beaten to death in his apartment at the age of 49. His friend, John Henry Carpenter, with whom he was involved in filming sexual encounters with women, was suspected of the murder based on forensic evidence found in his rented car but due to insufficient evidence, Carpenter was not immediately charged. In 1990 the case was re-opened and after new evidence came to light, Carpenter was arrested in June 1992 and charged with Crane's murder. At the conclusion of the trial in 1994, Carpenter was found not guilty and continued to maintain his innocence until his death in 1998. His murder remains one of Hollywood's unsolved mysteries. He was married twice; first to his high school sweetheart Anne Terzian (1949 to 1970) and then to actress Sigrid Valdis who played the role of 'Hilda' on Hogan's Heroes" (1970 to 1978). In 2002 his life was the subject of the film "Auto Focus," starring Greg Kinnear as Crane. (bio by: William Bjornstad) 

Cause of death: Murdered
Oakwood Memorial Park *
Los Angeles County
California, USA
*Former burial location
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Jan 01, 2001
Find A Grave Memorial# 1628
Bob Crane
Added by: Nils M. Solsvik Jr.
Bob Crane
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Bob Crane
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