Robert Edward Crane, better known by his stage name Bob Crane, was an actor, radio host, percussionist, and disc jockey in the United States. He rose to prominence as Colonel Robert E. Hogan on the television sitcom “Hogan’s Heroes,” for which he received two Emmy nods. Bob was a well-known radio personality before turning to acting, first in New York, then Connecticut, and eventually in Los Angeles, where he hosted the top-rated morning show. Crane’s career began to decline once ‘Hogan’s Heroes’ finished. As a result, he began acting in plays. He did, however, return to television with NBC’s ‘The Bob Crane Show,’ which was canceled after 13 weeks due to low ratings. As a result, he returned to the theater. He was discovered bludgeoned to death in his Scottsdale apartment in June 1978. While Crane’s death is still unsolved, his friend John Henry Carpenter was caught and charged with his murder in 1992. Bob Crane was a church-going family man who plunged into a life of strip clubs, BDSM, and sex addiction, according to the film ‘Auto Focus,’ based on Crane’s death. His son, Robert Scott, however, questioned the film’s veracity.
Childhood and Adolescence
Robert Edward “Bob” Crane was born in Waterbury, Connecticut, on July 13, 1928, and raised in Stamford. Alfred John Crane, his older brother, was the son of Alfred Thomas and Rosemary Crane. He was nurtured in a traditional Roman Catholic household and was of Irish and Russian origin. He began playing the drums at the age of 11 and arranged local drum and bugle parades with his neighborhood buddies while in junior high school. In fact, he was inspired to play the drums after seeing Gene Krupa perform at an event.
He graduated from Stamford High School in 1946. He had joined the marching and jazz bands, as well as the orchestra, at his high school. At youth orchestra programs, he played with the Connecticut and Norwalk Symphony Orchestras. He worked as a watch repairman and sales clerk in a jewelry/emporium store in Stamford after high school. He served in the Connecticut Army National Guard from 1948 to 1950, and was honorably discharged after two years.
Career of Bob Crane
Bob Crane began his broadcasting career in 1950 at WLEA, a radio station in Hornell, New York that had a talk radio format. He then went to WBIS, a Bristol, Connecticut-licensed radio station, and then to WICC, a Bridgeport, Connecticut-licensed commercial AM radio station. He joined CBS Radio in 1956, where he had a famous morning show on KNX in Los Angeles. Due to his wit and drumming talents, as well as guests such as Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, and Bob Hope, his show swiftly rose to the top of the morning ratings.
He appeared on ‘The Twilight Zone,’ an American television anthology series; ‘Channing,’ a drama series; ‘Alfred Hitchcock Presents,’ a television anthology series hosted and produced by Alfred Hitchcock; ‘General Electric Theater,’ an anthology series hosted by Ronald Reagan; and ‘The Dick Van Dyke Show,’ a television sitcom. He guest-hosted for Johnny Carson, an American talk show host, on the daytime
Donna Reed, a film and television actress and producer, offered him a guest part on her show ‘The Donna Reed Show.’ Following the success of his character Dr. David Kelsey, the character was incorporated into the storyline, and Bob Crane became a regular cast member with the episode “Friends and Neighbors.” While doing ‘The Donna Reed Show,’ he worked full-time at KNX. In December 1964, he left the show. In June 1964, he also attended acting lessons from Stella Adler, an acting instructor.
Colonel Robert E. Hogan was offered to Bob Crane for the role of Colonel Robert E. Hogan in ‘Hogan’s Heroes’ in 1965. During World War II, it was a television sitcom set in a German prisoner of war camp. On the CBS network, it aired for 168 episodes. Bob introduced the show’s theme song with a military-style drum beat. In 1968, he made his feature film debut in George Marshall’s comedy ‘The Wicked Dreams of Paula Schultz.’ He appeared in a dinner theater production of ‘Cactus Flower’ in 1969.
Following the conclusion of ‘Hogan’s Heroes,’ he starred in two Disney comedies: ‘Superdad,’ as the titular character, in 1973, and ‘Gus,’ in 1976. Throughout 1973, he bought the rights to the play ‘Beginner’s Luck’ and began touring it in Florida, California, Arizona, and other states as its director.
He appeared in a number of TV shows, including ‘Police Woman,’ ‘Quincy,’ ‘Gibbsville,’ ‘M.E.,’ and ‘The Love Boat.’ In 1975, he returned to television with his own show, ‘The Bob Crane Show,’ on NBC. Unfortunately, after 13 episodes, it was canceled. In 1978, he shot a vacation documentary in Hawaii and appeared on the Canadian food show ‘Celebrity Cooks.’ Following his death, however, these were not broadcast.
Major Projects of Bob Crane
The acting of Bob Crane in ‘Hogan’s Heroes’ was praised by critics. The show was a huge success and lasted six seasons. In its first year on the broadcast, it was also among the top 10 series.
Achievements & Awards
In 1966 and 1967, Bob Crane was nominated for an Emmy Award for his role in ‘Hogan’s Heroes.’
Personal Experiences of Bob Crane
Bob Crane married Anne Terzian, his high school lover, on May 20, 1949. Robert David, Deborah Anne, and Karen Leslie were their three children. The couple split in April 1969 after 20 years of marriage, and their divorce was finalized in 1970.
Bob married Patricia “Patty” Olson, a theatrical actor, on October 16, 1970. Robert Scott Crane, Crane’s son, was born to him and Patty. Ana Marie, the couple’s adolescent housekeeper, was also adopted. In December 1977, Bob and Patty divorced.
Bob Crane had consensual intercourse with countless women for the majority of his adult life. He frequently recorded and shot his own sexual acts. As his acting career sank, his thirst for sex and pornography grew stronger, prompting the business to disdain him even more. In 1978, he sought professional help after realizing he couldn’t stop this conduct on his own.
Murder of Bob Crane
Bob Crane was discovered slain at his Winfield Place Apartments in Scottsdale, Arizona, on June 29, 1978. Victoria Ann Berry, his co-star, discovered his body. He was fatally bludgeoned to death with an unknown weapon. Investigators, on the other hand, thought it was a camera tripod. On July 5, 1978, he was laid to rest.
The Scottsdale Police Department looked through his videotape collection, which led them to his friend John Henry Carpenter, a Sony Electronics regional sales manager who had travelled to Phoenix on June 25 to spend a few days with Bob. Carpenter and Bob Crane were also involved in a number of sexual encounters. Carpenter’s automobile contained blood stains that matched Bob’s blood type. The Maricopa County Attorney declined to press charges due to a lack of evidence.
The case was revisited in 1990 after Scottsdale Detective Jim Raines reexamined the material from 1978. Raines spotted a fragment of brain tissue in an evidence shot of the car’s interiors. Carpenter was arrested and charged with the murder of Bob Crane in June 1992. Carpenter, however, was acquitted owing to a lack of evidence. In 1998, he passed away after a four-year battle with cancer.
Robert Crane, Bob Crane’s son, also suspected that Crane’s widow, Patricia Olson, was involved in the crime. Bob Crane’s life and murder were the subject of the 2002 film ‘Auto Focus,’ directed by Paul Schrader. The film received positive reviews from critics. Robert Crane, on the other hand, questioned the film’s veracity.
Estimated Net Worth
At the time of his death, Bob Crane was an American actor and disc jockey with a net worth of $150,000. He was most known for his role as Hogan on the TV sitcom “Hogan’s Heroes.” Crane appears in all 168 episodes of the show. He was nominated for Primetime Emmy Awards in 1966 and 1967 for “Hogan’s Heroes” for Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Comedy Series.