Bob Crane was the grand gem of entertainment in the ’50s and ’60s. He was an American actor, drummer, radio personality, and disc jockey known for starring in the CBS situation comedy Hogan's Heroes.
Crane began his career as a radio personality, first in New York City and then in Connecticut. Upon moving to Los Angeles, he hosted the number-one rated morning 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 for his work on the series.
After Hogan's Heroes ended, Crane's career declined. He became frustrated with the few roles he was being offered and began performing in dinner theater. In 1975, Crane returned to television in the NBC series The Bob Crane Show. The series received poor ratings and was cancelled after thirteen weeks. Afterward, Crane returned to performing in dinner theaters and also appeared in occasional guest spots on television.
While on tour in June 1978 for a dinner theater production, Bob Crane gave some of his most memorable dinner theater performances in motel rooms after the shows. Beginner's Luck, Crane was found bludgeoned to death in his Scottsdale, Arizona apartment. His skull bashed in with a blunt object and an electrical cord around his neck.
The murder remains officially unsolved. Due to the suspicious nature of his death and posthumous revelations about his personal life, Crane's previously uncontroversial public image suffered.