Published in September 2015, Bob Crane: The Definitive Biography contains the first-hand testimonies, memories, and recollections from 200 prominent individuals from Bob Crane's life. Family, friends as far back as grade school, and coworkers in radio, television (including many from Hogan's Heroes), theatre, and film have helped tell his complete story. In addition, the hard cover edition contains more than 200 rare family and professional photographs, some never before published or seen by the public until now. Discover the truth! If you think you know Bob Crane before reading this book, you don't know him at all. Author profits will be donated to various charities in Bob's memory.
Official Statement about the Re-Investigation of Bob Crane's Murder (11/23/16)
"We—my coauthors and I, members of Bob Crane's family, his friends, and his colleagues—are always hopeful that one day, the true identity of Bob's murderer will be known and justice can be served. However, this recent investigation did not reveal any groundbreaking information or provide a resolution, and the subsequent media coverage did nothing more than bring unnecessary heartache to many who knew, loved, and cared about Bob. We do not discuss or endorse any speculative theories as to who may have committed the crime. We encourage those who want to know more about Bob Crane to discover his complete and true life story in Bob Crane: The Definitive Biography. All author profits are being donated to various charities in Bob's memory."
—Carol Ford, author, Bob Crane: The Definitive Biography

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Bob Crane on Acting and Being a Hero - 'Think John Wayne' (TV Guide - August 3, 1968)

When Bob Crane was in school, he was one of the most popular kids around. A drummer in his high school and community jazz bands, a quick wit, and a comedian, Bob was also nice to everybody. Further, he loved making people laugh. His friends remember him for his sunny personality and always being the first with a joke or a gag.

As far back as junior high school, Bob was doing different impersonations of people. One of his classmates remembered he could impersonate one of their school teachers perfectly. The teacher had a slight speech impediment, and Bob's classmate criticized him for making fun of her. While he hadn't seen it as ridiculing the teacher, but instead, just having some fun, Bob also didn't brush it off, either. He took the criticism to heart and felt genuinely bad about it, never making fun of the teacher again. He would later say to a group of students at LA College to always be mindful of what they say on air - if you think something is a little off-color, then chances are, others will think so, too.

This is just one example of countless stories of Bob's sensitivity, and from it, was born what would become the cornerstone of his humor: that of self-depreciating humor. By making himself the number-one target of his razor-sharp wit, Bob could then turn that wit onto others - such as celebrities and paying advertisers - in such a way as to not offend, but rather, take part in his style of humor. 

Bob Crane was also driven - a word used by many who knew him from all walks of his life. He was continually driving himself to another career goal. Moving from the "zany" world of radio into the field of acting, Bob began to hone his acting talents. When watching early episodes of Hogan's Heroes, the character of Colonel Hogan is a bit more campy, someone who is less serious and more fun. Later on, however, the character begins to develop a more profound leadership quality, which Bob worked very hard to achieve. 

In the article posted here (from TV Guide - August 3, 1968), Bob talks about how he transformed Colonel Hogan from the young, wise-cracking POW in season one into the more mature, serious officer and group leader from season two through the series' end. Bob Crane molds Hogan into a larger-than-life hero who realizes the dangers of war yet thrives on keeping the upper hand at the expense of Klink and the Nazis, but who does so in the classic style of the legendary John Wayne.

Click on each image below and then again in the new window for easier reading.

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For more about Bob Crane: The Definitive Biography, which was published on September 17, 2015, visit