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

Monday, December 21, 2015

The Donna Reed Show — 'A Very Merry Christmas!'

Note: In March 1963, Bob Crane made his first appearance on The Donna Reed Show as Dr. Dave Blevins. This one guest appearance led to his being cast in the semi-regular role of next-door neighbor Dr. Dave Kelsey, officially launching his acting career and preparing him for the future. Bob thought highly of Donna Reed, who often coached him as an actor and offered him advice during Hogan’s Heroes. When asked about what he thought of Donna, he said, “She was marvelous. I learned everything I know in the business from her.” (For more about Bob Crane’s role on The Donna Reed Show, click here.) Although Bob did not appear in the Christmas episode, we have chosen to take this opportunity to honor The Donna Reed Show with a post about her holiday episode, "A Very Merry Christmas," as part of Me-TV's "A Very Merry Blogathon," hosted by the Classic TV Blog Association. This post is written by guest author Jude H. Cormier, owner and manager of the We Love The Donna Reed Show Facebook page. Thank you, Jude, and Happy Holidays to all!


The Donna Reed Show — 'A Very Merry Christmas!'

by Jude H. Cormier

When one thinks of the Christmas holiday, especially the televised version of it, you have the expected pitfalls and trappings. The Donna Reed Show’s “A Very Merry Christmas” (which is, in fact, the series’ lone holiday episode) has these things delivered in a warm and funny package. Scenes of Christmas cards dangling, sermons about the commercialism of the holiday, jokes about how awful everyone thinks fruitcake is, especially as a gift, are presented in typical, but still amusing fashion. The madness of shopping for gifts that are bound to be returned seem quaint, even by the late 1950s standards. 

What really sets this episode apart is the discovery that the children’s ward of the hospital (where Dr. Stone works and Donna Stone volunteers) seems to have been overlooked among the rush and bustle of doing “Christmas.” Donna is just appalled that no one seems to be doing anything for the children. Enter the wonderful Buster Keaton, who, as the hospital custodian, has been secretly doing it for years. Donna offers her assistance, much to the protest of her own kids, who can’t bear the thought of their own plans being interrupted.

In true heartwarming fashion, Donna’s family pulls through and brings gifts and decorations to the hospital. We all know Donna Reed for her wonderful contribution in the movie It’s a Wonderful Life, but this episode of her sitcom is just as good in her repertoire for delivering the message of Christmas.

So gather up the family around the cozy fire, pass the sugar cookies, enjoy mugs of eggnog, and yes, a slice or two of the dreaded fruitcake, and make it “A Very Merry Christmas” for at least 30 minutes.


  1. Thank you for this review - this episode is always part of my holiday season viewing. And thank you also for providing a positive source of information on Bob Crane, a wonderful actor who, despite some personal shortcomings, certainly deserves a better legacy.

  2. I would have thought that THE DONNA REED SHOW had more than one Christmas episode! My favorite part about this episode is the opportunity to see Buster Keaton, who would be relegated to BEACH PARTY movies by the mid 1960s and not hailed as a film pioneer until later (by the late 1970s, though, college film classes were showing SHERLOCK JR.). This is another great selection for the MeTV holiday blogathon.

  3. I love this episode. It's great to see Buster Keaton here--he perfectly captures the sadness but bright spirit of someone who dedicates himself to celebrating Christmas with the hospitalized children each year. Thanks for writing about this episode.


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For more about Bob Crane, visit

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