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Robert Hogan, the familiar New York actor who made a six-decade career out of popping up on television shows including Hogan’s Heroes, whose main character was named after him, has died. He was 87.
Hogan died Thursday of complications from pneumonia at his home on the coast of Maine, his family announced.
On the stage, Hogan received an Outer Critics Circle Award in 1998 for his performance as attorney Clarence Darrow in John Logan’s Never the Sinner, a drama about the Leopold and Loeb murder trial in the 1920s. A year later, he played a U.S. Marine in the original Broadway production of Aaron Sorkin’s A Few Good Men.
Hogan appeared on more than 100 TV series, from Hazel, The Donna Reed Show, Gomer Pyle: USMC, The Twilight Zone and Dr. Kildare in the 1960s; I Dream of Jeannie, Gunsmoke, The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Hawaii Five-O in the ’70s; T.J. Hooker, Laverne & Shirley, One Day at a Time, The Fall Guy and Magnum, P.I. in the ’80s; Cosby and Now and Again in the ’90s; and three Law & Order programs in the 2000s.
In 1965 and ’70, Hogan had two guest shots on CBS’ Hogan’s Heroes, where the main character, the captured U.S. Army Air Forces colonel played by Bob Crane, was named after him by his friend and co-creator of the series, Bernard Fein. (Hogan had tried out for the title role, but CBS wanted to go with a “name” actor, offering the part to Van Johnson before Crane signed on.)
Among his more memorable turns, Hogan portrayed Paul Diamante, a pitcher kidnapped by Mr. Freeze (George Sanders), in 1966 on ABC’s Batman; the Rev. Tom Winter for two seasons (1968-69) of ABC’s Peyton Place; Greg Stemple, who dated Linda Lavin’s waitress, from 1977-82 on CBS’ Alice; and Louis Sobotka, a retired shipwright and the father of Pablo Schreiber’s character, in 2003 on HBO’s The Wire.
Hogan also worked often on daytime soap operas, being employed at one time of another on The Young Marrieds, General Hospital, Days of Our Lives, Another World, As the World Turns, All My Children and One Life to Live.
And in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019), Leonardo DiCaprio’s actor character Rick Dalton praises the work of “Bobby Hogan” as he watches the real-life Hogan guest star on a 1965 episode of ABC’s The F.B.I.
The youngest of three children, Robert Joseph Hogan was born on Sept. 28, 1933, in Queens. He was raised in an apartment just feet away from the elevated subway train in the neighborhood of Jamaica.
Hogan played basketball for St. Francis Preparatory School, served in the U.S. Army in Korea and studied engineering at NYU. After his first semester in college, however, an aptitude test he took suggested that the arts would be a better fit for him. “That’s when I gave acting a try,” he said.
Hogan was accepted into the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and in 1961 appeared off-Broadway in Call Me by My Rightful Name, starring Robert Duvall, Alvin Ailey and Joan Hackett. He moved to Los Angeles that year and landed gigs on such Warner Bros. shows as Cheyenne, Hawaiian Eye and 77 Sunset Strip.
Later on, Hogan got hired as a regular on such series as The Manhunter, Operation Petticoat, Secrets of Midland Heights and Richie Brockelman, Private Eye, but those shows didn’t last long.
On the big screen, Hogan appeared in Greenwich Village Story (1963), Westworld (1973), The Lady in Red (1979), Species II (1998) and Blue Christmas (1998), and he returned to Broadway in 1992 to portray the Player King in Hamlet.
Survivors include his wife of 38 years, novelist Mary Hogan; his three children, Chris, Stephen and Jud, from his previous marriage to Shannon Hogan: and his grandchildren, Susanna and Liam.
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