Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Died on this date:

Bob Crane
Actor/World Class Bone Daddy
July 13, 1928-June 29, 1978
(Age 49)
Bob Crane and Sigrid Valdis.
Bob was nailing Sigrid on the set while married to his first wife.
She became the second Mrs. Bob Crane.

I can't believe I almost missed this one.

Bob Crane was the star of the sixties TV sitcom Hogan's Heroes (1965-1971).  A surprise hit since not many people thought that a mere 20 years after WWII anybody would attempt to find anything remotely funny about the Nazis.  And set in a prison camp, no less.  But the finger poppin', wise crackin' Col. Robert Hogan along with the doofus Sgt. Schultz and the clueless Col. Klink proved everybody wrong.

The most interesting thing about Bob Crane though, was that he was cocksman first and an actor second.  The latter being used mainly to facilitate the former.  Crane and his buddy John Carpenter utilized Carpenter's access to video equipment (Carpenter was a rep for Sony Electronics) to tape their swinging activities.  Believe me, if YouPorn would have been around in the seventies, Crane and Carpenter would have been the Hope and Crosby of sex flicks.  (Bob Crane was also a drummer like yours truly...hmmmmm??)

As the story goes, Crane was about to unload his equally horny wingman, Carpenter.  The next day Bob Crane was found bludgeoned to death in his Scottsdale, Arizona apartment.  The murder weapon was never found but was suspected to be a camera tripod.  (Cue ominous music.)  Carpenter was long thought to be the murderer, having the motive of losing his pussy magnet.  Since Carpenter was kind of a creepy dude that mainly got the fucky overflow from the has-been actor, his anger at being kicked out of the poon party would have been great.

The original police work was pretty slipshod for such a high profile case and Carpenter was never charged.  The case was reopened in 1990 and John Carpenter was indicted for the slaying, but was acquitted due to lack of convincing evidence.  The murder remains officially unsolved, and Carpenter maintained his innocence up until his death in 1998.

Paul Schrader's 2002 film Auto Focus, about the career, prodigiously kinky sex life and death of Bob Crane is one of my favorite movies.

A real shock, I know.

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