Kevin Hagen dies at 77

By Lila Holland

Jul 13, 2005

Little House on the Prairie star Kevin Hagen has died at the age of 77. Little House on the Prairie's "Doc" Baker." link="/kevin-hagen/person/9203/summary.html">

The much-loved character actor, who was diagnosed with esophageal cancer just one year ago, succumbed to the disease in his Oregon home on Saturday, July 9. He is survived by his fourth wife, Jan, and his son, Kristopher.

Hagen was raised by his ballroom-dancer mother and her family in Chicago, Illinois. He served time in the Navy, earned an international-relations degree, spent a year in law school, and worked as a ballroom dance instructor before he discovered acting in his late 20s. He appeared in several plays before being spotted by a Hollywood agent and given a part on the detective series Dragnet.

Once Hagen broke into the television world, he found regular employment portraying villainous characters on Western TV series such as Bonanza and Laramie and in films such as Shenandoah and The Last Challenge. He finally left the dark side to play Little House's kindly "Doc" Baker--the role for which he is most fondly remembered.

After Hagen left Hollywood in 1992, he returned to his stage roots by appearing in local productions in Southern Oregon. He also found work writing and acting in commercials, performed as a singer in concerts and dinner theaters, and created A Playful Dose of Prairie Wisdom, a one-man show based on his Little House character.

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  • mikeny99 Jan 30, 2008

    That is sad. He was perfect for the part on the show. I liked him since I was kid and watched the show.

  • stephy1 Feb 27, 2007

    i watched little house. doc Baker was a good actor on it, he will be greatly missed

  • godsmissiongal Dec 29, 2006

    Doc Baker will forever live in the hearts of his fans and for many generations to come. May the Lord be with his family and friends. I know he is greatly missed.

  • kteoc1971 Nov 11, 2006

    I didn't know he died 'til now.. he was my favorite Doctor on "Little House". R.I.P....Doc Baker, you will be missed.

  • tvqueen1969 Sep 05, 2006

    This is so sad. Doc Baker was one of my favorite characters on that show. R.I.P Mr. Hagen/Doc Baker.

  • HaydensNana Jul 18, 2006

    Farewell and we will misss you Doc Baker!

  • carebear1054 Mar 13, 2006

    fare well "doc baker"

  • JohnA52 Nov 08, 2005

    Too bad. RIP

  • cmm_4_life Nov 06, 2005

    He was such a great actor.

  • BRIAN112948 Sep 19, 2005

    I first saw Kevin Hagen in the series "Yancy Derrigner" (circa 1959) where he played John Colton, the mayor of New Orleans who hires Yancy as his secret investigator.