Crane began his DJ career in 1950 at WLEA in Hornell, NY.
In the hit show Hogan's Heroes, Richard Dawson had also auditioned for the role of "Hogan", but lost out to Bob Crane. The friction caused by this continued behind the scenes and remained even after Crane was killed in 1978, as Dawson did not attend the funeral.
Bob married to Anne Terzian in 1949 but the couple later got a divorce in 1970.
Bob is the father of Robert David Crane, and Scotty Crane.
An associate, John Henry Carpenter, was later tried for the murder of Crane but was not convicted.
Bob died in Scottsdale, Arizona. He was bludgeoned, then strangled with an electrical cord. The murder case still remains a mystery.
Bob and Hogan's Heroes co-star Werner Klemperer frequently argued politics on the set with Crane taking the conservative side and Klemperer espousing the liberal viewpoint.
During his 1977 appearance on The Gong Show, Jaye P. Morgan, actually got into a tiff with Bob on air. She remarked how good "pot" is, and Bob said something to the effect that it wasn't for him. Jaye P. Morgan then accused Bob of being uptight and a prude, and Bob cut her off rather impatiently, saying, "I've tried it; it does nothing for me." And then host Chuck Barris interrupted to get the show back on track.
In 1962, Bob filled in for Johnny Carson on Who Do you Trust? during Carson's vacation. He was then asked to replace Johnny, but declined saying, "I don't want to be Johnny Carson, I want to be Johnny Carson's first guest. I want to be the big guest of the night."
In 1974, Bob appeared on The Zero Hour - a syndicated radio theater show produced by Rod Serling. Bob was the star of five episodes.
One of Bob's first acting jobs was in Return to Peyton Place (1961).
Bob occasionally appeared as a guest host for Johnny Carson on the Tonight Show.
In 2002, Bob was the subject of a "noise opera" by the experimental band Facetious (released on CD under the title Raw Biscuits: The Bob Crane Story).
Bob was a drummer with the Connecticut Symphony Orchestra for about a year.
Bob began his acting career around the age of 33.
In 1966, and again in 1967, Bob Crane was nominated for an Emmy for "Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Comedy Series" for Hogan's Heroes.
Bob released Bob Crane, His Drums and Orchestra Play the Funny Side of TV: Themes from Television's Great Comedy Shows on Epic in 1966.
Bob appeared in the stage play Beginner's Luck in the 70s.
Due to the morning drive slot at CBS powerhouse KNX (1965) that Bob had & his highly popular show, he became known as "The King of the Los Angeles Airwaves."
Bob was originally buried at Oakwood Memorial Park in Chatsworth, Los Angeles County. In 2003, many years after his death, he was moved to the prestigious Westwood Memorial Park on Glendon Avenue in Los Angeles. His marker is very elaborate and beautiful with writings and photographs of him and his widow Sigrid Valdis. It is located in the middle of the memorial park.
Bob Crane was a life-long jazz buff. In fact he was an accomplished drummer, playing with several amateur jazz groups over the years.
Raised Catholic, Bob was in the process of seriously re-evaluating his life, and possibily reuniting with his first wife and family, at the time of his murder.
Bob was one of the first disc jockeys in the country to earn in excess of $100,000 per year (1960).
Bob was the subject of the biographical movie Auto Focus (2002) starring Greg Kinnear.
The original title for Bob's movie Superdad was A Son In-Law for Charlie McCready.
The leather jacket Bob wore on Hogan's Heroes was previously worn by Frank Sinatra in the 1965 film Von Ryan's Express.
Eric Braeden, who plays "Victor Newman" on the popular soap Young and the Restless, was Bob's brother in-law. He was one of the pallbearers at the funeral. Those who eulogized Bob include HH producer Edward Feldman, co-stars Robert Clary, and Larry Hovis, plus Carroll 'O Connor, and John and Patty Duke Astin.
Bob had one sibling, an older brother named Al.
Bob's parents were Alfred and Rosemary Crane.
Bob was 5'10" tall.
Bob discovered the pretty Marilyn McCoo, the future lead singer of the Fifth Dimension, on a 1965 broadcast of Art Linkletter's Hollywood Talentm Scouts.
(on John Banner's lovability on Hogan's Heroes)
Crane: To my kids, he's Santy Claus.
Crane: We work hard on the the scripts so the lines don't sound too jokey... We try to give 'Hogan's' the extra thought which makes "The Dick Van Dyke Show," for example, so beautiful.
Crane: Depicting life in a German POW camp circa 1942 isn't the most ideal setting for a situation comedy.
Crane: I love life. I'm an optimist. I'm the guy that always assumes no matter what's in that room, there's a pony hidden underneath all of that stuff.
(New York Times, 1965)
Crane: We try to make the plot premises reasonable, although grant you, Hogan's Heroes is pretty far from what actual combat ever was. I think the writers have been terribly inventive, and the test of that is the absence of dream sequences. If you're well into the season and haven't gone into dream sequences, boy, you've got it made.
Bob Crane: I don't smoke, I don't drink. Two out of three ain't bad.
Bob Crane: (on his second wife, a "Hogan's Heroes" co-star) She is the wonderful thing that has happened to me. My wife Patty. Totally the opposite of what anyone would expect a sexy blonde in this business to be. She's a marvelous, marvelous business woman, a gourmet cook, a homemaker, use all the superlatives you can think of. They're true about Patty.
Bob Crane: One of the wonderful things about our relationship is that we didn't start out as lovers. We started out being good friends and confidants. I got to know her (Patricia Crane) for all the other attributes she has, and she got to know me, she discovered, to her amazement that Hollywood actor or not, I was family oriented. I love kids. I love family living.
Bob Crane: I'm a video nut. It's my hobby, and I spend as much time playing with it and experimenting with it as possible.
Bob Crane: Mike Douglas's producer said I was 'pushy.' I was pushy. I know it. I try not to be pushy, but I come on too strong. I exhaust people. I take over, I don't really mean to, but I dominate. A tornado is let loose. It happens when I'm interviewed. On The Merv Griffin Show, Merv looked as if he'd been hit by a flounder.
Bob Crane: I wanted to be a musician, a drummer, and studied and practiced my head off for 20 years. And if you ask anyone today in show business they will tell you that I never made it.
Bob Crane: I joke. It's a comic's defense. If they get you in a corner-—throw a funny line and run!
Bob Crane: I'm not well educated—I'm afraid of intellectual snobs. People bring up cultural subjects and I have to walk away like a dummy. Tony Randall scared me. He talked about opera—Puccini! All I know is Dave Brubeck. I didn't open my mouth for fifteen minutes!