This blog explores the history of Phoenix, Arizona and a little bit of Los Angeles and San Francisco, California

The death of actor Bob Crane in Scottsdale, Arizona, 1978


Maybe it's because so few people have actually met celebrities, or "stars", or even actors, in real life that makes people seem to feel comfortable poking fun at them, even in death. Actor Bob Crane, who was murdered in Scottsdale, Arizona in 1978, is a star who had fallen. And the joking began almost right away, and continues to this day.

This was before my time, but I remember the TV show "Hogan's Heroes" on re-runs. And I know that Bob Crane was quite a big star in the late 1960s, but after Hogan's Heroes ended, his career as a TV star ended, too. But he was still an actor, and one of the things he did was Dinner Theater. And going from a big TV star in Hollywood to playing a Dinner Theater in Scottsdale in 1972 was a big drop.

But if you've known actors, you know that it's all the same to them, really. The actors I've known have all been pretty much the same, they liked to pretend, they enjoyed being on stage. And the most important thing to know about them is that they're actors, they're not the characters that they play in movies, or TV. They memorize lines, they understand stage directions. They act.

So, no I'm not going to talk about the murder of Bob Crane in this blog post. There is a lot of information out there, and you don't need me for that. But as someone who studies the history of Phoenix, I would like to mention his death. If you would like to make a joke, or a snarky comment about Bob, or the Scottsdale police, I'm just gonna wish you wouldn't. If you need to laugh, I would suggest that you go find an episode of Hogan's Heroes on YouTube, that's what I'm doing.

Robert Edward "Bob" Crane - July 13, 1928 – June 29, 1978

July 2, 1972 ad for the Windmill Dinner Theater, Scottsdale, Arizona.


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