Birth Date: July 13, 1958
Birth Place: Waterbury, Connecticut
Date of Death: June 29, 1978 / Age: 19
Location of Death: Scottsdale, Arizona
Cause of Death: bludgeoned to death
Biography: Robert Edward Crane (July 13, 1928 - June 29, 1978) was an American disc jockey and actor who starred as Colonel Robert Hogan in the television sitcom Hogan's Heroes from 1965 to 1971. He was nominated for two Emmy Awards for his work on that show.
Crane was born in Waterbury, Connecticut. He dropped out of high school and became a drummer, performing with dance bands and a symphony orchestra. In 1949, he married his high school sweetheart; they eventually had three children. In 1956, he moved his family to California and started his radio career.
Crane's interest turned to acting, and at the age of 33 he began his acting career. He soon was a regular on The Donna Reed Show during the 1963 - 1965 seasons. He followed on with the lead role in Hogan's Heroes. Crane landed parts in a few feature films but had no breakout roles.
He was bludgeoned to death in Scottsdale, Arizona, in a murder case that was never officially solved. An associate, John Carpenter (not the horror film director of the same name), was tried for the murder but was not convicted. Prior to the murder, Carpenter and Crane had made pornographic videos of Crane having sex with numerous women.
Crane's life and murder was the subject of the 2002 film Auto Focus. His son, Scotty Crane, and his second wife, Patricia Olsen, objected to the way Crane was portrayed and took to the media to present their side of the story.