R.I.P. Robert Hogan, the namesake of the Col. Hogan character on Hogan's Heroes

He played a helicopter pilot on 'M*A*S*H' and the love interest of Alice on 'Alice'.

The Everett Collection

Robert Hogan as Colonel Robert Hogan? That sounds like perfect casting, doesn't it? It nearly happened and there was a good reason for the shared names.

Hogan's Heroes writer-creator Bernard Fein was a friend of Robert Hogan — he was such a pal that he named the lead character in honor of his actor friend. Fein even pushed to have Hogan play Hogan. However, at the time, Hogan's resume was a little thin. He had worked some guest roles on The Twilight Zone, 77 Sunset Strip and The Donna Reed Show, as well as soaps like General Hospital. But the network wanted a bigger name. CBS offered the part to Van Johnson. Of course, Bob Crane ended up with the gig.

The real-life Hogan must not have been too bitter about the lost role, as he turned up twice in Fein's Hogan's Heroes — in the episodes "Reservations Are Required" and "Crittendon's Commandos."

Over the next decade, Hogan popped up in small roles all over television, most frequently on The F.B.I. (Leonardo DiCaprio's character praises Hogan's work on that crime series in the film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood) and Bright Promise

In 1974, Hogan scored one of his biggest roles to date, a recurring part on The Manhunter, a bounty hunter series set during the Great Depression. He was the sheriff to Ken Howard's bounty hunter.

In 1976, Hogan briefly landed on M*A*S*H as a helicopter pilot, the title character in "Smilin' Jack." Lt. "Smilin'" Jack Mitchell is hoping to become Pilot of the Year, you might recall.

Like The Manhunter, the series Richie Brockelman, Private Eye offered the Queens, New York, native a major role as the second fiddle — but the show similarly fizzled out quickly. Ditto Operation Petticoat, a military comedy that cast him alongside John Astin and Jamie Lee Curtis.

His role on Alice was intermittent but significant — Hogan played Greg Stemple, the love interest of Alice (Linda Lavin), even sharing Thanksgiving dinner with her.

A big lead may have eluded Hogan, but he worked on fantastic series for decades. He was a judge on Law & Order and a shipyard worker in the second season of The Wire.

On May 27, Hogan passed away in his coastal Maine home, his family announced. He was 87.

Watch Hogan's Heroes on MeTV!

Weeknights at 10 PM & 10:30 PM

*available in most MeTV markets
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?


TenTanToes 35 months ago
Geesh, how it should have been him as the lead, instead of icky looking Bob Crane.
Mrusso 37 months ago
Good actor. God bless Robert Hogan. MeTV and comet station for antenna TV are the best. So glad they still continue with hogans heroes!!! 🏆🏆🏆
MadreGrosso 37 months ago
Love watching this station. I often watch METV more than commercial tv. Thank you for providing these shows, wouldn’t miss Svengolie.
jacko3 37 months ago
Robert Hogan.. GOD Rest his Life & Soul ..... Amen .. Alleluia!
Wiseguy 37 months ago
He appeared twice during the fourth season of The Rockford Files, one of which was the two-parter that re-introduced the character of Richie Brockelman before the Brockelman series started.

One mistake above is that he appeared on the revamped second season of Operation Petticoat after John Astin and Jamie Lee Curtis were dumped.
Jon 37 months ago
He also appeared on the premiere episode of BARNABY JONES, where his character and Bradford Dillman's both appeared.
MarkSpeck Jon 37 months ago
That was the first of six episodes over the course of the series for Hogan, who was involved in all the criminal action in the first three. The fourth one, he was Barnaby's client. The last two, he was a suspect in the murder of his wife in each episode, but wasn't the real killer.

And since Bradford Dillman was mentioned, this was the first of five Barnaby Jones episodes for him, playing the main villain in each one.
Deleted 38 months ago
This comment has been removed.
MadMadMadWorld 38 months ago
DANGEROUS Dan! "Dastardly" is too weird an adjective for him, or anyone! I never forgot Robert Hogan on this memorable M*A*S*H episode! He was superb! A big loss for those numerous and under-rated character actors who can do almost any role, drama or comedy!
R.I.P. to Robert Hogan. 1933-2021.
MadMadMadWorld 38 months ago
One great nugget from that episode was Hogan betting Col. Potter on throwing a dart (if I remember correctly). Very funny stuff, and his character lost to "Dangerous Dan" who pulled out another 3 injured soldiers to pass Hogan.
MadMadMadWorld 38 months ago
"Smilin' Jack" (Mitchell) episode from Feb. 3, 1976.
JHP 37 months ago
yeah there wasn't an orange that was safe during that MASH ep
KennethPotts 38 months ago
Don't forget his roll on Peyton Place as Tom the town's pastor with issues of his own
UTZAAKE 38 months ago
Damn. Robert Hogan played the older brother of Frank Sobotka (Chris Bauer), the primary character in Season Two of HBO's The Wire.
OldSkool56 38 months ago
And nowe I'm really confused 🤔
teire 38 months ago
Thanking him for so many memorable performances. On top of that he was a very handsome man. Condolences to his family.
Sway 38 months ago
Another familiar face from TV. RIP Robert Hogan.
Andybandit 38 months ago
How sad how all these good actors and actresses from MeTV are passing away. One day MeTV should have a tribute to these people.
LoveMETV22 Andybandit 38 months ago
It seems they did in the past ."MeTV pays tribute to", Dawn Wells, Cloris Leachman, (recently) and others before that. They would air select episodes. I agree with your comment.
LoveMETV22 LoveMETV22 38 months ago
PS- However it may not be possible from a scheduling perspective (to air select episodes). They do have the banners on commercial breaks paying tribute to the actors. They also have the video clips that come up when you select their stories. So they are paying tribute in a way.
JHP LoveMETV22 37 months ago
agree - it depends on whats in the dumpster of old tv
DethBiz 38 months ago
RIP Mr. Hogan. Will always remember him from the Gunsmoke Old Man episode. Really good episode.
LoveMETV22 38 months ago
Interesting article. I remember his "Smilin' Jack" episode on M*A*S*H. I didn't know he had appeared on Alice (good show,imo) though. R.I.P. Robert Hogan.
cperrynaples 38 months ago
Interesting that his most steady work was on soap operas! I definitely remember him on Another World!
JustGeri cperrynaples 38 months ago
That was my first thought when seeing headline. I liked him and his character.
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?