Saturday, August 23, 2014

Hogan's Heroes Ice Bucket Challenge


We have accepted the Ice Bucket Challenge! Well, Col. Klink has for us. Here's our video for you to enjoy. We, in turn, tag all of YOU to try and donate whatever you can ~ time or money ~ to ALS or to any charity of your choice.
We think the Ice Bucket Challenge is really pretty awesome and one of the most creative awareness campaigns in recent years. But it's only as good as the people who donate ~ either time or money. You don't have to donate a lot of cash if you don't have it...just whatever you can give. We're thrilled the ALS Assocation has received so much attention and support! But there are others in need as well. Dumping water on your head will get a few laughs, but remember it's about charity. Be sure to give to the ALS or any charity of your choice, regardless of whether or not you brave the icy water!

Special Note: Bob Crane was a strong supporter of a great many organizations, volunteering his time and money to countless charities. Most notably, he volunteered with the U.S. Armed Forces Radio Network, the Cystic Fibrosis Fund Drive, and the Arthritis and Rheumatism Foundation Telethon, as well as hosting the United Cerebral Palsy Telethon on a regular basis.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

An Open Statement from Karen Crane on Robin Williams and His Children

Karen Crane, daughter of Bob Crane, has responded to the tragic death of Robin Williams, the family he leaves behind (specifically his children), and those who malign others in public. The Crane family has born the brunt of public harassment and ridicule for decades following Bob's 1978 murder. In light of Robin Williams' death and in response to the hostility shown toward Robin's daughter Zelda via social media, Karen has openly stated the following:

"I saw this tonight and couldn't stop crying. I've been worried about his children, specifically his daughter, and then I see this. And I WISH that I couldn't relate, but I do. The sudden tragic death of a well-loved public figure, no matter whose hands caused it, as in my dad's murder or Robin Williams' suicide ~ It's the family who's left to dodge the verbal bullets, and it's not fair! I know because I've lived it, and I relate to how abusive the public can be, voicing their cutting opinions about a man, my father or HER father, whom they never met, and all while they sit safely at their computers behind locked doors. But even more unnerving is when they have the balls (sorry) to actually say it to my face. My dad's faults became public, but it never changed the fact that I love him, and he'll always be my dad. And I'd bet that Robin's daughter was close with her dad, too. My life's nightmare may finally get some rest after unloading it on paper, but this poor girl's nightmare is just beginning." 
~Karen Crane

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Be Kinder than Necessary... Rest in Peace, Robin Williams

From the
Hollywood Walk of Fame Facebook Page
Robin Williams ~ December 12, 1990
Today, I - like most of the world - am still reeling from the news that Robin Williams is gone. I have adored Robin Williams since I was a little girl, growing up in the 1970s and 1980s. There are so many favorite moments from film and TV, I could not name them all. But one film that always touched me deeply was Hook. I am not sure why, I just always held that film close to my heart.

In my own mind, I have often compared the talents of Bob Crane and Robin Williams. Both extraordinary men. Extraordinary entertainers. Perhaps because when watching Good Morning Vietnam, I see a lot of Bob Crane's KNX radio show. I see that wild and crazy radio man doing wild and crazy things, bowing to no one in the industry to perform his radio show his way. A little known fact is that Bob Crane also entertained our U.S. troops, both in person and via the U.S. Armed Forces Radio Network. Bob was a proud American, and he supported our troops.

Robin Williams and Bob Crane were also both kind. They had loving families. They had adoring children. Then had wonderful friends. They had respected colleagues. They cared. They were generous, both giving graciously of their time and money to charity.

They also both suffered their own personal demons. One was murdered. The other took his own life. Both are heartbreaking tragedies.

In the coming weeks, people will judge Robin Williams. The media will dissect him from birth to death. Curious, the public will watch with impending anticipation whatever glimpses into his death the media can - and probably will - be allowed to show. His depression and the addiction that fueled it will be scrutinized. He will be analyzed from one arm chair psychologist to another, until just when you think you might have heard the end of it, there will be another report. Another analysis. Another photo. Another theory.

Personally, I don't know how people in the public eye can do it. Today we live in a world where not only do public figures have to deal with negative criticism of their latest movie, book, TV show, album, political campaign, or whatever, but they have to see the hateful banter of the Cyber Bully. We all know him or her. We all have seen the Cyber Bully. Some fight back. Some ignore. Either way, the Cyber Bully is vicious, cruel, and hateful. Before social media, if we didn't like a book or a film, we told our friends. Now we tell the world. And some people say it in such a way that no matter who you are, no matter how successful or popular, it is crippling.

That Robin Williams committed suicide makes me incredibly sad on levels I cannot begin to explain. What happened in the final hours of his life to make him think that nobody cared? He did not wake up yesterday saying, "You know what, world? I'm done. Today, I'm leaving you." No. Something happened. A trigger. A moment that turned his entire life upside down and he said, "Enough." When I envision what those final hours might have been like, I cannot help but get a lump in my throat.

A billion people today are mourning his loss, showering him with tributes and beautiful sentiments, crying, remembering, shaking their heads. And yet, he thought he had nobody.


How can this be?

He was so successful. So popular. So energetic. Gave joy to millions. Adored his fans. Gave so many people a reason to smile.

And he thought he had nobody.

Because, at the crux of it, Robin Williams was human. He was not a genie. He was not a boy child. He was not a school teacher. He was not a doctor. He was an actor with outstanding talent who portrayed these characters. But that was his job. He showed up for work and did his job, and he did it extremely well.

But he was human. He was not perfect. And when addiction takes hold, it does not matter if you are Robin Williams or Bob Crane or your neighbor or your brother or your friend or quite possibly you. It takes you and pushes you right to the edge. Sometimes, it wins.

Let us not judge Robin William, Bob Crane, or anyone for their weaknesses. Addiction can happen to anyone, rich or poor, famous or not.

Robin Williams left us with a big hole in our hearts. May his final lesson be to "be kinder than necessary, for everyone is fighting some kind of battle."

Most of the time, we just don't know it.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
No matter what problems you are dealing with, we want to help you find a reason to keep living. By calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255) you’ll be connected to a skilled, trained counselor at a crisis center in your area, anytime 24/7.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Remembering Bob Crane on the Anniversary of His Passing


Today marks yet another passing of the anniversary of Bob Crane's untimely death. And once more, we remember Bob on this day humbly and with kindness, the way he deserves to be remembered.

Sadly, not all people are so kind. All people know about Bob Crane is from the film Auto Focus, and it is all they have been allowed to know. Some say that he got what he had coming to him. That he deserved it. That he was even the cause of it. 

I cannot and will not agree with such callous and unthoughtful remarks. A lot of people suffer from an addiction, and they seek professional help, just as Bob had been doing. A lot of them come clean. Bob was unfortunate in that he was never given the chance to see it through. Someone else chose to end his life. Bob did not ask to be murdered.

People don't choose to become addicted. Addiction is an illness. Those who suffer from addiction didn't wake up one morning and say, "Gee, today's the day I'm going to become an addict. Yeah, let's go!" No. It happens quietly, slowly, painfully over time. Like the frog in the pot of water on the stove that is gradually coming to a boil. The frog doesn't know he's being cooked, no more than those who suffer from addiction don't know they are addicted until they are. 

We are so quick as a society to judge others today that we forget that every person is fighting some kind of battle. Nobody is perfect. And in Bob's case, he not only did not deserve to die the way he did, but he also does not deserve the ongoing ridicule and humiliation brought on by the media and the film Auto Focus. He was a human being, and that simple fact is so often forgotten. 

It is very important to understand that Bob had recognized and acknowledged his troubles, himself calling it an addiction. He was very serious about his commitment to change and sought professional guidance to do so. He just was never given the opportunity to see it through. 

We have spoken with approximately 200 people who knew Bob Crane personally, many better than most, for the purposes of Bob's new biography I am writing, FLIPSIDE: THE TRUE STORY OF BOB CRANE - The Definitive Biography. Their recollections and testimonies of Bob are vastly different than how he was portrayed in the film Auto Focus. These individuals denounce and shame Auto Focus, saying it is nothing at all as how they remember Bob. This film was produced to shock and awe with scandal and salacious hype rather than to shed light on Bob as an individual. Much of what is seen in the film is either sensationalized or simply not true. Bob may have had his troubles, but this film completely demonizes him. I say again - he was neither a devil nor a saint. He was a human being. 

As you know, I have been working on Bob Crane's biography for quite some time now. I am thrilled to tell you that I will be signing with a national publisher very shortly. This has been a long time coming, and it was a decision that I did not ever want to take lightly. Most publishers are demanding of their authors, and in the trade market, they will insist on a large percentage of such a book containing some sort of scandal before they will even consider it. This will not be the case with my publisher. 

I like my publisher for a great many reasons, but at the top of the list is that he will not alter the content. He sees the book's merits and understands its importance. He will work with me as an invested partner in this endeavor to publish this biography the way it should be and to do justice to Bob. I could not be happier! 

The target release date for the book is July 13, 2015 (Bob's birthday), and 2015 also coincides with the 50th Anniversary of Hogan's Heroes. This book would not be happening without the fine contributions and assistance of Dee Young and Linda Groundwater. To Bob's family, friends, and colleagues, yes, it is finally happening. And thanks to everyone for all your ongoing support. 

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Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day!

Wishing all Dads and Dads-at-Heart a Happy Father's Day today!

Above: Photo of Bob Crane and Kathy Cody from Superdad.
"I have always felt, in my own career, in the years that I was in radio, and on The Donna Reed Show, and on Hogan’s Heroes, and now doing the Disney film and doing plays on the road, it’s a matter of being in the right place at the right time and having a little talent to go along with it and experience. And all of these things are not done overnight. And in Superdad, I try to convince my daughter, 'Take your time. Don’t be in a hurry.' But that’s tough to tell a teenage girl or boy. There’s plenty of time. You’ve got your whole life to live. They don’t want to hear that." ~Bob Crane, on his role in the film Superdad (1974)

Above: Bob Crane with Robert Clary, Ivan Dixon, Richard Dawson, and Larry Hovis during an episode from Hogan's Heroes.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

In Honor of the 70th Anniversary of D-Day

Remembering all American and Allied World War II servicemen/women in honor of the 70th Anniversary of D-Day. Thank you for our freedom. 
Bob Crane had not been old enough to serve in World War II. However, following high school graduation in 1946, he joined the U.S. National Guard and served for three years in his home state of Connecticut. Bob was a proud American, and he remained greatly supportive of America's military forces and veterans throughout his entire life.

Bob Crane's older brother, Al, served in the United States Navy during World War II. He is honored in the United States World War II Registry.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Happy Memorial Day Weekend ~ 2014

Bob Crane (Colonel Hogan), Ivan Dixon (Sergeant Kinchloe), and Larry Hovis (Sergeant Carter)
on Hogan's Heroes (1965-1971).

When we think of Memorial Day weekend in America, we often associate the holiday with barbeques, trips to the beach or the mountains, an extra day off from work, and the kick off to the summer season. However, we are reminded that this holiday means more than just hot dogs and burgers and cold drinks. This is a time for remembrance of our veterans ~ those who served our country and who either died in battle or have passed on. This day should also extend to our living veterans, who have served our country so that we may know freedom from oppression and be able to live in a peaceful democracy.

Bob Crane grew up during the World War II years, graduating from high school in June 1946. He knew a great many friends and classmates, and even family members, who were called off to fight in the war. Bob himself came close to serving in the war. They were preparing his class to graduate early in 1945 and were "toughening them up" during gym class for the harsh conditions they would experience during battle. Fortunately for Bob and the Class of 1946, the war ended before their class was called up to serve. Following graduation, Bob joined the U.S. National Guard in Connecticut, where he served for three years.

Bob's older brother, Al, however, did serve in the Navy during World War II. He was stationed on the U.S.S. Bunker Hill in the Pacific Theater of War. The Bunker Hill saw a great deal of action. On the morning of May 11, 1945, two Kamikaze planes crashed into the ship, severely crippling her. Many who were serving on the Bunker Hill died or were badly wounded that day, and the Cranes did not know for several weeks if Al had survived. When the word finally came that he was alive, according to Bob's best friend from school, "It was like Christmas." Al Crane is now honored for his service in the United States World War II National Registry. Throughout his life, Bob was always hugely supportive of all U.S. troops, and he volunteered his time regularly with organizations such as Operation Entertainment and the U.S. Armed Forces Radio Network.

John Banner, later Sgt. Schultz on Hogan's Heroes, was the
official "poster boy" for the United States Army
during World War II ~ 1942.

When Bob worked on Hogan's Heroes, his co-stars provided a rich tapestry of their own experiences of service and survival. Robert Clary, who is Jewish, spent two years in a concentration camp and lost many of his family during the Holocaust. John Banner (Sergeant Schultz), also Jewish, left his home in Austria and came to the United States, where he served in the U.S. Army. In 1942, he was the U.S. Army's official "poster boy" for World War II, his strong physique speaking to America's young men to prove that they, too, could be that brave, fighting soldier. Werner Klemperer (Colonel Klink), of Jewish descent, escaped Nazi Germany with his family in 1933 and came to America in 1935. He served in the U.S. Army for three and a half years in the Pacific Theater during World War II. He achieved the rank of Technician Fifth Grade (T-5). Howard Caine, also Jewish, who had portrayed Gestapo Major Hochstetter on Hogan's Heroes, served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and fought the Japanese in the Pacific Theater.

This year, while you are at your picnics and taking your mini-vacations, certainly enjoy the time spent with your family and friends. You are able to do so because of the brave service men and women who have given and continue to give of themselves, and who sometimes pay the ultimate price for our freedom. Take a few minutes and remember them ~ all of them ~ who have served in any war or conflict in which America has engaged, and especially those who  gave their lives in battle so that we may be free.