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Crane: Sex, Celebrity, and My Father’s Unsolved Murder (Screen Classics)

Crane: Sex, Celebrity, and My Father's Unsolved Murder (Screen Classics)

On June 29, 1978, Bob Crane, known to Hogan’s Heroes fans as Colonel Hogan, was discovered brutally murdered in his Scottsdale, Arizona, apartment. His eldest son, Robert Crane, was called to the crime scene. In this poignant memoir, Robert Crane discusses that terrible day and how he has lived with the unsolved murder of his father. But this storyline is just one thread in his tale of growing up in Los Angeles, his struggles to reconcile the good and sordid sides of his celebrity father, and his own fascinating life.

Crane began his career writing for Oui magazine and spent many years interviewing celebrities for Playboy―stars such as Chevy Chase, Bruce Dern, Joan Rivers, and even Koko the signing gorilla. As a result of a raucous encounter with the cast of Canada’s SCTV, he found himself shelving his notepad and tape recorder to enter the employ of John Candy―first as an on-again, off-again publicist; then as a full-time assistant, confidant, screenwriter, and producer; and finally as one of Candy’s pallbearers.

Through disappointment, loss, and heartbreak, Crane’s humor and perseverance shine. Beyond the big stars and behind-the-scenes revelations, this riveting account of death, survival, and renewal in the shadow of the Hollywood sign makes a profound statement about the desire for love and permanence in a life where those things continually slip away. By turns shocking and uplifting, Crane is an unforgettable and deeply human story.

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What customers say about Crane: Sex, Celebrity, and My Father’s Unsolved Murder (Screen Classics)?

  1. 20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    The Title Nailed It For Me, March 21, 2015
    G.I Gurdjieff (Florida, Il, MI) –
    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)

    This review is from: Crane: Sex, Celebrity, and My Father’s Unsolved Murder (Screen Classics) (Hardcover)
    This is the Bob Crane story that fans should read. Written by his son, it sets the record straight about what sort of person Crane was as well as who he wasn’t. Crane wasn’t a saint, though he was fundamentally a good father. The reality is that Crane might not have met an early end had he not gone out west and experienced all the excesses of fame that have been widely publicized since his death.
    Much as his son’s insights on Crane’s life and personality are interesting as well as illuminating, the growing information on the death investigation and his tag along friend who was likely the murderer reads like a fascinating whodoneit. Tack on to this Crane’s co-star and eventual wife Sigrid Valdis (née Patti Olson) who made the last three decades of her life one long scam to trade off on Crane’s name, his horrific murder, and his penchant for home video a potent story that is hard to shake off. What I found particularly strange was Patti and her son by Crane pedaling the porn videos online in sort of a video of the month club. This is also heightened by her moving his body from one cemetery to another refusing to let the kids from the first marriage know. However, the kids really didn’t have to worry. Crane was reinterred a stone’s throw from Marilyn Monroe. His new memorial marker elevated Patti as a true costar with her picture as well as an ingenuous message about sharing eternity. Pretty strange since Bob Crane was in the process of cutting ties with the lady.
    The rare gift that this book provides its readers other than a intimate and well documented account of life and a unsolved murder, is the author himself. A writer, a publicist, and a one time assistant and more to the late comedian John Candy, Robert Crane as an author is first rate. It is rare to find a family member of the subject that can maintain a level of objectivity. In the process of documenting everything that has gone down regarding his father, we learn a lot about his career and life. He is an interesting person who seemingly has traversed the ups and downs of Hollywood without becoming a victim of it.
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  2. 6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Better book than title…., May 5, 2015
    Quixote010 (columbus, ohio) –

    This review is from: Crane: Sex, Celebrity, and My Father’s Unsolved Murder (Screen Classics) (Hardcover)
    Give Bob Crane (the son) credit: as a Hollywood publicist, he knows what words are bound to get your attention…sex, celebrity, unsolved murders.

    Readers expecting a great deal of new insight into the life and times of Hogan’s Hero celebrity Bob Crane may find themselves a bit disappointed in this well-written, but a bit deceiving book. The book is actually divided into three sections: the first dealing with the experiences and wanderings of the young son of sudden television star; the middle which chronicles a coming of age of the son and his relationship with comedian John Candy, and a short part three, facing the nastiness of dealing with your father’s sexual proclivities.

    The book is easy to read and the insight and experiences Crane-the-younger has had are certainly worth reading and interesting. Even the inclusion of some details surrounding his father’s unsolved death are well told and insightful. One certainly leaves with a sense that he believe his father’s death may have been at least instigated by his step-mother. As far as sharing minute details regarding the television series that made his father famous, astute readers will not likely discover anything new. His father imagined himself evolving into the status of a Gig Young, Jack Lemmon or Gary Grant…all icons that were fading away around the same time his father’s show ended.

    Still, the book is interesting and provides a well-written passage into the Hollywood scene. It’s a quick read for the beach.

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  3. 12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Damn Great., March 28, 2015

    Wow. Couldn’t put this book down and just ordered the Bruce Dern book as well. If you are looking for a straightforward biography on Bob Crane this isn’t it. It is the story of Robert Crane’s life and does deliver great insights on his Dad as well as much more. The younger Crane has lived an incredible Zelig like life and the book is written in such a way you feel like you are at a meal with friends you don’t want to end. Crane and Fryer are lifetime friends and that rapport comes across in the pages. The book delivers incredible insight into both Bob Crane and John Candy and that leads into an interesting perspective on celebrity and achievement. I was curious about Crane and Candy but I didn’t expect to live this book this much. Robert Crane has been through the fire and had much to tell us. A damn good read.
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