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.
Robert Crane is coauthor of My Life as a Mankiewicz: An Insider's Journey through Hollywood, Jack Nicholson: The Early Years, and Bruce Dern: A Memoir, and a contributor to Hal Ashby: Interviews.
[The story] of a son's quest to understand how his father's life could go so wrong after so much had gone so right." - LA Weekly "Celebrity watchers and true-crime aficionados will enjoy this candid, unflinching look at what it's like to grow up the child of a celebrity." - Library Journal "Robert Crane's investigation into the murder of his dad and his own life lived in the shadow of the show-business career of Hogan's Heroes' Bob Crane and the fallout from that murder yields a penetrating study in the fundamentally unhealthy, even corrosive impact of celebrityhood. It deserves to sit on book store shelves next to the latest biography of a fatuously famous star." - Kirk Honeycutt, former chief film critic for The Hollywood Reporter and editor of Honeycuttshollywood.com "Robert Crane and Christopher Fryer's, Crane: Sex, Celebrity, and My Father's Unsolved Murder, is a fascinating tale. First and foremost it's the bittersweet story of Crane's relationship with his popular father, including the period following actor Bob Crane's shocking murder. But Crane is much more than just a son's reminiscence. It's also an insightful account of America in the second half of the twentieth century, spanning the optimism, affluence and westward migration of the postwar era to the solipsism, disillusionment, and self-destruction endemic of the post-Watergate period." - Andrew Erish, author of Col. William N. Selig, the Man Who Invented Hollywood " Crane artfully weaves biography and autobiography together in a well-written memoir revolving around the murder of actor, Bob Crane. The narrative seamlessly moves back and forth between the lives of father and son (both connected and apart) as told by the son. It's an intimate, bittersweet look at what children of celebrities truly inherit: moments of privilege in exchange for losing the real parent to their Hollywood persona." - Kelan O' Connell, author of Delta Legend [A] "must read" for Bob Crane fans!" - Midwest Book Review "This is the tale of a Hollywood kid who wasn't tainted and came out the other side, a bit sad and beaten down but never out." - Cinema Sentries
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