Dwayne Hickman, an actor best known for his role in the 1950s and '60s sitcom "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis," died Sunday at age 87 of complications related to Parkinson’s disease.
Hickman’s public relations head Harlan Boll confirmed the death to Variety.
Born on May 18, 1934, in Los Angeles, California, Hickman began screen acting at a young age, appearing in several shows before securing the role of Chuck MacDonald in "The Bob Cummings Show." He remained with the sitcom for its four-year run before going on to land the marquee role on "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis."
"Max Shulman, a writer, had a deal with George Burns to develop the show, and he felt I would be good," Hickman told LMU Magazine during a 2011 interview. "I had done 'The Bob Cummings Show' for four or five years. So when it didn’t get developed, Shulman went to 20th Century Fox. They approached me, and I went in and read for it. I did the pilot in the fall of 1958, and it went on the air in fall 1959."
Hickman starred in all 148 episodes of "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis." After the show came to an end he took a break from acting to attend Loyola University in the ’60s, earning a degree in economics before returning to entertainment. He was cast in films including "How to Stuff a Wild Bikini," "Ski Party," and "Cat Ballou" while also acting in various television shows and performing in theater. In the '70s, Hickman became a network executive at CBS Television, supervising dozens of productions and directing various episodes of different half-hour comedies. He also starred in and produced a 1988 reunion feature of "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis."
Hickman's talents were not limited to acting. He was also a practicing artist, painting various stills and landscape series in oils.
"I drew all the time, sketching things," he told LMU of exploring his artistic side as a child. "I wanted to be a car designer, so I drew cars. I had a summer job in high school at Columbia Studios. My job was to deliver scripts. So, when there were no scripts to deliver, I would sit with a pad and draw."
Hickman is survived by his wife Joan Roberts and sons Albert and John Hickman.
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