Dwayne Hickman dead: Actor and star of The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis dies at 87

Dobie Gillis: Theme song for show starring Dwayne Hickman

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The actor, producer and television director, who was best known for his role in the 1950s and ’60s show The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, died at the age of 87. The beloved actor’s death was confirmed to the publication Variety by the actor’s public relations head Harlan Boll.


Hickman portrayed the title character in the popular sitcom The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, which ran from 1959 to 1963. 

The actor starred in all 148 episodes of the long-running 20th Century Fox comedy series. 

The show was one of the first major television series to spotlight teenagers as the primary characters, and Hickman’s portrayal of Dobie Gillis made him an icon for the Baby Boomer generation of the 50s and 60s. 

The actor also played attention-seeking teenager Chuck MacDonald in The Bob Cummings Show, which aired between 1955 and 1959.

Hickman began acting at a young age, starring in 1939’s The Grapes of Wrath as well as 1941’s Men of Boys Town, which also featured his older brother Darryl.

After earning an economics degree at Loyola University in the 60s, he went on to act in other films such as Ski Party and How to Stuff a Wild Bikini. 

Following a successful acting career, he began working behind the scenes in the 1970s as a network executive of CBS Television.

The star supervised productions including the likes of M*A*S*H, a comedy drama that took place during the Korean war, and long-running sitcom Maude. 

When the star retired, he devoted his time to painting, using oils to depict various house and landscape scenes. 

Hickman leaves behind his widow Joan Roberts, whom he had been married to since 1983. 

He is also survived by his two sons, Albert and John Hickman. 

The actor was previously married to actress Carol Christensen from 1963 to 1972 and also briefly to singer Joanne Papile from 1977 to 1981.

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Plenty of Hickman’s fans and people who had worked with him over the years took to social media to pay their respects to the beloved actor. 

Mike Barnes tweeted: “#RIP Dwayne Hickman, great as irrepressible teens on The Bob Cummings Show & The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis.

“A ‘Dobie’ opening monologue: ‘My name is Dobie Gillis and I love girls. I’m not a wolf, mind you. A wolf wants lots of girls, I just want one.’” 

Attaching a picture of the actor when he was younger, Bill Chuck wrote: “Dwayne Hickman was the great star of Dobie Gillis, a launching pad for many well-known personalities. I loved this show.”

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