Richest CelebritiesActors
Net Worth:
$150 Thousand
Jul 13, 1928 - Jun 29, 1978 (49 years old)
5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Actor, Disc jockey
United States of America
💰 Compare Bob Crane's Net Worth

What was Bob Crane's Net Worth and Salary?

Bob Crane was an American actor and disc jockey who had a net worth of $150 thousand at the time of his death. He was best-known for starring on the television show "Hogan's Heroes." Crane appeared in all 168 of the show's episodes. For "Hogan's Heroes" he was nominated for Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Comedy Series in 1966 and 1967.

In the 1970s his career began to cool slightly. Crane starred as Bob Wilcox on "The Bob Crane Show" in 1975. He also starred in the movies "Return to Peyton Place", "Man-Trap", "The New Interns", "The Wicked Dreams of Paula Schultz", "Superdad," and "Gus". Crane's last role was an episode of the TV series "The Love Boat" in 1978. After acting on television he became a fixture on the dinner theater scene. Bob Crane was murdered on June 29, 1978 at the age of 49, leading to revelations of sordid activities he had engaged in prior.

Early Life

Bob Crane was born on July 13, 1928 in Waterbury, Connecticut as the younger of two sons of Alfred and Rose. He was raised in Stamford. At the age of 11, Crane began playing drums, and shortly thereafter started organizing local drum and bugle parades with his friends. As an adolescent, he played in the orchestra and band at Stamford High School as well as with the youth program of the Norwalk Symphony Orchestras. A couple of years after graduating from high school, Crane served in the Connecticut Army National Guard.

Career Beginnings in Radio

Crane launched his career in 1950 as a radio broadcaster at WLEA in Hornell, New York. He subsequently joined the Bristol, Connecticut station WBIS, and then the Bridgeport, Connecticut station WICC. In 1956, Crane was hired by CBS Radio to host its morning show at KNX in Los Angeles, California. There, he became famous for his on-air wit and drumming skills, with his show quickly topping the morning ratings among adult listeners.

Television Career

Transitioning to television in the early 60s, Crane appeared in episodes of "The Twilight Zone," "General Electric Theater," "The Dick Van Dyke Show," "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour," and "Channing." He had his first regular role from 1963 to 1965, playing Dr. David Kelsey on the sitcom "The Donna Reed Show." After that, Crane landed the role that would make him famous: US Army Air Forces Colonel Robert Hogan on the CBS sitcom "Hogan's Heroes." Set in a POW camp during World War II, the show also starred such actors as Werner Klemperer, John Banner, Robert Clary, and Richard Dawson. "Hogan's Heroes" was a major hit, running for six seasons through 1971 and garnering Crane two Emmy Award nominations.

During the run of "Hogan's Heroes," Crane made guest appearances on such shows as "The Red Skelton Show" and "Love, American Style." He later appeared in episodes of "The Delphi Bureau," "Tenafly," and "Police Woman." In 1975, Crane began starring on his own sitcom, "The Bob Crane Show"; however, it was canceled after 13 episodes due to poor ratings. He went on to make appearances in episodes of "Ellery Queen," "Spencer's Pilots," "Gibbsville," "Quincy, M.E.," and "The Love Boat," among other shows.


During his time at KNX, Bob was earning a then-unprecedented salary of $75,000 per year. After adjusting for inflation, that was the same as earning nearly $800,000 per year in today's dollars.

There was a brief period in the early 1960s Bob was double-dipping in salary. In addition to his radio gig, Bob's work on "The Donna Reed Show" earned him an additional $75,000 per year. So after adjust for inflation, in the early 60s Bob was earning the equivalent of $1.6 million per year between radio and TV salaries.

Though his salary per episode of Hogan's Heroes is not known, the show unquestionably made Bob a rich man with a net worth in the low millions range. Unfortunately, that fortune was mostly wiped out after several divorces and a career that cooled significantly in the 1970s and beyond.


Film Career

Crane acted in a handful of films during his career. His first credited role was in the 1961 neo-noir "Man-Trap." Later in the decade, he appeared alongside Elke Sommer and his "Hogan's Heroes" costars Werner Klemperer, John Banner, and Leon Askin in the comedy "The Wicked Dreams of Paula Schultz." Crane's final film roles were in the Disney comedies "Superdad" and "Gus," released in 1973 and 1976, respectively.

Dinner Theater

A couple of years after the cancellation of "Hogan's Heroes," Crane bought the rights to the comedy play "Beginner's Luck" and began touring it on the dinner theater circuit as its director and star. He took the play to cities such as St. Petersburg, Florida; La Mirada, California; and Scottsdale, Arizona.


In 1949, Crane married his high school sweetheart Anne Terzian. They had three children named Robert, Deborah, and Karen. The couple later divorced in 1970 following Crane's affair with his "Hogan's Heroes" costar Cynthia Lynn. Crane subsequently married Sigrid Valdis, who replaced Lynn on the show; the pair got married on the show's set, with costar Richard Dawson serving as best man. With Valdis, Crane had a son named Scotty and an adopted daughter named Ana. The couple separated in 1977 but remained married.

Murder and Investigation

In June of 1978, Crane was found bludgeoned to death at his apartment in Scottsdale, Arizona. With a scarcity of clues at the crime scene and no homicide division in Scottsdale's police department, the murder proved to be a difficult one to investigate. However, detectives discovered Crane's large personal videotape collection, which consisted of footage he had taken of his various sexual escapades. The videos led the detectives to John Henry Carpenter, a Sony Electronics regional sales manager who had been a friend and co-conspirator of Crane's. In Carpenter's car, which was eventually impounded, detectives found blood that matched Crane's type. However, because DNA testing was not yet available at the time, the case was inconclusive and the Maricopa County Attorney declined to press charges. It was only later in 1992 that Carpenter was arrested and charged with the murder of Crane. At the subsequent trial in 1994, he was ultimately acquitted, leaving Crane's homicide officially unsolved.

Auto Focus

Bob Crane's life and murder are the subjects of Paul Schrader's 2002 film "Auto Focus," which is based on Robert Graysmith's book "The Murder of Bob Crane." The film stars Greg Kinnear as Crane and Willem Dafoe as Carpenter. Met with mostly positive reviews from critics, "Auto Focus" was denounced by Crane's son Scotty for being highly inaccurate in its depiction of his father.

All net worths are calculated using data drawn from public sources. When provided, we also incorporate private tips and feedback received from the celebrities or their representatives. While we work diligently to ensure that our numbers are as accurate as possible, unless otherwise indicated they are only estimates. We welcome all corrections and feedback using the button below.
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