Hastings in a 1946 publicity photo
|Born||Robert Francis Hastings
April 18, 1925
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
|Died||June 30, 2014
Burbank, California, U.S.
|Cause of death||Prostate cancer|
|Resting place||Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills)|
Robert Francis Hastings (April 18, 1925 – June 30, 2014) was an American radio, film, and television character actor. He also provided voices for animated cartoons. He was best known for his portrayal of annoying suck-up Lt. Elroy Carpenter, on McHale's Navy.
Early life and education
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Hastings was born in Brooklyn, New York City, New York, a son of Charles and Hazel Hastings. His father was a salesman. He started out as a boy singer on radio shows as Doug Gray's Singing Gang and Coast to Coast on a Bus.
Hastings started in radio on "Coast-to-Coast on a Bus" (NBC). Hastings served during World War II in the United States Army Air Corps. After serving in World War II as a navigator on B-29s, he played the role of Archie Andrews in a series based on the Archie comic book series on NBC Radio from 1945-53. Archie Andrews was sponsored by Swift & Company food products.
Hastings moved to television in 1949, performing in early science-fiction series, including Atom Squad. In 1954, he was the featured pitch-man (acting as an amateur magician) for Bakers Instant Cocoa Mix television commercials. His first recurring role was as a lieutenant on Phil Silvers' Sergeant Bilko series in the late 1950s. At that time he guest-starred on Walter Brennan's ABC sitcom The Real McCoys. He also appeared in a few episodes of Captain Video playing the brother of "The Video Ranger", who was  in turn played by Hastings' brother, Don Hastings.
Most of his career was spent in television, including two episodes of CBS's Green Acres as an Air Force officer and as a sheriff. Hastings was cast as Lt. Bolt in the 1960 episode "Space Man" of the CBS military sitcom/drama Hennesey, starring Jackie Cooper. Hastings guest-starred in the ABC/Warner Brothers sitcom Room for One More, starring Andrew Duggan and Peggy McCay, on the Robert Young CBS sitcom/drama Window on Main Street, as Russian pilot Igor Piotkin on Hogan's Heroes, and on the NBC police sitcom Car 54, Where Are You?.
In 1962, Hastings played a railroad executive in the episode "Substitute Sheriff" of the NBC western series The Tall Man.
He appeared five times on CBS's Dennis the Menace, with Jay North, most notably as Coach Gilmore in the 1963 episode "The Big Basketball Game". He appeared three times from 1961 to 1962 on the CBS sitcom Pete and Gladys, with Harry Morgan and Cara Williams.
Hastings portrayed the aide to Captain Binghamton (Joe Flynn), the yes-man Lieutenant Elroy Carpenter on ABC's McHale's Navy, humorously called "Carpy" and "Little Leadbottom" by McHale and his men. Hastings played Captain Ramsey on ABC's General Hospital. He was also the voice of the Raven on episodes of CBS's The Munsters. He briefly hosted the game show Dealer's Choice and had a recurring role as bar owner Tommy Kelsey on All in the Family.
After McHale's Navy, Hastings was a regular on the Universal Studios lot, where Universal paid actors during downtime to be on the grounds and talk to tourists. According to an interview, he got along so well with the people that he became one of the few regulars on the tour.
Hastings was in the 1968 Universal film Did You Hear the One About the Traveling Saleslady? starring Bob Denver, as well as The Bamboo Saucer (1968), Angel in My Pocket (1969), The Love God? (1969) starring Don Knotts, and The Boatniks (1970). In 1971 Hastings was cast in the comedy movie How to Frame a Figg, also starring Don Knotts, and also had roles in The Poseidon Adventure (1972), The All-American Boy (1973) and No Deposit, No Return (1976). Hastings also was in the 1978 movie Harper Valley PTA in which he played Skeeter Duggan, a member of the PTA board who had been kidnapped at the orders of its dishonest president to commit election fraud, and played "Cousin Phantom of the Opera" in the 1981 television movie The Munsters' Revenge.
In 1967, Hastings recorded an LP for Home Records Inc. entitled Bob Hastings Sings For The Family (HR-101), with 12 songs arranged and conducted by Bob Caudana.
Hastings has also done voice work for animation and commercials, including Beany on Beany and Cecil, The Raven on the Munsters series, Superboy in The New Adventures of Superboy cartoons of the 1960s, D.D. on Hanna-Barbera's Clue Club, and the voice of Commissioner Jim Gordon in the popular Batman: The Animated Series and its various spinoffs in the DC animated universe, such as Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, Superman: The Animated Series, The New Batman Adventures and several Batman video games.
Personal life and death
Hastings was the older brother of longtime As the World Turns star Don Hastings. He was married to Joan (Rice) Hastings for 66 years and has four children, 10 grandchildren, and twelve great-grandchildren. He toured the country as a participant in various Old-Time Radio Conventions, reading scripts for such shows as Archie Andrews and The Bickersons. He appeared at the 2013 Cincinnati Nostalgia Expo, the Radio Enthusiasts of Puget Sound Showcase 2013 in Bellevue, Washington, in June, and at the Friends of Old Time Radio Convention in Newark, New Jersey, in October 2010.
- The Great Impostor (1961) - State Department Official (uncredited)
- Moon Pilot (1962) - Motorist (uncredited)
- McHale's Navy (1964) - Lt. Elroy Carpenter
- McHale's Navy Joins the Air Force (1965) - Lt. Elroy Carpenter
- Superboy (1966) - Superboy
- Did You Hear the One About the Traveling Saleslady? (1968) - Lyle Chatterton
- The Bamboo Saucer (1968) - Garson
- Angel in My Pocket (1969) - Ted Palish
- The Love God? (1969) - Shrader
- The Boatniks (1970) - Chief Walsh
- How to Frame a Figg (1971) - Chris Groat
- The Marriage of a Young Stockbroker (1971) - 2nd Baseball Fan
- The Poseidon Adventure (1972) - M. C.
- Charley and the Angel (1973) - News Reporter
- The All-American Boy (1973) - Ariel Van Daumee
- Airport 1975 (1974) - Freeman's Friend at Airport (uncredited)
- No Deposit, No Return (1976) - Peter
- Harper Valley PTA (1978) - Skeeter
- Separate Ways (1981) - Jack
- Snowballing (1984) - Carol Tolson
- Shadow Force (1992) - Mayor Talbert
- Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993) - Commissioner Gordon (voice)
- Staff writer (July 5, 2014) "Bob Hastings, actor" The Washington Post, page B5. Retrieved July 6, 2014 
- Bob Hastings Biography, filmreference.com; accessed August 12, 2015.
- Personal recollection
- ""The Big Basketball Game", February 24, 1963". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved February 9, 2013.
- Time Travel Radio interview Time Travel Radio
- "'McHale's Navy' Star Bob Hastings Dies at Age 89", abcnews.go.com; accessed May 5, 2017.
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