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Dobson in Kojak (1975)
Kevin Patrick Dobson|
March 18, 1943
Jackson Heights, Queens, New York, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Susan Dobson (1968–present)|
Kevin Patrick Dobson (born March 18, 1943) is an American film and television actor, who is primarily known for his roles on television. His most prominent roles were Detective Bobby Crocker, the trusted partner of Lt. Theo Kojak (played by Telly Savalas) on the 1970s CBS crime drama Kojak, and M. Patrick "Mack" MacKenzie on the 1980s soap opera Knots Landing.
Life and career
Dobson was born in Jackson Heights, New York, in 1943, of Irish descent. He is one of seven children born to the janitor of a grammar school (Our Lady of Fatima, Jackson Heights, NY) and a stay-at-home mom. Before embarking on an acting career, Dobson worked as a trainman, brakeman and conductor for the Long Island Rail Road, followed by a few years as a waiter, then bartender, at Manhattan restaurant Brew's, owned by relatives.
After a brief appearance in the 1971 film Klute and small acting roles on TV series such as The Mod Squad, Emergency! and Cannon, Dobson won the role of Lt. Theo Kojak's young partner, Det. Bobby Crocker, on the TV series Kojak, opposite Telly Savalas, after he signed a contract with Universal Studios in 1972. For the role, he had to borrow a suit. He auditioned and failed, twice, then, he called his agent, telling him, "‘Do what you have to do,’ so he called in a favor and I read for them [again]. I was a military policeman in the Army, so I knew how to hold a gun and throw somebody against a wall. I got a call [the next night] asking if I’d sign a contract." He auditioned for the third time and finally won. He remained with Kojak for its entire run from 1973 to 1978, and later reunited with Savalas for the 1990 TV movie, Kojak: It's Always Something, his character having become an assistant district attorney. Dobson remained friends with Savalas, until his acting mentor's death on January 22, 1994, of bladder cancer.
Dobson starred in the Tony Award winning play 'Art' at the Royal George Theater in Chicago. He originated the role of Steve Gallop in the world premiere of the American Theatre Critics Association nominated stage play "If it was Easy..." at The 7Stages Theater in Atlanta, Georgia, among other stage roles across the country.
In the 1976 World War II film Midway, starring Henry Fonda and Charlton Heston, Dobson played the non-fictional character of Ensign George Gay, a pilot and the sole survivor of Torpedo Squadron Eight from the Aircraft Carrier USS Hornet's ill-fated opening attack against the Japanese fleet on June 4, 1942.
In 1978 he played Pete Lomas in the two-part TV movie The Immigrants, based on Howard Fast's novel. In 1980, he was offered the chance for a lead role on Magnum, P.I., but he turned it down, hence the role was eventually given to another Universal contract player, Tom Selleck. From 1981-1982, Dobson starred as the title character of the CBS series Shannon, about a San Francisco police officer who is a single father. The series failed to win substantial ratings and was cancelled after nine episodes. Also in 1981, he played a lead role in the movie All Night Long, playing the husband of Barbra Streisand.
The following season, he landed the role of M. Patrick "Mack" MacKenzie on Knots Landing, cast opposite Michele Lee, and he played the role for eleven years. He later reunited with his Knots Landing co-stars for a miniseries, Knots Landing: Back to the Cul-de-Sac in 1997, and again in the 2005 non-fiction special Knots Landing Reunion: Together Again.
Dobson starred with Richard Thomas in the 2009 stage production of 12 Angry Men. Dobson has stated, concerning actors who are afraid of being typecast, "...you should be so lucky".
He played Mickey Horton on Days of Our Lives from April 2008 to October 2, 2008. His character was not seen on screen and left, with no explanation, for two years. The character of Mickey was "killed off" the show in January 2010. Although Dobson played the character for a few months, Mickey is best remembered being played by veteran soap actor John Clarke.
Dobson, a former soldier, served twice as chairman of the National Salute To Hospitalized Veterans. Having long assisted with the needs of hospitalized veterans, Dobson received the Silver Helmet Peace Award and the American Legion Award.
He married his wife Susan in 1968, and they have three children.
- Klute (1971) - Man at Bar (uncredited)
- Midway (1976) - Ensign George Gay
- Orphan Train (1979) - Frank Carlin
- All Night Long (1981) - Bobby Gibbons
- Restraining Order (1999) - Police Captain
- Crash Landing (2005) - Henderson Davis
- 1408 (2007) - Priest
- April Moon (2007) - Jeffrey
- The Representative (2011) - Hon. Justice Evans
- Dark Power (2013) - Mayor Stan Wood
- Staff. "Hollywood Freeway", Los Angeles Daily News, July 17, 1990. Accessed May 28, 2009. "When you grow up in the projects in Jackson Heights, in the New York borough of Queens, you don't think about having a golf and tennis tournament named after you. You only think about getting out and surviving. Kevin Dobson got out."
- "Where Are They Now? Kevin Dobson, Kojak's Sidekick". BoomerMagazine.com. June 16, 2016. Retrieved October 23, 2017.