Jack Hogan - Rotten Tomatoes

Jack Hogan

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Jack Hogan is a character actor and leading man best known for his work in television -- most notably as Private Kirby on the long-running 1960s series Combat! -- and in action films and dramas. Born Richard Roland Benson, Jr. in Chapel Hill, North Carolina in 1929, he briefly studied architecture at the University of North Carolina before entering the army in 1948, which took him to stations in the Far East. After leaving the service in 1952, he decided to try his hand at acting, and received training at the Pasadena Playhouse in California and the American Theatre Wing in New York. His screen career began in 1956 with the western in Man From Del Rio, starring Anthony Quinn and Katy Jurado. Two years later, he played "Guy Darrow" (sic), the film-a-clef stand-in for the notorious Depression-era bank robber Clyde Barrow in William Witney's The Bonnie Parker Story (1958), starring Dorothy Provine. And that same year, he co-starred with Michael Landon in Ted Post's The Story of Tom Dooley. Hogan appeared in episodes of Have Gun, Will Travel and Bonanza over the next few years, interspersed with occasional film work, until the series Combat! came along in 1962. Hired by director Robert Altman, who shepherded the series through its early stages, Hogan portrayed Private William Kirby in the middle of a strong cast headed by Vic Morrow and Rick Jason, and also including notable character actors Dick Peabody, Pierre Jalbert, and Conlan Carter. He still managed to stand out -- his Private William Kirby (nicknamed "Wild Man" back home) was a sometime screw-up, a skirt-chaser, and complainer, but also a top man with a BAR (Browning Automatic Rifle) and exactly the kind of soldier any sergeant would want in a tight spot. Hogan was perfect in the role, completely convincing in the action scenes, yet also the valid butt of jokes from his comrades (when one too-young recruit is being shipped home at the end of one episode and promises to be back in two years, he adds that "you guys will probably have this wrapped up by then," to which Vic Morrow's Sgt. Saunders, looking at Hogan after the boy leaves, says, "With you on our side, Kirby, it might be ten.")Following the series' cancellation, Hogan continued to work in television, on programs such as Adam-12, and also had a short-lived series called Sierra. He retired from acting in the 1980s and moved to Hawaii, where he founded a construction business, also working as casting director on Magnum, P.I. and appearing on Jake And The Fat Man. And thanks to the release of Combat! on DVD, and the series' being rerun on ME-TV, he is finding a whole new generation of fans for his work on the series in the twenty-first century.

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
No Score Yet The Legend of Tom Dooley
  • Actor
2000
No Score Yet Paratroop Command
  • Ace
1959
No Score Yet The Legend of Tom Dooley
  • Charlie Grayson
1959
No Score Yet Man from Del Rio
  • Boy
1956

Quotes from Jack Hogan's Characters

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