|Was||Actor Television actor Film actor Television director|
|From||United States of America|
|Field||Film, TV, Stage & Radio|
|Birth||18 May 1934, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA|
|Death||9 January 2022, Encino, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, USA (aged 87 years)|
Dwayne Bernard Hickman (May 18, 1934 – January 9, 2022) was an American actor and television executive, producer and director, who worked as an executive at CBS and has also briefly recorded as a vocalist. Hickman portrayed Chuck MacDonald, Bob Collins' girl-crazy teenaged nephew, in the 1950s The Bob Cummings Show and the title character in the 1960s sitcom The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis. He was the younger brother of actor Darryl Hickman, with whom he has appeared on screen. In retirement, he devoted his time to painting.
Born in Los Angeles, on May 18, 1934, Hickman was the younger brother of child actor Darryl Hickman and the older brother of Deidre Hickman. His father, Milton, sold insurance and his mother, Katherine Louise (nee Ostertag), was a housewife. His maternal grandfather, Louis Henry Ostertag, was a US Navy seaman on Commodore George Dewey's flagship, the cruiser, USS Olympia (C-6), and present at the Battle of Manila Bay on May 1, 1898, for which he was awarded the Dewey Medal by Act of Congress. Hickman graduated from Cathedral High School in 1952 and intended to become a Passionist priest, but ultimately chose not to become a priest and attended Loyola Marymount University.
Hickman's first screen appearances were as an extra in The Grapes of Wrath (1939) and Men of Boys Town (1941), in which his brother Darryl was featured. Other early screen appearances were in the 1942 Our Gang comedy Melodies Old and New, Captain Eddie (1945), The Hoodlum Saint (1946), and Faithful in My Fashion (1946).
Hickman played different small roles in some of Columbia Pictures' eight-film "Rusty" series, about a boy and his valiant German Shepherd: The Return of Rusty (1946), For the Love of Rusty (1947), The Son of Rusty (1947), My Dog Rusty (1948), Rusty Leads the Way (1948), Rusty's Birthday (1949), and Rusty Saves a Life (1949). Heaven Only Knows (1947), in which he appeared, starred Bob Cummings, who would play a major role in Hickman's career. Hickman also appeared in Her Husband's Affairs (1948), The Boy with Green Hair (1948), The Sun Comes Up (1949), Mighty Joe Young (1949), and The Happy Years (1950), which starred Darryl. As a teen, Dwayne and Darryl guest-starred in a 1950 episode of The Lone Ranger titled "Two Gold Lockets."
Hickman focused on his studies for a few more years, then returned to acting with appearances in Public Defender, The Loretta Young Show, Lux Video Theatre, and Waterfront. In 1955, Dwayne appeared in another Lone Ranger episode, titled "Sunstroke Mesa".
The Bob Cummings Show
Hickman gained wide notice as Chuck on The Bob Cummings Show from 1955 to 1959. At the time, he was studying at Loyola. Hickman was one of the early stars to have a breakout character in the series.
Hickman considered Cummings a childhood television hero and has said that Cummings taught him everything he knows about acting. He worked with and was friends with Cummings throughout five seasons.
While still on the Bob Cummings Show, Hickman guest-starred on other shows, such as The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet and Men of Annapolis (alongside his brother). He also had a sizable film role in Rally 'Round the Flag, Boys! (1958).
The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis
In 1958, Hickman was cast as the lead of The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, which aired from 1959 to 1963. At the show's debut, the Dobie character was a teenager in high school, and Hickman was then 25 years old.
He played Dobie for four years (with fellow former Loyola student Bob Denver as his sidekick Maynard G. Krebs).
During the series' run, Hickman did the voice for Aladdin in 1001 Arabian Nights (1959). On June 23, 1960, Hickman appeared on The Ford Show, Starring Tennessee Ernie Ford.
When Dobie Gillis ended, Hickman found himself stereotyped as a "youngster" when he was too old for such roles.
American International Pictures
Hickman signed a multi-picture deal with American International Pictures. For that studio he starred in Ski Party (1965) opposite Frankie Avalon; How to Stuff a Wild Bikini (1965) with Funicello; and Dr Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine (1965) with Avalon and Vincent Price. He also made a cameo in Sergeant Deadhead (1965).
Television guest appearances
Hickman appeared in the episode "Run Sheep Run" on Combat! as a soldier who froze during an attack by a German machine gun nest.
Hickman had a supporting part in the 1967 comedy Doctor, You've Got to Be Kidding!. He starred in the 1967 pilot for We'll Take Manhattan, but it was not picked up. Neither was Missy's Men.
Hickman guest-starred on Vacation Playhouse, Ironside, Insight, The Flying Nun, My Friend Tony, Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color ("My Dog, the Thief"), Mod Squad, Love, American Style, Karen, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, Perry Mason and Ellery Queen. He reprised his most famous role in Whatever Happened to Dobie Gillis?, a one-shot pilot, and appeared in the TV movie Don't Push, I'll Charge When I'm Ready (1977).
Hickman found his future in entertainment behind the scenes, being involved in production roles. From 1977 to 1988, Hickman served as a programming executive at CBS. He took time out for a cameo in the TV movie High School U.S.A. (1983).
Hickman reprised his role of Dobie in the TV movie Bring Me the Head of Dobie Gillis (1988). His autobiography is titled Forever Dobie.
In the late 1980s, Hickman turned to directing episodic TV, doing episodes of Duet, Charles in Charge, Open House, Designing Women, Get a Life, Head of the Class, Harry and the Hendersons and Sister, Sister.
He still occasionally acted, appearing in Murder, She Wrote, and A Night at the Roxbury (1998). He had a semi-regular role on the TV series Clueless.
He could be seen in Surviving Gilligan's Island: The Incredibly True Story of the Longest Three Hour Tour in History and Angels with Angles (2005).
Personal life and death
Hickman was married three times. His first two marriages, to Carol Christensen and Joanne Papile, ended in divorce. He and his third wife, Joan Roberts, were married until his death. He had two sons, from his first and third marriages.
Hickman died from complications of Parkinson's disease in Los Angeles on January 9, 2022, at the age of 87.