Dwayne Hickman

Active - 1942 - 2001  |   Born - May 18, 1934 in Los Angeles, California  |   Genres - Comedy, Drama, Children's/Family

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The younger brother of former child star Darryl Hickman, Dwayne Hickman was himself a professional actor from the age of 10. Dwayne's early film roles were essentially bits; one of his first worthwhile assignments was a 1950 episode of TV's The Lone Ranger, in which he played a young orphan who grew up to be a character played by his older brother. After guesting on such series as The Stu Erwin Show, Hickman was cast as Bob Cummings' girl-happy nephew Chuck on the popular sitcom Love That Bob (1954-58). Claiming to have no natural talent, Hickman has insisted that he learned everything he knows about comic acting from Cummings, whom he admired to the point of idolatry. In 1958, he landed his first major screen role, playing a small-town Brando wannabe in Rally Round the Flag Boys. Max Shulman, author of the novel upon which the film was based, was impressed by Hickman, and recommended that the actor be starred in another Shulman adaptation, the weekly TV series The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis. During the Dobie run, Hickman briefly enjoyed Top-40 radio airplay with his recording of the folk-song parody "I'm a Lover, Not a Fighter." When Dobie Gillis folded in 1963, Hickman returned to feature films, offering comedy support to Jane Fonda in Cat Ballou (1965) and Frankie Avalon in The Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine (1966). Temporarily retiring from acting in 1970, Hickman worked as a publicist, and later as entertainment director of Las Vegas' Landmark Hotel. In 1977, he followed brother Darryl's lead by joining the production staff at CBS television. Hickman served as CBS' executive in charge of daytime programming, and as supervisor of the network's comedy series. Every so often, he'd accept an acting role, and on two occasions revived his Dobie Gillis characterization for a brace of "retro" TV movies. In 1994, Dwayne Hickman and his wife Joan collaborated on his autobiography, Forever Dobie.

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