Kevin Patrick Dobson (March 18, 1943 – September 6, 2020) was an American film and television actor, best known for his roles as Detective Bobby Crocker, the trusted protege of Lt. Theo Kojak (played by Telly Savalas) in the CBS crime drama Kojak (1973–1978), and as M. Patrick “Mack” MacKenzie in the prime time soap opera Knots Landing (1982–1993).
Dobson was born in Jackson Heights, New York, and was of Irish descent. He was one of seven children born to the janitor of a grammar school (Our Lady of Fatima, Jackson Heights, New York) and a stay-at-home mother. 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.
Dobson was cast in 1968 as Governor Harrison Brooks in the ABC Daytime series One Life to Live. 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 signed a contract with Universal Studios in 1972. This led to his role of Det. Bobby Crocker, Lt. Theo Kojak’s young partner, in the TV series Kojak, opposite Telly Savalas. For the role, he had to borrow a suit. He had twice auditioned and failed, then 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.” Dobson auditioned for a third time and finally won the role. He remained with Kojak for its entire five-season 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. They remained friends until Savalas’ death from bladder cancer in 1994.
In 1976, Dobson was on Battle of the Network Stars with Savalas (Captain), Adrienne Barbeau, Gary Burghoff, Pat Harrington, Bill Macy, Lee Meriwether, Mackenzie Phillips, Loretta Swit, and Jimmie Walker. In 1978, Dobson played Pete Lomas in the two-part TV movie The Immigrants, based on the novel by Howard Fast.
In 1981, Dobson starred as Det. Jack Shannon, a San Francisco police officer who is a single father, on the CBS series Shannon. However, the show failed to gain substantial ratings and was canceled after nine episodes. A more successful TV role for Dobson followed in 1982 as M. Patrick “Mack” MacKenzie in the soap opera Knots Landing, opposite Michele Lee. He joined the show at the beginning of its fourth season in September 1982 and remained in the role until its cancellation in 1993. Dobson won five Soap Opera Digest Awards for his work on the series. 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 also appeared in a number of feature films, most notably the World War II movie Midway (1976) alongside Henry Fonda and Charlton Heston, as 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. Another prominent role for Dobson was as the husband of Barbra Streisand in the 1981 romantic comedy All Night Long. He also had a small role as a priest in the well-received 2007 psychological horror film 1408.
Dobson continued to appear in a number of television roles, including the syndicated F/X: The Series for one season (1996–1997), the drama series The Bold and the Beautiful (2006–2007), and as the fourth and final actor to play Mickey Horton on Days of Our Lives. He featured in 15 episodes of the show from April to October 2008. The character then left with no explanation, before being “killed off” in January 2010. Although Mickey is best remembered for being portrayed by veteran soap actor John Clarke for almost 40 years, Dobson instead appeared as Mickey in the character’s final appearances in 2008.
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, and appeared in many other stage roles across the United States.
He starred with Richard Thomas in the 2009 stage production of 12 Angry Men. Dobson stated, concerning actors who are afraid of being typecast, “You should be so lucky.”
Dobson, a former Army soldier (MP), served twice as chairman of the National Salute To Hospitalized Veterans. Having long assisted with the needs of hospitalized veterans, Dobson received the AMVETS (American Veterans) Silver Helmet Peace Award and the American Legion Award. Dobson, was a life member of AMVETS and also a charter member of AMVETS MOH Richard A. Pittman Post #1947 – Stockton, California.
Personal life and death
Dobson married his wife, Susan, in 1968. They had three children. He was the chairman of the United Veterans Council of San Joaquin County (UVCSJC). Dobson died after struggling with an autoimmune deficiency on September 6, 2020. UVCSJC reported his death on September 7, 2020. He was 77.
|1971||Klute||Man at Bar||Uncredited|
|1976||Midway||Ensign George H. Gay Jr.|
|1981||All Night Long||Bobby Gibbons|
|1998||Nathan Grimm||Nathan Grimm||Short|
|1999||Restraining Order||Police Captain|
|2005||Crash Landing||Henderson Davis||Direct-to-DVD|
|2011||The Representative||Hon. Justice Evans|
|2013||Dark Power||Mayor Stan Wood|
|1968||One Life to Live||Gov. Harrison Brooks #1||TV series|
|1969-1971||The Doctors||Various||8 episodes|
|1971||The Mod Squad||Howie||Episode: “Feet of Clay”|
|1972||The Rookies||Pilot (Uncredited)|
|1972||Emergency!||First Deputy||Episode: “Decision”|
|1972||Ironside||Young Marine||Episode: “Nightmare Trip”|
|1972||Cannon||Hotel Security Guard||Episode: “The Shadow Man”|
|1973-1978||Kojak||Det. Bobby Crocker||117 episodes|
|1973||Police Story||Patrolman||Episode: “Slow Boy”|
|1976||Stranded||Rafe Harder||TV movie|
|1977||Captain Kangaroo||Mac Hasty||TV series|
|1978||The Immigrants||Pete Lomas||TV movie|
|1978||Greatest Heroes of the Bible||Joab||Episode: “The Judgment of Solomon”|
|1979||Transplant||John Hurley||TV movie|
|1979||Orphan Train||Carlin||TV movie|
|1980||Hardhat and Legs||Sal Pacheco||TV movie|
|1980||Reunion||Don Hollander||TV movie|
|1980||Mark, I Love You||Hal Painter||TV movie|
|1981-1982||Shannon||Det. Jack Shannon||9 episodes|
|1981||Margin for Murder||Mike Hammer||TV movie|
|1982-1993||Knots Landing||M. Patrick “Mack” MacKenzie||291 episodes
Soap Opera Digest Award: Favorite Super Couple on a Prime Time Serial (with Michele Lee) (1986);
Favorite Super Couple: Prime Time (with Michele Lee); Outstanding Actor in a Leading Role: Prime Time; Outstanding Hero: Prime Time; Outstanding Actor: Prime Time (1988, 1991-1992)
Nominated—Soap Opera Digest Award: Outstanding Actor in a Leading Role on a Prime Time Serial; Outstanding Actress/Actor in a Comic Relief Role on a Prime Time Serial (1986)
|1982||CBS Schoolbreak Special||Jim Welsh||Episode: “Help Wanted”|
|1984||Tales of the Unexpected||Fred Pearson||Episode: “The Dirty Detail”|
|1984||Sweet Revenge||Col. Joseph Cheever||TV movie|
|1989||Money, Powder, Murder||Peter Finley||TV movie|
|1990||Kojak: It’s Always Something||Assistant District Attorney Bobby Crocker||TV movie|
|1990||Casey’s Gift: For Love of a Child||Hank Bolen||TV movie|
|1991||Fatal Friendship||Michael||TV movie|
|1992||Dirty Work||Tom||TV movie|
|1992||A House of Secrets of Lies||Jack Evans||TV movie|
|1993||The Conviction of Kitty Dodds||Chuck Hayes||TV movie|
|1994||Burke’s Law||Sheriff Greene||Episode: “Who Killed Good Time Charlie?”|
|1994||Touched by an Angel||Coach Earl Rowley||Episode: “Show Me the Way Home”|
|1994||The Commish||Frank Botrell||Episode: “Revenge”|
|1995||If Someone Had Known||Jack Liner||TV movie|
|1996-1997||F/X: The Series||Det. Leo McCarthy||22 episodes|
|1996||Voice from the Grave||Det. Joe Sraccula||TV movie|
|1997||Knots Landing: Back to the Cul-de-Sac||Mack MacKenzie||Miniseries|
|1997||Early Edition||Darrel Foster||Episode: “March in Time”|
|1998||Nobody Lives Forever||Lt. Jim Ransom||TV movie|
|2000||Chicken Soup for the Soul||Episode: “The Two Sides of Love”|
|2000||Nash Bridges||Raymond Porter||Episode: “Double Trouble”|
|2001||The Haunted Heart||Mr. Hopkins||TV short|
|2001||She’s No Angel||Donald Shawnessy||TV movie|
|2005||Knots Landing Reunion: Together Again||Himself||TV special|
|2006-2007||The Bold and the Beautiful||Judge Devin Owens||13 episodes|
|2007||Christmas at Cadillac Jack’s||Cop||TV movie|
|2008||Days of Our Lives||Mickey Horton||15 episodes|
|2008||Cold Case||Mickey Thompson ’08||Episode: “The Dealer”|
|2012||CSI: Crime Scene Investigation||Malcolm Turner||Episode: “Ms. Willows Regrets”|
|2012||Hawaii Five-0||Al Shepard||Episode: “Ha’alele”|
|2013||House of Lies||Mr. Pinkus||4 episodes|
|2013||Damn Sea Vampires||Glenn Hunter||TV movie|
|2014||Anger Management||Dr. Cameron||Episode: “Charlie and his Probation Officer’s Daughter”|
|2017||12 to Midnight||Episode: “Nana’s Pancakes”|
- 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.”
- Del Rosario, Alexandra (September 7, 2020). “Kevin Dobson Dies: ‘Knots Landing’ and ‘Days Of Our Lives’ Star Was 77”. Deadline Hollywood. United States: Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved September 7, 2020.
- Moreau, Jordan (September 7, 2020). “Kevin Dobson, ‘Kojak’ and ‘Knots Landing’ star, dies at 77”. NBC News. New York City: NBC Universal. Variety. Retrieved September 7, 2020.
- Seemayer, Zach (September 7, 2020). “Kevin Dobson, ‘Knots Landing’ & ‘Kojak’ Star, Dead at 77”. Entertainment Tonight. United States: CBS Interactive. Retrieved September 7, 2020.
- “Where Are They Now? Kevin Dobson, Kojak’s Sidekick”. BoomerMagazine.com. June 16, 2016. Retrieved October 23, 2017.
- Terrace 2013, p. 189.
- Boucher, Ashley (September 7, 2020). “Kojak and Knot’s Landing Star Kevin Dobson Dies at 77 of ‘Medical Complications‘“. People. United States: Meredith Corporation. Retrieved September 7, 2020.
- Barnes, Mike (September 7, 2020). “Kevin Dobson, Actor on ‘Kojak’ and ‘Knots Landing,’ Dies at 77”. Hollywood Reporter. Los Angeles: MRC Media & Info. Retrieved September 7, 2020.
- Moreau, Jordan (September 7, 2020). “Kevin Dobson, ‘Kojak’ and ‘Knots Landing’ Star, Dies at 77”. Variety. United States: Variety Media, LLC. (Penske Media Corporation). Retrieved September 7, 2020.
- Terrace, Vincent (2013). Television Specials: 5,336 Entertainment Programs, 1936-2012 (2nd ed.). New York City: McFarland & Company. p. 189. ISBN 978-0786474448.