Dwayne Hickman, Dobie Gillis Actor, Dead at 87

Dwayne Hickman, who starred in the hit CBS comedy The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, died Sunday morning. He was 87. Hickman died at his Los Angeles home of complications from Parkinson's disease, his publicist Harlan Boll told The Hollywood Reporter.

Hickman starred as the title character, a hopelessly in love high school student who was also the show's narrator. He starred in all 147 episodes of Dobie Gillis, which aired from 1956 to 1963. The show also starred future Gilligan's Island actor Bob Denver as his friend, Maynard G. Krebs. Frank Faylen starred as Dobie's old-fashioned father Herbert and Florida Friebus played his mother, Winnie. The series was created by Max Shulman, who wrote the original stories the series was inspired by, and the 1953 movie The Affairs of Dobie Gillis.

(Photo: CBS via Getty Images)

After Dobie Gillis ended, Hickman was stereotyped in younger roles, even though he was already 29 when the show ended. In 1965, he began starring in American International Pictures movies like Ski Party with Frankie Avalon and How to Stuff a Wild Bikini with Annette Funicello. He also starred in the Western comedy Cat Ballou, starring Jane Fonda and Lee Marvin.

Hickman continued appearing regularly on television and in movies until 1977. That year, he became a programming executive at CBS. In 1983, he had a cameo in the TV movie High School U.S.A. and played Dobie one more time in the 1988 TV movie Bring Me the Head of Dobie Gillis. He embraced his connection to the character by even naming his autobiography Forever Dobie.

In the late 1980s, Hickman began directing television shows. He helmed episodes of Sister, Sister, Charles in Charge, Designing Women, and Head of the Class. He also continued taking cameo roles on television. He also had a recurring role in the 1996-1999 sitcom adaptation of Clueless. Hickman's final role was in the 2005 movie Angels With Angels. Hickman's other credits include A Night at the Roxbury, Love American Style, Mod Squad, Murder She Wrote, Ironside, We'll Take Manhattan, Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine, and Combat!.


Hickman is survived by his third wife Joan Roberts, whom he married in 1983, and his sons Albert and John. He is also survived by his older brother, Darryl Hickman, a former child actor. Donations in Hickman's memory can be made to The Actors Fund or DreamClub United, an organization Albert founded to help local humanitarian programs.