Remembering Bob Hastings Star of McHale's Navy And The Voice of Commissioner Gordon
The actor passed away on June 30th after battling prostate cancer.
Actor Bob Hastings, who was best known for his role as "yes man" Lt. Elroy Carpenter on the popular sitcom 'McHale's Navy', passed away at his home on Monday after suffering from prostate cancer. The 89 year old actor, who spent an amazing 78 years in show business, will be remembered for his lengthy career, which spanned television, film and radio.
Born in Brooklyn, Hastings made his first radio appearance aged just 11, when he on shows such as ‘The Daily Mirror Radio Gang’ and ‘Adventures in King Arthurland’. But his career was put on hold when World War II broke out and he enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps, eventually serving as a B-29 navigator. Upon his return, Hastings resumed his radio career voicing the character of Archie Andrews, in an NBC Red Network series based on the popular comic book character.
In 1949, his career moved to television when he landed his first role on sci-fi series 'Atom Squad'. He then began a recurring role on Phil Silvers' show, 'Sergeant Bilko' as one of his lieutenants. Hastings continued to make guest appearances on various popular series throughout the 1950s, including stints on ‘Green Acres’, ‘The Tall Men’ and ‘Dennis the Menace’.
But the role that Hastings is perhaps best remembered for, was as "yes man” lieutenant Elroy Carpenter on 'McHale’s Navy'. The series ran for four seasons between 1962 and 1966 and would go on to spawn two movies. At the same time he also portrayed Captain Ramsey on ABC's long running soap opera, 'General Hospital'.
During his later career, Hastings switched to doing voice over work for animated series. He would provide the voice for Beany on 'Beany and Cecil', The Raven on the 'Munsters', and Superboy in the 'The New Adventures of Superboy' cartoon series. But his most memorable voice role was as Commissioner Jim Gordon in the popular 'Batman: The Animated Series' beginning in 1992. He would continue to provide Gordon’s voice for the next decade in various spinoffs in the DC animated universe, such as 'Batman: Mask of the Phantasm', 'Superman: The Animated Series', 'The New Batman Adventures' and several video games.
Hastings was married to his wife Joan for 66 years and the couple had four children together along with 10 grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren. His younger brother Don is also an actor and is best known for playing Dr. Bob Hughes in ‘As the World Turns’ for 50 years. Speaking after his death, Don paid tribute to his brother, describing him as, “A great guy.” Adding, “He was a good father and a good husband. That's hard to be in show business."