Kevin Dobson

Kevin Dobson Headshot

Actor

Birth Date: March 18, 1943

Death Date: September 6, 2020

Birth Place: New York, New York

A leading man with appeal to both women and blue collars, who still has traces of his Queens, NY, accent, and who has sustained 25 years of TV stardom, Kevin Dobson is best recalled as the right hand to "Kojak," Lt. Bobby Crocker (CBS, 1973-1978), and as Mack MacKenzie on the long-running "Knots Landing" (CBS, 1982-1993).

Dobson was attending NYU and working on the Long Island Railroad to support himself when his girlfriend -- whom he later married -- suggested he try to do TV commercials for make money instead of railroad work while trying to study. He won a few commercials and toured with a production of "The Impossible Years" by Walter Kerr. When he returned to New York, he was hooked, and began studying at the Neighborhood Playhouse.

He won bit parts in three films made in the east -- "Love Story" (1970), "Klute" (1971), and "The French Connection" (1971) -- before heading to Los Angeles, where his first TV gig was in an episode of "The Mod Squad," but he found himself working as a fireman on the Santa Fe Railroad to make ends meet. The break came when he was cast as Lt. Crocker in "Kojak" (CBS, 1973-1978). Telly Savalas bossed Dobson around for 100 episodes, but Dobson won the hearts of the younger women watching the show.

Under contract to Universal, which made the series, he was put into a co-starring role in the feature film "The Battle of Midway" (1976) and in his first TV movie, "The Immigrants" (syndication, 1978). He holds the distinction of having been one of Barbra Streisand's screen husbands, but, alas for Dobson, it was in one of La Streisand's few box office turkeys, "All Night Long" (1981).

In 1981, Dobson had his first TV series as a lead, "Shannon" (CBS), playing a New York police detective who relocates to San Francisco with his son. The show lasted only a season, but he then joined "Knots Landing" as tough federal prosecutor MacKenzie, who eventually married Michele Lee. Starting in 1988, Dobson also frequently directed episodes of the series.

"Knots Landing" also gave Dobson the profile to star in TV movies, many produced through his own company -- and for which his wife, Susan, was executive producer. Among the more recent were "Dirty Work" (USA, 1992), in which he was an ex-cop turned bailbondsman, and "If Someone Had Known" (CBS, 1995), in which he must arrest his own daughter.

In 1996, he was the older and wiser Leo McCarthy on "FX: The Series" for syndication, and he returned to "Knots Landing: Back to the Cul-de-Sac" (CBS, 1997). As for Lt. Crocker, according to his appearance in "Kojak: It's Always Something" (ABC, 1990), which reprised the 1970s characters, Crocker had become an attorney and Assistant DA.

Kevin Dobson died September 6, 2020 at his home in Coalinga, California. He was 77.

Credits

Anger ManagementStream

Guest Star
Dr. Cameron
Series
2012

Hawaii Five-0Stream

Guest Star
Series
2010

Watch What Happens Live With Andy CohenStream

Guest
Talk
2009

April Moon

Actor
Jeffrey
Movie
2008

Christmas at Cadillac Jack's

Actor
Show
2007

Crash Landing

Actor
Henderson Davis
Movie
2005

Cold CaseStream

Guest Star
Series
2003

She's No Angel

Actor
Donald Shawnessy
Movie
2001

CSI: Crime Scene InvestigationStream

Guest Star
Series
2000

Chicken Soup for the Soul

Self
Show
1999

Restraining Order

Actor
Police Captain
Movie
1999

Mom, Can I Keep Her?

Actor
Movie
1998

Crimes of Passion: Nobody Lives Forever

Actor
Lt. Jim Ransom
Movie
1997

Knots Landing: Back to the Cul-de-Sac

Actor
Movie
1997

FX: The Series

Actor
Show
1996

Nash Bridges

Actor
Series
1996

Crímenes de Pasión: Voces Desde la Tumba

Actor
Detective Joe Sraccula
Movie
1996

Voces Desde la Tumba

Actor
Detective Joe Sraccula
Movie
1996

From the Files of Unsolved Mysteries: Voice From the Grave

Actor
Detective Joe Sraccula
Movie
1996

F/X: The Illusion

Actor
Detective Leo McCarthy
Movie
1996

If Someone Had Known

Actor
Jack Liner
Movie
1995

Touched by an AngelStream

Guest Star
Series
1994

Burke's Law

Guest Star
Show
1994

The Conviction of Kitty Dodds

Actor
Chuck Hayes
Movie
1993

La Condena de Kitty Dodds

Actor
Movie
1993

Dirty Work

Actor
Tom
Movie
1992

A House of Secrets and Lies

Actor
Jack Evans
Movie
1992

The CommishStream

Guest Star
Frank Botrell
Series
1991

Fatal Friendship

Actor
Michael
Movie
1991

Casey's Gift: For Love of a Child

Actor
Hank Bolen
Movie
1990

Kojak: It's Always Something

Actor
Assistant D.A. Bobby Crocker
Movie
1990

Le Pouvoir de la mort

Actor
Movie
1989

Dinero, Poder y Crimen

Actor
Movie
1989

Money, Power, Murder

Actor
Peter Finley
Movie
1989

The Bold and the BeautifulStream

Guest Star
Soap
1987

Sweet Revenge

Actor
Col. Joseph Cheever
Movie
1984

Shannon

Actor
Det. Jack Shannon
Show
1981

All Night Long

Actor
Bobby Gibbons
Movie
1981

Mickey Spillane's Margin for Murder

Actor
Mike Hammer
Movie
1981

Hardhat and Legs

Actor
Sal Pacheco
Movie
1980

Reunion

Actor
Don Hollander
Movie
1980

Mark, I Love You

Actor
Hal Painter
Movie
1980

Les Retrouvailles

Actor
Movie
1980

Knots Landing

Actor
M. "Mack" Patrick MacKenzie
Series
1979

Knots Landing

Director
Series
1979

Knots Landing DFN

Actor
Show
1979

Tales of the Unexpected

Actor
Fred Pearson
Show
1979

Transplant

Actor
John Hurley
Movie
1979

Orphan Train

Actor
Frank Carlin
Movie
1979

Stranded

Actor
Rafe Harder
Movie
1976

TattletalesStream

Guest
Game Show
1974

The Chinatown Murders

Actor
Det. Bobby Crocker
Movie
1974

KojakStream

Actor
Lt. Bobby Crocker
Series
1973

KojakStream

Guest Star
Lt. Bobby Crocker
Series
1973

Cannon

Guest Star
Hotel Security Guard
Series
1971

Mod Squad

Guest Star
Howie
Series
1968

The Merv Griffin Show

Guest
Talk
1965

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