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July 13, 2020

Larry Hovis of 'Hogan's Heroes' — inside Life and Death of the Beloved Thespian

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In the way back popular television series "Hogan's Heroes" Larry Hovis starred as a demolition expert. The rest of his life similarly blew up with talent and long-lasting love. 

During the 1960s, Larry Hovis made a name for himself in showbiz when he landed a role in the popular television show "Hogan's Heroes." While he starred as the demolition expert Sgt. Carter on the show, there was so much more behind Hovis the person than being an actor.

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Born in February 1936 in Wapato, Washington, Hovis grew up in Houston where he became the singer with a popular quartet in the 50s called the Mascots - his entry into professional entertainment while in his teens.

Hovis considered himself a singer above and beyond his other talents, and he also became a member of a popular jazz trio in addition to landing hosting duties on a daytime television show called "Surprise Party." 

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He went on to marry his love, Carol Ann Corrigan in November 1960, and Hovis's twenties then turned into an explosion of creativity.

While appearing in several stage productions, he tried his hand at writing songs which led to a recording contract with Capitol Records and the consequent release of a solo album he titled "My Heart Belongs to Only You."

Writing of songs turned into the writing of screenplays and plays, and he even sold one called "Out of Sight. Hovis was a funny man as well, and he worked as a standup comedian in Santa Monic before Andry Griffiths' manager and producer, Richard Linke spotted him.

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Hovis's career picked up after meeting Linke, and he landed a regular spot on "The Gomer Pyle Show" before being cast in "Hogan's Heroes."

The show ran for six years after it launched in September 1965, and within its first season became one of the top ten on television at the time. Throughout its run, "Hogan's Heroes" earned 12 Emmy nominations.

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However, as the show ended, Hovis found himself somewhat return to writing and performing when he starred in "Rowan & Martin's Laugh In." After that, Hovis maintained a balance between singer, writing, and acting.

In the 1990s, Hovis handed down his knowledge to university students until his death when he became a professor in the drama department at Southwest Texas State University. 

During the final months of his life in 2003, Hovis battled cancer before he passed at Christopher House, Hospice Austin, at the age of 67 in September that year. 

Sadly, the entertainment industry lost another legend earlier this year. At the age of 86, Fred Willard passed away on May 15, 2020.

The beloved actor became known for his roles in popular television shows such as "Modern Family," and "Best in the Show," and his skills as a comedian and actor became well respected in his career that lasted more than four decades.

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