Robert Hastings Obituary
 
In Memory of

Robert Francis Hastings

April 18, 1925 - June 30, 2014
Obituary

Bob Hastings, Sr. On June 30, 2014, Robert Francis Hastings, Sr., 89, passed away in the comfort of his home in Burbank, CA. Born April 18, 1925, in Brooklyn, NY, he was the third son of Hazel Mae Kirk and Charles Benedict Hastings, Sr. Bob loved his family. Being surrounded by his family was his greatest joy. Family celebrations were a top priority; His joy was traveling the world with his best girl, Joan. He was also a lifelong Dodgers fan. He began his career on the radio in 1936, at the age of 11, featured on The Daily Mirror Radio Gang, Coast-to-Coast on a Bus, Madge Tucker's Lady Next Door, Our Barn, and Adventures in...
Bob Hastings, Sr.

On June 30, 2014, Robert Francis Hastings, Sr., 89, passed away in the comfort of his home in Burbank, CA. Born April 18, 1925, in Brooklyn, NY, he was the third son of Hazel Mae Kirk and Charles Benedict Hastings, Sr.

Bob loved his family. Being surrounded by his family was his greatest joy. Family celebrations were a top priority; His joy was traveling the world with his best girl, Joan. He was also a lifelong Dodgers fan.

He began his career on the radio in 1936, at the age of 11, featured on The Daily Mirror Radio Gang, Coast-to-Coast on a Bus, Madge Tucker's Lady Next Door, Our Barn, and Adventures in King Arthurland. In 1939, he was recruited by National Barn Dance, and he commuted by train from NY to Chicago on weekends for 2 years, working in New York during the week.

He enlisted in the Army Air Corp in 1943 and became a B-29 Navigator. Upon returning from the service, he became radio's Archie Andrews and continued to play him until 1953. Other radio performances were Pretty Kitty Kelly, The Hilltop House, Pepper Young's Family, This is Nora Drake, The Aldrich Family, etc. He felt that radio was the best medium because it required the actors and audience to use their imaginations. He credited radio actors as the best actors he ever worked with because of this.

He first met Joan (Rice) while they were singers on Coast to Coast on a Bus; he was 15 and Joan 14. Their singing careers went in other directions. They began to date when he returned from the service and showed up on her doorstep. His quote, "I realized she was much more talented than I, so had to marry her because she could provide me with a good life!" They wed on January 25, 1948 and welcomed four children over the next seven years,

In 1949, Bob transitioned easily out of radio work when he got the role of Hal on the TV series, Captain Video and His Video Rangers. He went on to No Time for Sergeants on the US Steel Hour, and many other television shows where he played different character roles. His keen ear for foreign accents opened the door to his portraying characters from many nations. His first recurring role was as a lieutenant on Sergeant Bilko, in 1956. More acting options moved the family to Los Angeles in 1960. His most memorable roles were that of Lt. Carpenter on McHale's Navy, Tommy Kelsey on All in the Family, and Captain Burt Ramsey on General Hospital. His IMDB data shows over 140 entries, from radio to television, movies and voice overs. He was the official host of Universal Studios Tour in Los Angeles for many years.

He recorded a 12 song LP entitled, Bob Hastings Sings for the Family. This was a follow-up to 2 other LPs made during the 50's while still in New York; 40 Of The World's Greatest Children's Songs, and 45 Songs Children Love To Sing. He used his many creative voices on several LP story albums, such as The Arabian Nights, Schnapsie and the Magic Button, and Black Beauty and Other Children's Stories.

Bob felt he was very lucky to have had such a sustaining career, and never saw himself as a 'star', saying, "Sometimes you're better off NOT becoming a big star, because then you always know who you are."

He is survived by Joan, his loving wife of 66 years, brother Donald (Leslie), four children: Tricia (Jim) Stone, Bob Jr. (Sandee), Michael (Katherine), Mary Joan Shaughnessy, 10 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.
He is preceded in death by his parents, brothers Charles Jr. and Richard, and two great-grandchildren, Emma and Campbell Dronen.

A heartfelt thanks to all of the doctors, nurses and support staff at Home Instead Burbank and Graceful Palms Hospice that gently and professionally cared for him, Dr. Arzoo and the Disney Family Cancer Center. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center Foundation, Burbank, or the Wounded Warriors Project.

Rosary to be held Monday, July 7, at 7PM at St. Finbar Church, Burbank. Funeral Tuesday, July 8, 10AM, St. Finbar Church, Burbank.

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"what a great performer he was in mchales navy--he was glue that held the characters together,,,always liked him for his huge talent..always working.." simon m (melbourne, AB)

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