MCHALE'S NAVY Actor Bob Francis Hastings Dies at Age 89

MCHALE'S NAVY Actor Bob Francis Hastings Dies at Age 89

MCHALE'S NAVY Actor Bob Francis Hastings Dies at Age 89

Robert "Bob" Francis Hastings, Sr., best known for his portrayal of Lt. Elroy Carpenter on the 1960s comedy McHale's Navy, has died at age 89, according to PEOPLE. The actor had battled pancreatic cancer for the past 15 years.

Hastings started his career in radio on "Coast-to-Coast on a Bus" (NBC). After serving in World War II as a navigator on B-29s, he played the role of Archie Andrews in a series based on the Archie comic book series on the NBC Red Network, later just the NBC Radio Network, after NBC divested itself of its Blue Network in 1942. Archie Andrews was sponsored by Swift & Company food products.

Hastings later moved to television in 1949, performing in early science-fiction series, including Atom Squad. His first recurring role was as a lieutenant on Phil Silvers' Sergeant Bilko television series in the late 1950s. At that time he guest starred on Walter Brennan's ABC sitcom, The Real McCoys.

Most of his career has been spent in television, including two episodes on CBS's Green Acres as an Air Force officer and as a sheriff. Hastings was cast as Lt. Bolt in the 1960 episode "Space Man" of the CBS military sitcom/drama, Hennesey, starring Jackie Cooper. Hastings guest starred in the ABC/Warner Brothers sitcom, Room for One More, starring Andrew Duggan and Peggy McCay, on the Robert Young CBS sitcom/drama, Window on Main Street, and on the NBC police sitcom, Car 54, Where Are You?.

In 1962, Hastings played a railroad executive in the episode "Substitute Sheriff" of the NBC western series, The Tall Man.

He appeared five times on CBS's Dennis the Menace, with Jay North, most notably as Coach Gilmore in the 1963 episode, "The Big Basketball Game".[2]He appeared three times from 1961 to 1962 on the CBS sitcom, Pete and Gladys, with Harry Morgan and Cara Williams.

Hastings portrayed the aide to Captain Binghamton (Joe Flynn), the yes-man Lieutenant Elroy Carpenter on ABC's McHale's Navy, humorously called "Carpy" and "Little Leadbottom" by McHale and his men. Hastings played Captain Ramsey on ABC's General Hospital. He was also The Voice of The Raven on episodes of CBS's The Munsters. He briefly hosted the game show Dealer's Choice and had a recurring role as bar owner Tommy Kelsey on All in the Family.

After McHale's Navy, Hastings was a regular on the Universal Studios lot, where Universal paid actors during downtime to be on the grounds and talk to tourists. According to an interview on Time Travel Radio,[3] he got along so well with the people that he became one of the few regulars on the tour.

Hastings played "Cousin Phantom of the Opera" in the television movie The Munsters' Revenge. Hastings was in the 1968 Universal film Did You Hear the One About the Traveling Saleslady? starring Bob Denver. Hastings was cast in the 1971 comedy movie How to Frame a Figg, starring Don Knotts. Hastings also was in the movie Harper Valley PTA in which he played Skeeter Duggan, a member of the PTA board who had been kidnapped at the orders of its dishonest president to commit election fraud.