Dwayne Hickman, ‘The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis’ Star, Dies at 87

by Madison Miller
Photo by: John Springer Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images

Dwayne Hickman, who fans know from the CBS show “The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis,” has just passed away at the age of 87. You may remember his character Dobie starting the episode with, “My name is Dobie Gillis and I love girls. I’m not a wolf, mind you. A wolf wants lots of girls, I just want one.”

According to The Hollywood Reporter, he passed away from complications related to Parkinson’s disease.

He starred as a high school kid that was so helplessly and devotedly in love on the 1960s CBS sitcom. The series ran for a total of 147 episodes starting in 1959 before eventually calling it quits in 1963.

Hickman was the star of the series, only 25 when he started his role. He starred alongside Bob Denver as his buddy Maynard G. Krebs. Denver would go on to play an infamous role in “Gilligan’s Island.” He actually later reunited with Denver for the TV movie “High School U.S.A.”

In addition to this role, Dwayne Hickman played a role of a teenager on “The Bob Cummings Show” as well. This sitcom featured Robert Cummings, Ann B. Davis, Hickman, and Rosemary DeCamp. Hickman played Chuck MacDonald’s nephew in 150 episodes of the series.

Not only did Dwayne Hickman have a number of roles on TV, but he also had several movie roles as well. That includes his most notable in the 1965 movie, “Cat Ballou.” He acted alongside infamous Oscar-winning actor Lee Marvin as well as Jane Fonda.

Dwayne Hickman: More Memorable Roles

He also had roles in “beach party” movies like “Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine” and “How to Stuff a Wild Bikini.”

Eventually, the type of roles Hickman was known for became far less popular. The ’60s and ’70s brought along the hippie movement and the Vietnam protests. As a result, fewer people were interested and the perfect image of characters Hickman played just lost a lot of its appeal.

That acting career, however, was years in the making. He started acting when he was only 6. He first appeared in films like “Mighty Joe Young,” “Heaven Only Knows,” and “The Boy With the Green Hair.” Throughout his entire career, however, nothing could quite live up to the impact of “Dobie Gillis.”

“I suppose, if you could choose, you would divide your life up in thirds and take your greatest success in the last third. That would probably be healthiest. But you don’t get the choice, and you take it whenever it is given to you,” Hickman told Esquire magazine in 1982 regarding his success in life and specifically with that sitcom.

Regardless, he never seemed to shy away from taking on other roles in life. He would appear in “Murder, She Wrote,” “Clueless,” “The Lone Ranger,” “The Loretta Young Show,” and “The Mod Squad,” amongst many others.

If you’re interested in the life and career of Dwayne Hickman he also penned his own autobiography in 1994. He was also married to fellow actress Joan Roberts. The two met when they worked on “Private Benjamin” together in 1983. He had two sons.