Dwayne Hickman is an American television executive at CBS and a former actor. As an actor, he garnered recognition for his role as Chuck MacDonald on the 1950s NBC drama ‘The Bob Cummings Show’ and as the lead character in ‘The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis’. Born in Los Angeles, California, Hickman followed his elder brother Darryl Hickman’s footsteps and entered Hollywood. Although he had initially wished to become a Passionist priest, he eventually chose not to. He began working as an actor in 1942. Until the late 1960s, he starred in several television shows and films. Due to his role in ‘The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis,’ the actor got typecast as a “youngster” and couldn’t shed this image even when he was in his 20s and beyond. Thus, he eventually decided to start working behind the scenes. He first became a publicist, then a director, and later a programming executive for CBS. Despite his numerous struggles, the talented artist managed to attain stardom, and most importantly, gain respect from the industry experts. On the personal front, he has been married thrice and is a father of two.
Childhood & Early Life
Dwayne Hickman was born on May 18, 1934, in Los Angeles, California, USA, to Milton and Katherine Hickman. His father was an insurance salesman and his mother was a housewife. He grew up alongside his elder brother Darryl Hickman.
He studied at Cathedral High School, graduating in 1952, and later attended Loyola University.
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One of Dwayne Hickman’s early acting roles was in 1942, in an “Our Gang” comedy titled ‘Melodies Old and New’. In the ensuing years, he had roles in the films ‘Captain Eddie’, ‘The Hoodlum Saint’, ‘Faithful in My Fashion’, and ‘The Secret Heart’.
In 1946, he was cast as Bobby in Columbia Pictures’ second instalment in the eight-part “Rusty” movie series ‘The Return of Rusty’. The film also starred Ted Donaldson, John Litel, Mark Dennis and Barbara Wooddell in lead roles.
Hickman later reprised his role of Bobby in ‘For the Love of Rusty’, ‘The Son of Rusty’, ‘My Dog Rusty’, ‘Rusty Leads the Way’, ‘Rusty Saves a Life’ and ‘Rusty's Birthday’.
The year 1950 saw him in ‘The Happy Years’, a film that depicted the adventures of a young school boy. That year, the actor also guest-starred in an episode of ‘The Lone Ranger’.
He then took a break from acting to complete his education and eventually made a comeback with appearances in ‘Lux Video Theatre’ and ‘The Loretta Young Show’.
From 1955 to 1959, he played his breakthrough role of Chuck on ‘The Bob Cummings Show’. While still on the show, he also had guest appearances on ‘The Adventures of Ozzie’ and ‘Rally 'Round the Flag, Boys!’
Hickman next featured in the western musical comedy movie 'Cat Ballou' in 1965. The story involves a lady who hires a gunman to protect her father’s ranch, and later to avenge his murder, just to discover that the gunman is not what she expected.
He then went on to sign a deal with American International Pictures. With the studio, he worked on the movies ‘Ski Party’, ‘How to Stuff a Wild Bikini’ and ‘Dr Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine’, all of which were released in 1965.
One of his last feature film roles was in the 1967 movie ‘Doctor, You've Got to Be Kidding’. In his later acting career, the artist also guest-starred on ‘The Flying Nun’, ‘Vacation Playhouse’, and ‘Kolchak: The Night Stalker’ among other TV shows.
From 1977 to 1988, he worked as a programming executive at the renowned television network CBS.
In the late 1980s, he began trying his hands in directing, directing episodes of the TV shows ‘Charles in Charge’, ‘Duet’, ‘Open House’, ‘Get a Life’, ‘Designing Women’, and ‘Sister, Sister’.
Hickman also occasionally acted in the late 1980s and 1990s, performing in the movie ‘A Night at the Roxbury’ and the TV series ‘Murder, She Wrote’. He had a semi-regular role on the TV series ‘Clueless.’
In 1958, Dwayne Hickman was cast in the titular role of Dobie in ‘The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis’. The show aired on CBS from 1959 until 1963. The actor’s performance garnered much attention as he played a teenager at the age of 25!
Family & Personal Life
Dwayne Hickman married actress, Carol Christensen, in 1963. They had a son named John Christensen Hickman. The couple divorced in 1972.
The actor married his second wife, Joanne Purtle Papile, in 1977. Their marriage lasted till 1981.
Hickman then went on to tie the knot for the third time, this time with actress/writer, Joan Roberts. The two married in 1983 and have been together since. They have a son named Albert Thomas Hickman.