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Friday, 20 February 2015

Larry Hovis born 20 February 1936

Larry Hovis (February 20, 1936 – September 9, 2003) was an American singer and actor best known for playing Sergeant Carter on the 1960s television sitcom Hogan's Heroes.

Hovis was born in Wapato, Washington, and moved to Houston, Texas as a small child. As a youth, he was a singer, appearing on Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts. Hovis attended the University of Houston. During the mid-1950s, Hovis sang in nightclubs with groups including the Mascots, and the Bill Gannon Trio. (Mascots photo L-R: Joe Toland, Jerry Lloyd, Harry Bell, Larry Hovis)  He wrote songs and signed with Capitol Records, which released one album. His biggest song was "We could have lots of fun".

Hovis began appearing in local theatre productions. After some success, he moved to New York City in 1959 and appeared in Broadway revues such as From A to Z which showcased his singing and comedy talents.

Hovis moved to California in
1963 where he performed stand-up comedy and tried to break into television. In 1964, he was discovered by Andy Griffith's manager and was hired to appear on the TV series Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., where he played "Pvt. Larry Gotschalk". He also appeared on The Andy Griffith Show.

In 1965, Hovis was cast in the television show Hogan's Heroes as "Sgt. Andrew Carter", a POW in a German prison camp who was an expert on explosives. In the series Carter was of Sioux ancestry; Hovis himself was partly of Yakama Indian ancestry. Later, in an episode of the comedy Alice, Hovis played an American Indian police detective who arrests a fake American Indian conman.

While Hovis was a regular on Hogan's Heroes, he also did
work in the entertainment industry, including writing the screenplay for the 1966 spy-spoof Out of Sight. He also appeared in and wrote comedy bits for Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In.

After Hogan's Heroes was cancelled in 1971, Hovis appeared in several TV shows. He also produced and appeared in the mid-1970s game show Liar's Club.

In the early 1980s, Hovis toured in the musical Best Little Whorehouse in Texas as Melvin P. Thorpe. In 1982, Hovis was a writer/producer on the So You Think You Got Troubles, which was hosted by actor/ventriloquist Jay Johnson. Later in the decade, Hovis teamed up with Gary Bernstein to form Bernstein-Hovis Productions, which produced the game shows Anything For Money, the original version of Lingo and the short-lived Yahtzee, a TV version of the classic dice game, for which Hovis also announced and served as a regular panellist.

In 1990 he taught drama at Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas (now Texas State University-San Marcos) until his death.  Hovis died of oesophageal cancer in Austin, Texas on September 9, 2003. He was 67. (Info Wikipedia)

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