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Bern Hoffman
Bern Hoffman
Credits
Role Roy Chappell
Biographical Information
Full Name Benjamin Bernard Hoffman
Birthdate February 17, 1913
Birthplace Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Death Date December 15, 1979 (age 66)
Death Place Sherman Oaks, California, United States[1]

Bern Hoffman played baby food client Roy Chappell in the fourth season episode, "I Get Your Nannie, You Get My Goat" (1967).

Biography[]

Benjamin Bernard Hoffman was born on February 17, 1913, in Baltimore, Maryland. Bern was an athlete in college, where he studied to be a doctor. Bern's life ended up quite differently, however. Along the way, he became an explosives expert in World War II.

Although Bern was a character actor, he actually got his start as a Broadway "song and dance man." Hoffman began his career in 1938, appearing in a series of uncredited roles. He made his debut with Jan Kiepra and Martha Eggerth in the 1944 revival of "The Merry Widow." That same year, Bern was signed by Producer Mike Todd to play the part of "Pugacheff," one of Mae West's leading men in "Catherine Was Great." On tour, he played Pawnee Bill opposite Mary Martin, in "Annie Get Your Gun" (circa 1952).

In 1956, Bern returned to Broadway in the part of Eddie Benaro in "The Hot Corner." When the original Broadway production of "Guys and Dolls" opened up at the St. James Theater in New York City, Bern enjoyed a record-breaking run as singer Joey Biltmore. He also acted in the musical production "Lend an Ear."

It was also in this year that Bern created the role of "Earthquake McGoon" in the Broadway version of "L'il Abner." It was a move that would change his life, forever. "L'il Abner" was based on Al Capp's comic strip. The show opened on November 15, 1956, and had a moderately successful run of 693 performances. Choreographer Michael Kidd and female lead Edie Adams (Daisy Mae) won Tony awards, and the male lead, newcomer Peter Palmer, won the Theater World Award.

Although he went on to other, higher profile acting ventures, he returned to the stage in 1962, touring the country as Fatso O'Rear in "Do Re Mi."

Bern played the part of Erik Torp, opposite George Raft, in the moody mystery drama "Nocturne," in 1946. Produced by longtime Alfred Hitchcock associate Joan Harrison, it was a big money maker for R.K.O.

Bern worked with some of the big names in Hollywood, in addition to George Raft. He appeared as a singer with Frank Sinatra, Gene Kelly, Vera-Ellen and Ann Miller in "On the Town" (1949), and with Henry Fonda and Leslie Caron as the Soprano in "The Man Who Understood Women" (1959). Bern had a part as a bartender alongside Ray Walston, Dean Martin, Kim Novak and Felicia Farr in "Kiss Me, Stupid," in 1964. He also acted with Ralph Bellamy (in the part of the Russian Premier) in the television movie "Missiles of October," in 1974.

In the 1960's, Bern settled in North Hollywood. There, he recreated his role for Paramount, in a movie version of L'il Abner. Bern went on to make other movies, and work with other big names: Richard Burton and Barbara Rush in "The Bramble Bush" (1960) and Robert Wagner in "Don't Just Stand There" (1968).

Bern acted in hundreds of popular television shows, between 1949 and 1976: "Major Dell Conway of the Flying Tigers" (1951, now lost), "Bonanza" (1963-1971), "Studio One in Hollywood" (1949), "The Phil Silvers Show" (1955, 1956, and 1957), "Laredo" (1965), "Lost in Space" (1967), "Bewitched" (1967), "Ironside" (1973), "Streets of San Francisco" (1973, 1974), and "The Brady Bunch" (1974).

Bern was married to Diana Victory Kraft. He passed away in a hospital in Sherman Oaks, California, on December 15, 1979, after a prolonged illness. He was 66 years old.[2][3]

References[]

  1. A. J. "Bern Hoffman" on findagrave.com, April 4, 2000. Retrieved on February 12, 2020.
  2. Joe'sGal. "Friends Bio ~ Bern Hoffman: Sam The Bartender", Bonanza Boomers, December 18, 2013. Retrieved on May 14, 2020, edited.
  3. Bern Hoffman on the Internet Movie Database. Retrieved on May 14, 2020.
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