‘Kojak,’ ‘Knots Landing’ Star Kevin Dobson Dies @ 77

Kevin Dobson, the burly star of Kojak and Knots Landing, died Sunday, September 6, after suffering a heart attack.

He was 77.

Dobson's death was announced on Facebook by the United Veterans Council of San Joaquin County. He was a longtime veterans' rights advocate, and a veteran of the U.S. Army himself.

Dobson's veteran supporters are hard-hit by the news. (Image via Facebook)

Fellow actor Paul Carafotes tweeted, "Kevin Dobson a great and generous actor passed. I remember him for his friendship a gracious, open minded actor with ideas to augment a scene and didnt mind if ideas gave it toYOU. We had fun. @Carafotes12 @taiskates @lmvitale @hardy985 @take2radio @KnotsLanding @HowardStern."

Dobson was born March 18, 1943, in Queens, New York, working for the Long Island Rail Road before pursuing acting.

Sizzling on Kojak (Image via CBS)

After debuting on TV on the soap The Doctors in 1969, he made an uncredited appearance in the Jane Fonda drama Klute (1971). After a couple of years in small roles on TV, he won the role of Det. Bobby Crocker on Kojak after numerous auditions, appearing in all 117 episodes of the classic cop drama opposite Telly Savalas. He returned for the 1990 TV-movie reunion Kojak: It's Always Something.

Dobson explains how Kojak became known for sucking a lollipop:

Dobson specialized in dramatic TV movies, including The Immigrants (1978), Hardhat and Legs (1980), Margin for Murder (1981), and Sweet Revenge (1984), the latter with a very young Helen Hunt.

Karen (Michele Lee) & Mack MacKenzie (Kevin Dobson) (Image via CBS)

From 1982-1993, Dobson was handsome Mack MacKenzie on Knots Landing, one of TV's most successful nighttime soaps, reprising the role on the 1997 miniseries Knots Landing: Back to the Cul-de-Sac.

Dobson interviewed (with other TV hotties) by Joan Rivers:

Watch how different junket interviews were back in 1982 as this local reporter all but sits in his lap:

He was also a regular on the series Shannon (1981-1982), Canada's F/X: The Series (1996-1997), The Bold and the Beautiful (2006-2007), and Days of Our Lives (2008), along with making numerous TV guest appearances through 2014. According to IMDb, he was attached to a sci-fi series called 12 to Midnight, but it is unclear if he shot anything for it.

Dobson is survived by his wife of more than 50 years, Susan (m. 1968), and their children Mariah, Patrick and Sean.

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