Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Bob Hastings (1925-2014)

Another part of Bat-toon history has left us.

Radio & television veteran Bob Hastings, one of the radio voices of Archie Andrews who later conquered television both as a face and voice actor, passed away at the age of 89 after a lengthy battle with prostate cancer.

Hastings made his toon debut as the voice of Superboy in 1966, and spent three seasons in that role after McHale's Navy had ended its run. He'd also gone the guest star route, even turning up in an episode of Batman that involved the Penguin (Burgess Meredith). In addition to the McHale feature films, he also was the heretofore unknown voice behind the raven of The Munsters, and appeared in "How To Frame a Figg" with Don Knotts.

Hastings returned to toons in 1973, landing the role of Henry Glopp, best pal and sidekick to Corey Anders (Mark Hamill) on Jeannie, and did some incidental supporting roles on Super Friends beginning in 1977. However, most toon fans will remember him as the definitive voice of police commissioner James Gordon on the various Batman cartoons over the last 20-plus years. The years he spent playing Captain--and, yes, later Commissioner--Bert Ramsey on General Hospital prepared him for that gig, to be sure.

Let's take a look at the Jeannie episode, "Survival Course":

Sadly, there isn't enough footage from Batman: The Animated Series to include here, but we can bring up a 1946 radio episode of Archie Andrews, "Jive Talk":

Rest in peace, Bob.


SaturdayMorningFan said...

I just spotted him in a first season episode of Adam-12 that I was watching a few nights ago. What a sad coincidence.

hobbyfan said...

He did do other work for Jack Webb. I remember seeing him playing a drunkard on Emergency!, which, like Adam-12, is currently on Me-TV. The resume, in fact, is long.

magicdog said...

So sorry to hear of his passing!

Hastings left a great legacy as both a VA and character actor. My main image of him if his role as "Kelsey" (who owned Kelsey's Bar) from All In The Family. Of course we often think of him now as the definitive voice of Commissioner Gordon. It wasn't until recently that I realized he'd voiced Henry and Superboy!

hobbyfan said...

He was also DD on Clue Club. It's just unfortunate that there aren't enough CC eps available to put up, and that the Superboy cache has dried up, save for what's already here.

In the last year alone, we've lost Bob, Casey Kasem (within 2 weeks of each other), and, last fall, Mike Road (Herculoids, Jonny Quest). To the surprise of no one, Chumptoon Network has done zilch to honor any of them.