The prolific character actor best known as Lt. Carpenter in the 1960s sitcom McHale’s Navy died Monday of cancer. Bob Hastings was 89. He started in radio before serving as a bomber navigator in World War II. After the war, he voice Archie in an Archie Comics radio spinoff. He segued to the emerging TV medium and was working steadily by the mid-‘50s. He recurred on The Phil Silvers Show and also appeared on such programs as The Donna Reed Show, Gunsmoke, The Twilight Zone, Car 54, Where Are You? and multiple episodes of Dennis The Menace and The Munsters. In 1962, he was cast as the bumbling Lt. Elroy Carpenter in McHale’s Navy opposite Ernest Borgnine, Tim Conway and Joe Flynn. He stayed with the show during its entire four-year run. When it ended in 1966, the Brooklyn native remained a familiar face on TV, appearing on dozens of shows including multiple episodes of Green Acres, Love, American Style, Adam-12 and Ironside and recurring on All In The Family as Kelsey, owner of the bar Archie Bunker frequented and later bought. While continuing his on-camera TV career in comedies, dramas and soaps – The Rockford Files, Three’s Company, The Waltons , Alice, Lou Grant, General Hospital, et al. — Hastings later became a busy voice-over actor, lending his pipes to numerous Batman toons as Commissioner Gordon and doing other superhero shows. His last credit was voicing a judge in the video game Mafia II.
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