Society

Actor Bernard Fox Dies At 89

| by Zach Cohen

At a Los Angeles-area hospital, Bernard Fox, known for his roles as Dr. Bombay in "Bewitched" and Colonel Crittendon in "Hogan’s Heroes," passed away from heart failure at age 89.

Fox was born in Wales in May, 1927 to two stage actors, according to the New York Times. His first role was as an 18-month-old. His acting career was put on hold when he joined the Royal Navy during World War II.

For his 19 episodes in "Bewitched," Fox based his Dr. Bombay character on a man he served with in the Navy. “He was the officer in charge of the camp that we were in, and it was an all-male camp, and one evening, I was on duty and we got six Women's Royal Naval Service arrived to be put up.”

"So I went to this officer and said, 'What shall I do?' And he said, 'Oh, I don't know, give 'em a hot bran mash, some clean straw and bed 'em down for the night.' And I thought, 'What a great way to play (Dr. Bombay.)' And that's the way I played him, and (the 'Bewitched' writers) kept writing him back in.”

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In an interview with Bewitched.net, Fox said that he frequently injected his own lines into the script on the fly. “If I saw something where a pun could come in, I would put it in and see how it went, and nine times out of ten, they let it go. I spent a lot of time in comedy and farce in London in the west end, and a little bit on television, and so I came up with these outrageous characters. Dr. Bombay was an outrageous character. Colonel Crittenden on Hogan's Heroes was another outrageous character - a different kind of character.”

Fox told HogansHeroesFanClub.com that Colonel Crittenden was his favorite role. “I thought he was a much bigger idiot than Dr. Bombay,” he said. “I really liked the outrageous behavior of Colonel Crittendon. And I may have got a little bit more comedy of my own in on Hogan's Heroes than I did on Bewitched. I remember one time, in the episode with the crossbow, Crittendon's crossbow—I deliberately got the handle of the crossbow caught behind Bob Crane's leg, so that when I charged off, I dragged his leg up with it. They thought it was an accident. It wasn't; I did that.”

According to the Daily Mail, in 1958, Fox had an uncredited role in “A Night To Remember,” a film about the sinking of the Titanic. Thirty-nine years later, he landed the part of Colonel Gracie in the James Cameron’s production.

Fox played Dr. Watson in the 1972 Sherlock Holmes TV movie, "The Hound Of The Baskervilles." He also played Capt. Winston Havelock in the 1999 movie, "The Mummy."

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Fox is survived by his two grandchildren, his daughter Amanda, daughter-in-law Lisa, and his wife, Jacqueline.

Sources: New York Times, Bewitched.net, HogansHeroesFanClub.com, Daily Mail / Photo Credit: Hollywood Show

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