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Monday, February 22, 2010

Robert Francis Hoy - 1927-2010

Bob Hoy as Master Sergeant Pete Berger in Steve Canyon

Two weeks ago today, on Monday February 8, 2010 our dear friend and Steve Canyon cast member Bobby Hoy left us. He was claimed by pneumonia caused by a 6 month struggle with cancer. It was a bit of a surprise to me, even though he had been in and out of the hospital recently, he was such a tough guy! Ex Marine, stuntman and actor, director and founding member of the Stuntmen's Association of Motion Pictures to name a few of the things Bobby was.

Bobby's Golden Boot Award. (Photo by Ginny Shook).

He was a friend to many, some famous, some not. He treated me like he had known me for years when we met and I loved him for that. He wasn't afraid to make fun of himself or those around him which was also very endearing. He was so well loved by his peers that although they stopped giving out THE GOLDEN BOOT AWARD in 2007 (for significant contributions to the western film and tv genre) they gave Bobby the award in the hospital on January 28 which pleased him immensely.

Ken Lynch (as Sgt. Maconochie on left) and Bob Hoy in OPERATION BIG THUNDER. Bobby was terrific in "Steve Canyon". He said on several occasions that the series "gave a lot of opportunities to everyone that worked on (or in) them", a sentiment shared by (casting director) Gene Reynolds and Abel Fernandez.

"I played in STAR TREK with Leonard Nimoy. I played a rock!". Bob revealed (with his typical tongue in cheek humor) that he had played the Horta (in tandem with the creator of same, stuntman and good friend Janos Prohaska), one of the most famous creatures ever in that classic tv series. He was also cast in that same episode as the "pergium" miner and tunnel guard "Sam", the first person you see and hear in that episode (titled THE DEVIL IN THE DARK). This is arguably the best episode of the series to many, including star William Shatner, so it is fitting that Bobby was an integral part of it!

Bob Hoy middle right in the classic Star Trek episode THE DEVIL IN THE DARK as "Sam". Yes that's a familiar face standing in front of him, Ken Lynch (see previous image above).

"The casting director for Steve Canyon called me into his office. It was Gene Reynolds who would become a famous director and co-creator of both the "M*A*S*H" and "Lou Grant" tv series', Gene told me that he was hiring me as a regular for the series, and to just show up on set. I asked him why no audition, and he said he had no doubt I could do this, and if (Executive Producer) Mike Meshekoff threw a script at me and asked for an audition, to throw it back in his face and say "Gene hired me!". "

Previously unpublished pic of me pointing at Bobby and being flanked by Abel Fernandez, taken right after our second commentary recording session for Steve Canyon Volume 2 on Friday March 20, 2009.

That was the first time we gathered (with Steve Canyon co-star Abel Fernandez), at the office here to record commentary tracks on Thursday March 5th, 2009. We finished the commentaries on Friday March 20th. Both times I had coffee and doughnuts waiting, which we all enjoyed. I'm just saying that's the way it's done, you know? If you listen to the commentaries they did for Volume 2, you can use the following picture to visualize the fun we were having here:

Bob and Abel on the couch here in the office. Note the box of doughnuts between them that Abel has his elbow on...no doubt guarding zealously!

Bob had a great time with us, so much in fact that he stayed and provided commentary with Abel on an episode he wasn't even in, OPERATION SOUVENIR. Once during the recording he asked Abel (tongue in cheek) "You were in the military?" knowing full well that Abel was a paratrooper in WWII, and when Abel replied with a puzzled "Yeah?", Bob added "Which side?".

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Well, If you want to read more about this great man, brilliant stuntman, excellent actor and director who made our world a more fun and greater place, go to Bob Hoy on the Internet Movie Data Base. There are excellent tributes at The LA Times, and also at The Signal. Note also Bobby's website at BobHoy.com, which is maintained by the wonderful Ginny Shook, who put us in touch with him in the first place. Our sympathies go out to Kiva Hoy, Bob's devoted and loving wife of 22 years, and to Bob's son Christopher.

So long Bobby, you were a good troop.