Lawrence Dobkin was born on September 16, 1919 in New York City, New York. A former child actor, Dobkin began working in radio to pay for his studies at the Yale University School of Drama. He understudied on Broadway before serving with a radio propaganda unit of the United States Army Air Corps during World War II. When he returned to network radio he was one of five actors who played the detective Ellery Queen in ‘The Adventures of Ellery Queen’. ‘In The New Adventures of Nero Wolfe’ (1950–1951), Dobkin played detective Archie Goodwin opposite Sydney Greenstreet's Nero Wolfe.
While playing Louie, The Saint's cab-driving sidekick on NBC Radio in 1951, he was asked to step into the lead role of Simon Templar to replace Tom Conway for a single episode — making Dobkin one of the few actors to portray Leslie Charteris' literary creation.
His other radio work included ‘Escape’ (1947–1954), ‘Gunsmoke’ (1952–1961), ‘Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar’ (1956–1960), and the anthology series ‘Lux Radio Theater’.
Continuing to work as a voice actor throughout his career, Dobkin contributed to the video game Tom Clancy's ‘Rainbow Six: Rogue Spear’ (1999).
Dobkin’s prolific career in television began in 1946, working as an actor, narrator and director. In 1953, he guest starred on Alan Hale, Jr.'s short-lived CBS espionage series set in the Cold War, ‘Biff Baker, U.S.A.’. He was cast in an episode of the early syndicated series ‘The Silent Service’, based on true stories of the submarine section of the United States Navy. He appeared too in the religion anthology series, ‘Crossroads’, based on experiences of American clergymen, and later on the ABC religion drama, ‘Going My Way’, starring Gene Kelly.
As a writer, Dobkin created the title character for the 1974 film and the 1977–1978 NBC series ‘The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams’. He began directing for television in 1960, and his work in this area included the pilot and episodes of ‘The Munsters’ (1964) and 16 episodes of ‘The Waltons’ (1972–1981).
Dobkin's notable supporting film roles include “Twelve O'Clock High” (1949), “The Day the Earth Stood Still” (1951), “Julius Caesar” (1953), “The Ten Commandments” (1956), “The Defiant Ones” (1958) and “Patton” (1970). He had a cameo appearance in the 1954 sci-fi thriller “Them”.
Dobkin appeared in only one Euro-western but it was a memorable role as Lawrence/Linus Jerome Carradine in “Johnny Yuma” (1966) opposite Mark Damon.
Lawrence died on October 28, 2002
Today we remember Lawrence Dobkin on what would have been his 95th birthday.