Kevin Dobson of Knots Landing
Credit: Image: Denis Guignebourg/JPI

Former daytime and primetime actor passed away.

Film, stage and television actor Kevin Dobson has passed away at age 77. His death was first reported in a Facebook post from The United Veterans Council of San Joaquin County. He was an army veteran, veterans’ rights activist, film and television actor. He passed on September 6 reportedly from a heart attack.

Dobson was born in Jackson Heights, New York, and is one of seven siblings. Before getting into acting he worked as a trainman, brakeman, and conductor for the Long Island Rail Road. He also took jobs as a waiter, then bartender, at the Manhattan restaurant Brew’s. During the Vietnam era, he served military police in the United States Army and later was twice the chairman of the National Salute To Hospitalized Veterans. Dobson received the AMVETS (American Veterans) Silver Helmet Peace Award and the American Legion Award for his service to veteran causes.

He got his start acting on the big screen with a small role in the film Klute, and also bit parts on the television shows such as The Mod Squad, Emergency! Cannon and the soap opera The Doctors. He eventually landed the role of Detective Bobby Crocker, Lieutenant Theo Kojak’s young partner, in the series Kojak opposite Telly Savalas from 1973 until 1978. He went on to headline the short-lived series Shannon from 1981 until 1982 playing the lead Detective Jack Shannon. His most recognizable role was as Mack MacKenzie on Knots Landing from 1982 until 1993. His character was often referred to as the nice guy on the primetime soap opera, and the center of the program. He played opposite Michele Lee on the show, who played Karen Fairgate.

In soap operas, Dobson played Governor Harrison Brooks on One Life to Live in 2003, Judge Devin Owens on Bold & Beautiful from 2006 until 2007, and took over the role of Mickey Horton briefly in 2008 on Days of our Lives.

Dobson has also worked on stage and starred in the Tony Award winning play Art at the Royal George Theater in Chicago. He originated the role of Steve Gallop in the world premiere of the American Theatre Critics Association nominated stage play If it was Easy… at The 7Stages Theater in Atlanta, Georgia. He also appeared with Richard Thomas in the 2009 stage production of 12 Angry Men.

Dobson is survived by his wife Susan Dobson, whom he was married to since 1968. They have three children together, Sean Dobson, Patrick Dobson and Mariah Dobson. sends condolences to Dobson’s friends and family. We also invite you to look through a gallery of other stars we’ve lost in 2020.