US actor / director James Hampton, best known for F Troop, has died, aged 84.
He died on Wednesday at his home in Fort Worth, Texas, of complications from Parkinson’s disease, a family spokesperson said.
Hampton played the bumbling bugler Hannibal Dobbs on F Troop across just two seasons from 1965 – 1967, following acting classes from Leonard Nimoy. Dobbs could only play “Yankee Doodle” and “Dixie” with regularity (just not “Reveille”). A southern “mama’s boy”, he was also Captain Parmenter’s (Ken Berry) orderly, as well as serving in the fort’s cannon crew—usually with disastrous results.
Hampton was great pals with Burt Reynolds — the two first met on a 1963 episode of Gunsmoke — and they were castmates in The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing (1973), The Longest Yard (1974)(bizarrely landing a Golden Globe best Newcomer nomination), W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings (1975) and Hustle (1975). He even wrote and/or directed several episodes of Reynolds’ sitcom, Evening Shade.
Other TV credits included The Doris Day Show, Mannix, Gunsmoke, The Rockford Files, Dr. Kildare, The F.B.I., Who’s the Boss?, Full House and Days of Our Lives, plus the movies The China Syndrome, Sling Blade, Soldier Blue, Hawmps!, Condorman, Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach and Pump Up the Volume.
Hampton also read for the part of the basketball coach in Teen Wolf before he got to portray the paternal werewolf Harold Howard. He would return for the 1987 sequel and an animated series.
He also directed episodes of Hearts Afire, Boston Common, Grace Under Fire and Sister, Sister.
Source: Hollywood Reporter