Kevin Dobson, beloved as M. Patrick “Mack” MacKenzie on Knots Landing as well as for his work with Telly Savalas on Kojak, has passed away. He was 77.
Kevin Dobson Passes Away
According to United Veterans Council of San Joaquin County, of which Dobson once served as Chairman, the actor passed away on Sunday evening, September 6, due to “medical complications.” In a post on Facebook, the organization wrote “Army Veteran, Veterans Rights Activist, Film and Television Actor Kevin Dobson has passed away…Condolences to the entire family. Rest In Peace…”
Born in Jackson Heights, New York on March 18, 1943, Dobson was one of seven children. His father was a janitor at a grammar school; his mother was a homemaker. Prior to becoming an actor, Dobson worked on the Long Island Rail Road, which was worked into Mack’s backstory when the character was played by Doug Savant (Melrose Place; Desperate Housewives) in flashbacks to Mack’s youth.
Dobson began his acting career on TV by playing recurring roles on NBC soap The Doctors. Next, he landed small acting roles in the film Klute and on TV shows including The Rookies, Cannon, The Mod Squad, and Emergency! Dobson signed a contract with Universal Studios in the early 1970s, which led to his role as Det. Bobby Crocker on the Telly Savalas series Kojak. Dobson reprised his role as Bobby, now an assistant district attorney, in the 1990 reunion movie Kojak: It’s Always Something.
In between, of course, Dobson joined the long-running nighttime soap Knots Landing. His character, lawman Mack, debuted in Season 4 of Knots to keep an eye on widow Karen (Michele Lee), who was determined to bring to justice the men responsible for the death of her husband Sid (Don Murray).
Dobson and Lee were magic onscreen. The couple brought romantic comedy to the nighttime soap genre while dealing with heavy issues, including Karen’s troublesome daughter Diana (Claudia Lonow), Karen’s kidnapping, Karen’s pill addiction, finding Val’s (Joan Van Ark) kidnapped twins, adopting Meg, the daughter of their friends Greg (William Devane) and the late Laura Sumner (Constance McCashin).
Dobson remained with Knots until its 1993 finale, reuniting with cast members for the scripted reunion mini-series in 1997 and again in a 2005 non-fiction special Knots Landing Reunion: Together Again.
The actor and veteran hosted two Veterans Inaugural Balls for President George Bush and for President Bill Clinton. Dobson appeared in two memorable TV movies in 1980 — the romantic drama, Hardhat and Legs opposite Sharon Gless (Cagney & Lacey) and the family drama Mark, I Love You, which co-starred Cassie Yates (Sarah, Dynasty) and Peggy McCay (ex-Caroline, Days of our Lives).
Like his fellow cast members, Dobson did some daytime stints post-Knots. In 2008, DAYS hired him to play Mickey Horton after two other actors attempted to make the role their own after John Clarke, the original Mickey, retired. Dobson brought the romantic charm he had as Mack to Mickey, playfully calling wife Maggie (Suzanne Rogers) “Red,” but he didn’t remain in Salem for long. Dobson was playing Mickey when Alice (the late Frances Reid) passed away. Next, Mickey himself died off-camera in early 2010.
DAYS wasn’t Dobson’s only post-Knots soap. He played judge Devin Owens on The Bold and the Beautiful in 2006. He also appeared on One Life to Live as Governor Harrison Brooks in 2003.
Dobson is survived by wife, Susan, and their three children. Entertainment Hub sends sincere condolences to Dobson’s family, friends, co-stars, and fans during this difficult time.