Sorrell Booke (January 4, 1930 – February 11, 1994) was an American actor who performed on stage, screen, and television. He is best known for his role as corrupt politician Jefferson Davis "Boss" Hogg in the television show The Dukes of Hazzard.
1974 publicity photo
|Born||January 4, 1930|
Buffalo, New York, U.S.
|Died||February 11, 1994 64) (aged|
Sherman Oaks, California, U.S.
|Resting place||Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery|
|Education||Columbia University (BA)|
Yale University (MFA)
|Spouse(s)||Miranda Knickerbocker (1958–1973; divorced)|
Early life and education
Booke was born in Buffalo, New York. He attended Bennett High School in Buffalo and was valedictorian of his class of 1948. Growing up, Booke was known for his impersonations and appeared regularly as an actor on local radio stations WGR and WEBR. He later earned degrees from both Columbia and Yale universities. He served in the United States Army during the Korean War as a counterintelligence officer.
Booke came to Hollywood via a theatre degree from Yale University and a decade on the New York Stage. One prominent early role was that of Senator Billboard T. Rawkins in the 1960 revival of Finian's Rainbow, a role foreshadowing his most famous character, that of Boss Hogg in The Dukes of Hazzard. During his early Hollywood acting career, Booke gained acclaim for notable supporting parts in noteworthy 1960s films such as Black Like Me, A Fine Madness, and Fail-Safe. In 1962, he starred in Fiorello! as the title character.
In 1965, he guest starred as Sgt. Herschel Aronson in episode 19 "Faith, Hope, and Sergeant Aronson" of ABC's 12 O-Clock High military drama. He soon began focusing primarily on television roles in the 1970s and 1980s, and voice acting roles in the 1980s and early 1990s. Booke also once conducted the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra.
Booke earned an Emmy nomination for his appearance in Dr. Kildare in the episode "What's God to Julius?". He appeared in an episode of Mission: Impossible from the first season in 1966. Booke appeared in two early episodes of M*A*S*H, as General Barker in "Requiem for a Lightweight" and "Chief Surgeon Who?"; the latter marked the debut of the character Corporal Klinger, with whom Booke's character had previously dealt.
He also had a recurring role in All in the Family as Mr. Sanders, personnel manager at Archie Bunker's workplace, Prendergast Tool and Die Company. (He had previously appeared on All in the Family as Lyle Bennett, the manager of a local television station.) Booke was featured on an episode of Good Times, and had a recurring role as the Jewish mob boss "Lefkowitz" on Soap.
The Dukes of Hazzard (1979–1985)
Booke's most notable role was in The Dukes of Hazzard as the humorously wicked antagonist to Bo and Luke Duke. The series ran on CBS for seven seasons, from 1979 to 1985 and spawned an animated series, The Dukes (1983), two reunion TV specials (by which time Booke had died, and the character of Boss Hogg was also said to be deceased), a feature film (2005) and The Dukes of Hazzard: The Beginning (a 2007 TV movie).
Booke had stopped appearing physically in acting roles, but he continued to perform voice work on several television shows and movies, occasionally as narrator, and sometimes as a cartoon character's voice, in such movies as Scooby-Doo Meets the Boo Brothers (1987 TV movie), Gravedale High (1990 television series), and Rock-A-Doodle (1991).
Booke was married to Miranda Knickerbocker (the daughter of Hubert Renfro Knickerbocker) from 1958 to 1973. They had two children, Alexandra and Nicholas. Booke had a brother, Fred.
- Gone Are the Days! (1963) as Ol' Cap', Stonewall Jackson Cotchipee
- Black Like Me (1964) as Dr. Jackson
- Les Félins (1964) as Harry
- Fail-Safe (1964) as Congressman Raskob
- A Fine Madness (1966) as Leonard Tupperman
- Up the Down Staircase (1967) as Dr. Bester
- Matchless (1967) as Colonel Coolpepper
- The Borgia Stick (1967) as Alton
- Bye Bye Braverman (1968) as Holly Levine
- What's Up, Doc? (1972) as Harry
- Slaughterhouse-Five (1972) as Lionel Merble
- The Iceman Cometh (1973) as Hugo Kalmar
- The Take (1974) as Oscar
- Devil Times Five (1974) as Harvey Beckman
- Bank Shot (1974) as Al G. Karp
- The Manchu Eagle Murder Caper Mystery (1975) as Dr. Melon
- Mastermind (1976) as Max Engstrom
- Special Delivery (1976) as Hubert Zane
- Freaky Friday (1976) as Mr. Dilk
- The Other Side of Midnight (1977) as Lanchon
- Record City (1978) as Coznowski
- The Cat from Outer Space (1978) as Presiding Judge (uncredited)
- Rock-a-Doodle (1991) as Pinky, the Manager (voice)
- The Guiding Light (1952)
- Brenner (1959)
- The Iceman Cometh (1960)
- The Million Dollar Incident (1961)
- Car 54, Where Are You?, as Police Commissioner Harper in "How High Is Up?" (1962)
- Route 66, as Sam Frazier in "Voice at the End of the Line" (1962)
- Naked City Beyond This Place There Be Dragons (9 episodes, 1960–1963)
- The Patty Duke Show, as Gilbert Tugwell in "Block That Statue" (1964)
- Twelve O'Clock High, as Sgt. Aronson in "Faith, Hope, and Sgt. Aronson" (1965)
- Slattery's People as Max Rice in "Question: What's a Swan Song for a Sparrow?" (1965)
- New York Television Theatre (1965)
- T.H.E. Cat – Episode 1 (1966)
- Mission: Impossible (1967)
- The Borgia Stick (1967)
- Ironside Shell Game (1968)
- The Wild Wild West, as Heisel in "The Night of the Egyptian Queen" (1968)
- Hawaii Five-O - "The Double Wall" (1970)
- Room 222 (one episode 1971) as Mr Bomberg
- All in the Family (1972-1977) as Joseph Sanders (4 episodes) / Mr. Bennett
- Owen Marshall, Counsellor at Law (1971)
- M*A*S*H (2 episodes, 1972) as Gen. Wilson Spaulding Barker
- The Manhunter (1972)
- Gunshot (1972)
- Gunsmoke, in "Milligan" (1972) as Gerald Pandy
- Alias Smith and Jones (1972)
- Adventures of Nick Carter (1972)
- Dr. Max (1974) as Dr. Scott Herndon
- The Last Angry Man (1974) as Dr. Max Vogel
- The New Dick Van Dyke Show (1974) as Herbie Vincent / Otto
- Cannon (1974)
- Columbo: Swan Song (1974) as J.J. Stringer
- Kolchak: The Night Stalker (1974) as Mr. Eddy
- Kung Fu, in "A Dream Within a Dream" (1974) as Sheriff Hodges
- Adventures of the Queen (1975) as Robert Dwight
- The Streets of San Francisco (1975) as Quincy Lloyd
- Rich Man, Poor Man Book II (1976) 5 episodes, as Phil Greenberg
- Brenda Starr (1976) as A.J. Livwright
- The Bob Newhart Show (1976) as Mr. Perlmutter
- Hunter, episode "The Lovejoy Files" (1977) as Mervyn
- Baa Baa Black Sheep Episode "Poor Little Lambs" (1977) as Father Phillipe
- Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman (1977) as Rabbi Weintraub
- The Greatest Thing That Almost Happened (1977) as Samuelson
- The Amazing Howard Hughes (1977) as Fiorello LaGuardia
- Columbo: The Bye-Bye Sky High I.Q. Murder Case (1977) as Bertie Hastings
- Greatest Heroes of the Bible (1978)
- Soap (1978) as Charles Lefkowitz
- Good Times (1978) as Mr. Galbraith
- Little House on the Prairie (1978)
- What's Happening!! (1978) as Mr. Finley
- The Rockford Files "The Jersey Bounce" (1978) as Wade G. Ward
- Bigfoot and Wildboy (1979)
- The Dukes of Hazzard (1979-1985) as Boss Hogg / Jefferson Davis Hogg
- The Love Boat (1980) as Lucius Kergo
- The Smurfs (1981) (voice)
- The Dukes (1983) as Jefferson Davis 'Boss' Hogg (voice)
- Alice (1983) as Jefferson Davis 'Boss' Hogg
- The Pound Puppies (1985) as Mayor Fist aka The Mayor (voice)
- Newhart (1985) as Sheik Fraser
- Crazy Like a Fox (1986) as Bernard 'Bernie' Sinclair
- You Again? (1986) as Roger Davidson
- Scooby-Doo Meets the Boo Brothers (1987) as Sheriff Rufus Buzby / T.J. Buzby (voice)
- Yogi and the Invasion of the Space Bears (1988) as Mountain Bear (voice)
- Full House Episode "Our Very First Christmas Show" (1988) as Lionel / Santa Claus
- Fantastic Max (1988) (voice)
- Don Coyote & Sancho Panda (1990) (voice)
- Tom and Jerry Kids Show (1990) as Announcer (voice)
- Gravedale High (1990) (voice)
- Civil Wars (1991) as Charles Previn
- Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Vacation (1992) as Big Daddy Boo (voice)
- Capitol Critters (1992) (voice)
- Bonkers (1993) as Boss Hoss (voice)
- The New Adventures of Captain Planet (1993) as Sheriff Hebbs (voice)
- Droopy, Master Detective (voice) (1993)
- Collins, Glenn (February 15, 1994). "Sorrell Booke, A TV Actor, 64; Was Boss Hogg". The New York Times. Archived from the original on May 13, 2013. Retrieved January 31, 2011.
- Cichon, Steve (March 22, 2019). "The curious acquaintance of John Otto and Boss Hogg". The Buffalo News. Retrieved March 22, 2019.
- Sorrell Booke on IMDb
- Sorrell Booke at the TCM Movie Database
- Sorrell Booke at AllMovie
- "Sorrell Booke". Find a Grave. Retrieved May 14, 2009.
- More about Sorrell and his character, "Boss Hogg"
- Hazzardnet.com, dedicated to the TV series The Dukes of Hazzard, has information about Sorrell Booke and the rest of the cast