Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about TV and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the TV urban legends featured so far.
TV URBAN LEGEND: An actor’s refusal to take of his wedding ring caused creative filming during the run of the TV series Hogan’s Heroes.
Hogan’s Heroes was about a group of soldiers during World War II (Americans and other nationalities) who were in for an extended stay in a German prison. However, they still managed to help the war effort from behind bars through various schemes.
One of the prisoners was American Sergeant Andrew J. Carter, played by Larry Hovis.
Carter was a good mimic, so he was always helpful to Colonel Hogan on whatever enterprise he was up to that particular week.
In any event, there was a bit of a problem with how Hovis played Carter. You see, Hovis was married but the character of Carter was single. No problem, right? That’s why they call it acting, no?
The problem was, however, that Hovis refused to take off his wedding ring while filming scenes.
This led to some interesting filming of the series (the directors got their money’s worth out of their film schools, I guess).
Here is an example of how they would try to disguise Hovis’ wedding ring in a scene.
In this episode, Hovis has to impersonate Der Fuehrer to get some important documents out of the camp.
When we first meet him, his left hand is off camera…
Next, his left hand is covered by another actor…
Here, we actually get to see the ring in the background (I circled it, in case you can’t see it)…
Next, Hovis actually just covers up his hand entirely!!
Finally, in full disguise, he is wearing gloves to cover up his hand…
It’s impressive that Hovis was that devoted to the symbol for his marriage, and it’s equally impressive that the show went out of its way to cover up for him.
The legend is…
Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.