Larry Hovis 1936-2003
San Marcos, TX
Me and Larry, March 2001
If you have any photos you've taken with Larry, please send them my way. I've added a small album
for all those whose lives he touched over the years.
I'm greatly saddened to write that Larry Hovis passed away the morning of Sept. 9, 2003. The words are hard to find.
Most of you will probably remember Larry from his role as Sergeant Carter on Hogan's Heroes. But Larry had pretty much done it all: actor, writer, recording artist, director, producer, stand-up comic. For me, his achievements were an inspiration for the diversity I wish to attain in my own endeavors.
Perhaps Larry's most significant role, however, was that of educator. Up until his passing, he taught for the theatre department at Southwest Texas State University. And I was fortunate enough to be one of his students.
I remember my first class with Larry. It was Beginning Acting, during which I had the opportunity to perform a short improv sketch with him. (If you must know, it was "The World's Two Dumbest Guys on a Fishing Trip." And, yes, he was funnier than me.) Having grown up watching Larry on TV, it was a thrill to be on stage with him.
But in the years following that first class, Larry became more than a celebrity instructor to me. He quickly became one of the first real influences on my career. He encouraged me in whatever undertaking I conjured up and showed me a great deal of patience, allowing me to grow at my own pace.
Most important, he treated me as more than a student. He seemed to make it a point to be aware of my personal circumstances, though I wasn't always aware of it. The last time I spoke with Larry in person, during a 2001 visit a few years after my graduation, he spoke of my college years as not having been a very happy time for me. He was right, although I didn't realize until then that he knew enough of what went on to derive that conclusion.
For me, Larry had grown from being an idol, to being a friend, and again to being an idol. As someone recently said to me, Larry was a truly genuine person. I'm grateful to have had his instruction in the years I was finding my direction and I'm proud to be able to call him a friend.
I encourage everyone to remember what I believe was Larry's most important lesson: Everything you need to know in life you learn by the age of seven.