Skip to Content

Veteran actor, teacher Larry Hovis dies

Date of release: 09/09/03

SAN MARCOS — Veteran actor, comedian, writer and teacher Larry Hovis died Tuesday, Sept. 9, following a battle with cancer. He was 67.

Larry Hovis

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 13, in the main theatre of the Theatre Center at Texas State University-San Marcos.

At the time of his death, Hovis was a lecturer in the Department of Theatre and Dance at Texas State. He had been employed at the university since 1990 and taught acting and characterization there.

Hovis was perhaps best known for his role as Sgt. Carter in the long running and now syndicated television series Hogan’s Heroes. He also had a regular role on Gomer Pyle, USMC and was a co-creator and performer on The Rowan and Martin Laugh-In, one of the cutting edge television shows of its day.

Hovis began performing at the age of 5, when he worked up a musical act with his older sister. His experience in entertainment would eventually include work as a drummer, singer, stand-up comedian, writer, producer of game shows, stage actor and television actor.

In 1989, Hovis delivered a guest lecture to a theatre class at Texas State. A year later, he joined the faculty full-time.

In an interview in 1995, Hovis said he sometimes saw students in his classes who were sufficiently talented to take the step he took when he left college to pursue a performing career. But he did not tell them.

“I want them to stay in school. They will be much better off if they are trained in the discipline of the theatre. I tell them I have never met anyone 50 years old who said, ‘Boy, I’m glad I didn’t go to college,’” he said at the time.