|Born||January 4, 1930
Buffalo, New York, US
|Died||February 11, 1994 (aged 64)
Sherman Oaks, California, US
|Spouse(s)||Miranda Knickerbocker, 1958–1973|
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 the heavyset, corrupt politician "Boss" Hogg in the television show The Dukes of Hazzard.
Booke was born in Buffalo, New York, a cousin of Max Yasgur of Woodstock fame. Fluent in five languages (including Japanese), Booke earned degrees from both Columbia and Yale Universities, and later served in the Korean War as a counterintelligence officer.
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. However, he 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 himself an Emmy nomination for his appearance in the TV series Dr. Kildare in the episode "What's God to Julius?". He can also be seen 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. Additionally, Booke had a recurring role in Norman Lear's groundbreaking sitcom All in the Family as Mr. Sanders, personnel manager at Archie Bunker's workplace, Pendergast Tool and Die.
Booke's most notable role was in The Dukes of Hazzard as the humorously wicked antagonist to Bo and Luke Duke, Jefferson Davis "Boss" Hogg. The series ran on CBS-TV for seven seasons, from 1979–85 and spawned an animated series, The Dukes (1983), two reunion TV specials, and a feature film (2005). Booke was actually only slightly overweight and wore a fat suit during the entire run of the series, which caused his girth to measure five feet around.
In his final years, 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 continued to work until he succumbed to colorectal cancer in Sherman Oaks, California at age 64. He is interred in the Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery in Culver City, California. His tombstone reads, "Beloved Pa, Grandpa, Brother and Boss."
Booke was married to the former Miranda Knickerbocker (the daughter of Hubert Renfro (H.R.) Knickerbocker (1898-1949), a Pulitzer prize-winning war correspondent) from 1958 to 1973. They had two children, Alexandra and Nicholas. Booke has a brother, Fred.