Claude Akins, Film And TV Actor, Dies Of Cancer

ALTADENA, Calif. - Claude Akins, the burly, dark-haired actor whose regular-Joe looks got him such roles as Sheriff Lobo in television's "B.J. and the Bear," has died of cancer.

Akins, who died yesterday, was 67, according to his son, Claude Akins Jr. But some film reference books gave his age as 75.

A 6-foot-2, 200-pound figure with rugged features and slicked-back hair, the Georgia-born actor played supporting roles in dozens of films, including "The Caine Mutiny," "Inherit the Wind" and "From Here to Eternity," in which he portrayed a menacing GI.

He appeared in more than 140 TV shows as cowboys, crooks, soldiers and policemen. He was best known as the bumbling Sheriff Elroy P. Lobo in "B.J. and the Bear" and the spinoff series "Lobo," which together ran from 1979 go 1981.

He also played a gypsy truck driver in the series "Movin' On," which ran from 1974 to 1976.

"He was the epitome of blue-collar workers," his son recalled. "He wanted work. He always went to work with his game face on . . . even if it wasn't the best role."

Last May, Akins lost half his stomach to cancer surgery.

In addition to his son, Akins is survived by his wife, Therese; two daughters; and a sister.

Funeral services will be private.