According to the Los Angeles Times, Hickman died in Los Angeles on Sunday after a long battle with Parkinson's disease. His family confirmed this, according to the Los Angeles Times. He was 87.
The TV actor is best remembered for his role as the titular star in "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis", a sitcom about teenage drama that aired on CBS from 1959 to 1963. Coincidentally Hickman's death date, Jan. 9, was also the birthday of Bob Denver, his long-time friend and co-star on the show. He died in 2005 at the age of 70.
Hickman was a star in "The Bob Cummings Show" from 1955 to 1959 before he became Dobie Gillis the "poster child" of the baby boomer generation. He played the role of Chuck Cummings' nephew.
Hickman started his career as an extra at the age of 6. He was a part of John Ford's Oscar-winning adaptation of "The Grapes of Wrath," which starred Henry Fonda, Jane Darwell, and other actors. After starring in parts in "The Boy With Green Hair", and "The Lone Ranger," Hickman was offered a part alongside comedian Cummings.
After Dobie, Hickman earned a bachelor's in economics at Loyola Marymount University. He then returned to Hollywood. Hickman went on to play a variety of teenage roles such as the opposite Jane Fonda in "Cat Ballou" and Lee Marvin.
Hickman was a CBS executive in the 1970s and brought many beloved shows to life, including "Maude," MAS*H and "Designing Women." In addition to "Designing Women", he also held the "Head" and "Sister, Sister" positions.
Hickman was married twice before to Carol Christensen, actor, and Joanne Papile. Hickman also had two other marriages with Carol Christensen, singer Joanne Papile. Hickman spent close to 30 years with Joan Roberts, "Designing Women", star from 1983 until her passing in 2012.
He also enjoyed painting. Over the years, his work was displayed in numerous galleries and other special collections.
Hickman is survived both by Roberts' son Albert Hickman and his elder son John Hickman. He also shared the life of Christensen.
His family requested that all donations be made in his honor go to the Actors Fund or Dream Club United, which were founded by Albert Hickman.