A native Californian of Swedish descent, Sigrid Valdis (the professional stage name of Patricia Olson) was raised in the Westwood/Brentwood suburbs of Los Angeles, and attended many exclusive private schools, including Marymount High School. Upon graduation she moved to Europe, then to New York City to continue the modeling career she had begun as a teenager. While working as a designer’s, showroom and runway model, she met and married a businessman in the fashion industry. After the birth of her first child, Melissa, she began studying at Stella Adler’s Theatre School while at the same time working on her first feature film. Her natural talent and on-screen demeanor was impressive, and she found herself back in California in 1964 in pursuit of a promising acting career. Over the next 18 months she would accumulate an impressive list of credits and on-camera time: Her first film, Two Tickets to Paris (1962) starring Joey Dee of “Peppermint Twist” fame, was followed by big screen roles in Marriage on the Rocks (1965) (alongside Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin), Our Man Flint (1966) (starring James Coburn and Lee J. Cobb), and The Venetian Affair (1966) (with Robert Vaughn). The exposure of the movies brought her a plethora of work in television and opportunities to work with TV legends such as Phil Silvers, Steve Allen, Red Skelton and Sid Caesar. She shared the small screen with the likes of Allan Sherman, Dennis Hopper, Henry Silva, Robert Conrad and Ross Martin. Her numerous credits include Kraft Mystery Theater (1959), Arrest and Trial (1963), The Wild Wild West (1965) and The Mouse That Roared. She also performed on stage, most notably during the summer of 1968 when she toured with Bob Crane and Abby Dalton in the Broadway play “Cactus Flower.” In addition to the exposure and the opportunity to work with Hollywood’s biggest names, Sigrid was becoming recognized for the ability to perform effectively in various types of roles in various genres and settings. She succeeded in movies and television, comedy and drama, commercials, sitcoms and skits, and was equally successful in both lead and supporting roles. Sadly, her husband died in 1967, just a short time after she had begun to gain exposure on a weekly network television show. Sigrid Valdis caught the eye of Hogan’s Heroes (1965) producer Edward Feldman in 1965, leading to her guest appearance as Gretchen in Episode 10. When the second season began, Feldman brought her under contract as a regular cast member, playing the role of Hilda, Col. Klink’s secretary. On October 16, 1970, Sigrid and Crane were married on the set of the show. At that time, theirs was the first reported “actual” marriage to be performed on a sound stage. A year later they had a son, Robert Scott Crane. Sigrid retired from acting following Scott’s birth so that she could devote herself to her husband and family. Although the Cranes were separated during part of 1977, they reconciled in 1978. However, Sigrid met with tragedy again a few months later when Crane was brutally murdered. In the midst of such excruciating circumstances, Sigrid moved from the Los Angeles area to protect her family from the constant media scrutiny invited by the case.
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