Sigrid Valdis was the stage name of Patricia Olson, (September 21, 1935 (Bakersfield, California) – October 14, 2007 (Anaheim, California)), the second wife of the late Bob Crane. She is an American-born actress of Swedish descent, who had appeared in several films and television shows in the 1960s before retiring after her marriage to Bob. Her most famous role was as Hilda, Colonel Klink's second secretary on the American television sitcom, Hogan's Heroes.
Patricia was born in Bakersfield, California, but was raised in the Westwood/Brentwood suburbs of Los Angeles, California. After going to several private schools and graduating from Marymount High School, she moved first to Europe, then to New York, to continue her modeling career, a career which she had started in her teens. While she worked as a designer's, showroom and runway model, she married George Gilbert Ateyeh, a businessman in the fashion industry. After the birth of her first child, Melissa, Patricia 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 were impressive, and soon lead her back to California to begin an career in acting.
During the next eighteen months, Patricia would appear in several films and televisions shows. Her first screen appearance was in Two Tickets to Paris, which was soon followed by Marriage on the Rocks, Our Man Flint and The Venetian Affair. Working in films soon brought her work on television, where she was soon working with such television legends as Phil Silvers and Red Skelton, as well as such future stars as Dennis Hopper and Robert Conrad. She would appear on such television shows as Kraft Suspense Theatre, Arrest and Trial, Perry Mason, The Wild Wild West and Burke's Law. She would also perform on stage, most notably during the summer of 1968, when she toured with Bob Crane and Abby Dalton in the Broadway play, Cactus Flower. Patricia was quickly being recognized for her acting abilities, showing that she was able to perform in many different genres and settings, as well as in both lead and supporting roles. In 1967, her first husband, George, died.
In 1965, she caught the eye of Edward Feldman, the producer for Hogan's Heroes, who placed her in the Top Hat, White Tie and Bomb Sight episode as Colonel Klink's "girlfriend", Gretchen. Feldman would have her brought back the following year as the replacement for the leaving Cynthia Lynn, to play Klink's new secretary, Hilda. While working on the show, she fell in love with the show's main star, Bob Crane, whom she would marry on October 16, 1970. The marriage ceremony was conducted on the show's set, the first actual marriage to be performed on a sound stage. A year later, her first son was born. Patricia would go into retirement after her son's birth, so that she could devote her time to both her husband and her new family.
She and Bob would seperate for a while in 1977, but they would get back together the following year. But the pair's happiness would be short live, as Bob would be found murdered on June 28, 1978. The constant media scrutiny about the case would force Patricia to move her family away from Los Angeles to get it out of the limelight. From 1980 to 2004, she would live in Seattle, Washington, before moving back to her childhood home in Westwood.
During Patricia's retirement, she would make few appearances or public statements, although she did comment that she didn't like the way that her late husband, Bob Crane, was protrayed in the 2002 film, Auto Focus, soon presenting her side of the story. While no longer involved with the Hollywood community, she was very proud of her past accomplishments. In 1998, while still living in Seattle, she would appear as a voice actress on the syndicated weekly sketch comedy radio show, Shaken, Not Stirred.
Patricia died on October 14, 2007 from lung cancer in the Anaheim, California home of her daughter, Ana Sarmiento, at the age of 72. She is survived by her two daughters, Ana and Melissa, her son, Scott, and five grandchildren.
- The Venetian Affair (as Sigrid Valdis) (1967) (uncredited)
- Our Man Flint (as Sigrid Valdis) (1966)
- Hogan's Heroes (as Sigrid Valdis) (1965) (TV) (1966-1971)
- Marriage on the Rock (as Sigrid Valdis) (1965)
- A New Kind of Love (as Patricia Olson) (1963) (uncredited)
- Island of Love (as Patricia Olson) (1963) (uncredited)
- Critic's Choice (as Patricia Olson) (1963) (uncredited)
- Two Tickets to Paris (as Sigrid Valdis) (1962) (uncredited)
- The Chapman Report (as Patricia Olson) (1962)
- The Ladies Man (as Patricia Olson) (1961) (uncredited)
Notable TV Guest Appearances Edit
- The Wild Wild West (as Sigrid Valdis) playing "Miss Piecemeal" in episode: "The Night of the Torture Chamber" (episode # 1.13) 10 December 1965
- Hogan's Heroes (as Sigrid Valdis) playing "Gretchen" in episode: "Top Hat, White Tie and Bomb Sight" (episode # 1.10) 19 November 1965
- The Wild Wild West (as Sigrid Valdis) playing "Miss Piecemeal" in episode: "The Night the Wizard Shook the Earth" (episode # 1.3) 1 October 1965
- Kraft's Suspense Theatre (as Sigrid Valdis) playing "Ruby" in episode: "The Jack is High" (episode # 2.6) 19 November 1964
- Arrest and Trial (as Patricia Olson) playing "Actress" in episode: "Signals of an Ancient Flame" (episode # 1.16) 12 January 1964
- Burke's Law (as Patricia Olson) playing "Girl Student" in episode: "Who Killed Sweet Betsy?" (episode # 1.7) 1 November 1963
- Perry Mason (as Pat Olson) playing "Model" in episode: "The Case of the Madcap Modeste" (episode # 3.22) 30 April 1960