Robert W. "Bobby" Buntrock (August 4, 1952 – April 7, 1974) was an American child actor. Buntrock is best known for playing the character of Harold "Sport" Baxter on the 1960s sitcom Hazel. Bobby Buntrock starred in the title role of "Circus Boy."
Buntrock as Harold Baxter c. 1960s
|Born||Robert W. Buntrock
August 4, 1952
Denver, Colorado, U.S.
|Died||April 7, 1974
Keystone, South Dakota, U.S.
|Cause of death||Automobile accident|
|Resting place||Keystone Cemetery|
|Education||Lake Marie Public School|
Buntrock was born in Denver, Colorado, to Robert and Maxine Buntrock. He had a younger sister, Stella. When he was three, the family moved to Whittier, California, where neighbors urged Buntrock's parents to get their son into acting. After submitting Buntrock's picture to various agents, he was signed by Marcella Bell. Shortly after signing with Bell, Buntrock landed his first role on an episode of Wagon Train at the age of four. He also appeared in guest spots on Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse, Mister Ed, and The Donna Reed Show.
In 1961, Buntrock won the role of Harold "Sport" Baxter on the sitcom Hazel, starring Shirley Booth. The series aired for five seasons, first on NBC with Don DeFore and Whitney Blake in the role of Harold's parents, George and Dorothy Baxter. In the fifth and final season (1965-1966) shown on CBS, the series was retooled after DeFore and Blake were dismissed and Harold lived with his Uncle Steve Baxter (Ray Fulmer), Aunt Barbara (Lynn Borden), and cousin Susie (Julia Benjamin). During the run of Hazel, Buntrock was tutored on the set and attended Lake Marie Public School in Whittier when the show was on hiatus.
After Hazel ended its run in 1966, Buntrock appeared in two guest spots on The Virginian in 1967 after which he retired from acting.
|1959||Wagon Train||Bo Lindstrom||Episode: "The Ella Lindstrom Story"|
|1960||Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse||Buddy||Episode: "Dr. Kate"|
|1961||Mister Ed||Small boy||Episode: "Kiddy Park"|
|1961||The Donna Reed Show||Crying child||Episode: "Mary's Little Lambs"|
|1961||Bus Stop||Johnathon||Episode: "Afternoon of a Cowboy"|
|1961–1966||Hazel||Harold Baxter||154 episodes|
|1963||Burke's Law||Scout Hendricks||Episode: "Who Killed Eleanora Davis?"|
|1963||The Virginian||Various||2 episodes|
|1967||The Virginian||Tim Messinger||Episode: "The Masquerade", (final television appearance)|
- Rapid City Society for Genealogical Research (1996). Black Hills Nuggets. University of Wisconsin - Madison. p. 25.
- "Neighbor Did It For Young Bobby". Lewiston Evening Journal. October 14, 1961. pp. 4–A. Retrieved May 13, 2013.
- "Hazel's Favorite Veteran At Eight". The Deseret News. September 25, 1963. p. T7. Retrieved May 13, 2013.
- Pack, Harvey (November 17, 1968). "'Hazel's' Former Lucky Boss Returning As Sports Reporter". The Victoria Advocate. p. 8. Retrieved February 9, 2015.
- Win, Fanning (August 25, 1965). "Hazel's New Family Are Baxters, Too". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. 33. Retrieved May 13, 2013.
- Bloom, Ken; Vlastnik, Frank (2007). Sitcoms: The 101 Greatest TV Comedies of All Time (1 ed.). Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers. p. 156. ISBN 1-579-12752-5.
- Madden, Joanne (17 February 2015). "Bobby Buntrock: The tragic death of Hazel's Harold". TV Banter. Retrieved 16 April 2017.