Don Hastings - Biography

Actor and writer, best known as "The Video Ranger", "Jack Lane", and "Dr. Bob Hughes" on television. The youngest son of Hazel and Charles Hastings, he lived in Brooklyn's Bedford-Stuyvesant area until he was six, attending Our Lady of Victory parochial school for one year. The family then moved to St. Alban's, Queens and, about that time, his older brother, Bob Hastings, was singing on Chicago's "National Barn Dance" and New York's "Coast to Coast on a Bus" radio shows, where Don was given a few lines, on occasion, earning $2.00 per week. Soon, he won the role of young Harlan in a touring company of "Life With Father", traveling ten months a year with his father. MGM offered Don a contract, but he wanted to return home, where he did the radio programs "Hilltop House", "Cavalcade of America", "One Foot in Heaven" and "Theater Guild on the Air" and some modeling (which he hated) and "I Remember Mama" on Broadway. Returning to school for fifth grade, he enrolled in the Professional Children's School and, later, Lodge High School and soon took up sports, playing for the St. Alban's Knights, the Police Athletic League, the Queens Village Ramblers and the Cambridge Heights Mohawks. At this time, he appeared in "A Young Man's Fancy" and "Summer and Smoke" on Broadway. While auditioning for DuMont's "The Magic Cottage" in 1949, the casting director, instead, cast Don as the "Video Ranger" in the new Captain Video and His Video Rangers (1949), a six-year role which kept him from attending college. His hobbies include traveling and spending time with his family. His children include Jennifer Hastings (born 29 October 1957), Julie Hastings (born 25 April 1960), Matthew Hastings (born 21 October 1967), and Katharine Hastings (born 23 September 1982).