A dancer tried to rob Broderick Crawford because she loved him

The Highway Patrol star was lucky to hold onto his belongings

Different jobs have different hazards; It's just a part of the workforce. Mail deliverers have dogs to contend with. Firefighters have fires. And, unfortunately, actors in show business have fans that don't always adhere to social norms and rules. People can get carried away with their fandom, and, next thing you know, laws are broken and people are incredibly frightened.

Or, at least, that's the story of Broderick Crawford, who starred on TV's Highway Patrol from 1955-1959. The show was an action-crime drama produced for syndication. Crawford starred as Dan Matthews, the tough and dedicated head of his police force. As if police work didn't carry with it enough danger, Crawford had to contend with some criminal activity in real life, too.

In 1959, the Minneapolis, Minnesota Star Tribune reported on one of the most interesting stories regarding Highway Patrol while it was still airing. The paper printed a story involving a young dancer with a particular affinity for Broderick Crawford. She would, allegedly, stop at nothing to get close to her favorite TV star.

The 26-year-old dancer, named Virginia Rangle was arrested on Saturday, October 17, 1959, because she sent a moving van to Broderick Crawford's house to collect and haul away all of Crawford's belongings. Allegedly, Rangle, who danced under the pseudonym Linda Doll, was "crazy in love" with Broderick Crawford, and tried to clear out his Bel Air home as an act of affection.

The newspaper did not report any of Crawford's side of the story. Whether the actor was shaken up from the incident, or not, the details weren't explored by the Star Tribune. We can confirm, though, that it didn't affect the trajectory of his career. He'd continue to star in dozens of movies throughout the rest of his life. He did, however, quit Highway Patrol that very same year. Crawford was fed up with the show's demanding schedule. He left Hollywood for Spain, where he shot a movie and attempted to get his drinking problem under control.

Linda Doll, for her part, was also not quoted in the newspaper article, and her side of the story remains untold. The Star Tribune did report that she protested upon her arrest, maintaining that she was, in fact, innocent.

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9 Comments

MissDemeanor 9 months ago
Virginia Rangel is my grandmother, and she and Mr. Crawford were dating when this happened. She was an actress who appeared in several movies and TV shows. Her most notable role was Daisy in The Wild Guitar. Mr. Crawford picked the name Virginia Broderick for her and helped her join the SAG.
Lantern 12 months ago
I read somewhere that Lucille Ball and Broderick Crawford were briefly engaged in the mid-30's, when both were just starting out in Hollywood.
Adanor 12 months ago
When faced with this moving van that he did not request, is it possible that Broderick Crawford asked himself what would Dan do?
JHP 12 months ago
Really a new love for shows for me - I like it because I've never seen those Eps and it's only 1/2 hour long - and again watching more B/W than color on my flat screen. The narrator of the show reminds me of the narration on old grade school and high school films
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