TOMECULA, CALIF. - Hugh Bogan has established himself as a California-based thespian following a plastics industry career extending from 1950-88.
The energetic, 74-year-old actor has appeared in dozens of motion pictures, television dramas, playhouse productions and commercials.
His authoritative voice - principally basso profundo - has a wide range, a deep resonance and a sophisticated radio sound.
Bogan was born and educated in Fall River, Mass., and served with the U.S. Army infantry and air corps from 1944-47, including European wartime duty yielding military decorations.
In industry, ``I got in just after the war, when people didn't want to hear the word `plastics,' '' he said. ``I didn't know plastics from molasses. I started out on compression molding,'' working briefly with phenolics.
The career began at a Prophylactic Brush Co. division. For seven years he held quality-control positions in a Florence, Mass., plant and, for four years, covered all or part of six states as a St. Louis-based salesman for the Warner-Lambert Co. unit.
The quality-control director counseled Bogan to be forthright about production snags.
``Everything I learned paid off for me at every stage of my career,'' Bogan said in an interview at his home in Temecula.
Those stages led to mostly higher-level cosmetic- and food-packaging accounts.
He sold work for Colt Plastics Inc. of North Grosvenor Dale, Conn.; Container Corp. of America's Delaware Plastics Division in Totowa, N.J.; and Hubbell Corp.'s plastics unit in Newtown, Conn.
From 1973-74, he operated from Van Nuys, Calif., representing separate processors in injection, compression and blow molding.
Later, he was a major-account sales manager for Avsco Plastics Inc. in Kansas City, Mo.; Packer Plastics Inc. in Lawrence, Kan.; Lance Inc.'s Tri-Plas Inc. plant in Monroe, N.C.; and Sercomp Inc.'s MEI Plastics unit in Thousand Oaks, Calif.
Some business lessons learned:
Persistence counts. He obtained an Avon Products Inc. order after 31/2 years of calls and a change in buyers.
Be accessible. He gave key accounts a business card with his home phone number. ``Amazingly, that made a big difference,'' he said.
Be flexible. When a casino couldn't pay a molding bill, he traded the receivable for two slot machines for his employers.
Work for your employer's interests when you're in a customer's plant and for your customer's interests in your own plant.
Plastics is a ``rare type of business,'' he said. ``Every day was a challenge'' and never monotonous.
Now, Bogan sells his acting talent through tryouts and brings depth to roles that may require one of his dialects, such as British, cockney, Irish, French or Brooklyn.