Born on June 2, 1948 in Sioux City Iowa, Jerry's television and show business career began at the tender age of two when he did a Pet Condensed Milk commercial with Ed Wynn on The Colgate Comedy Hour. He continued to work on many of the early 1950s live television shows and in 1954 he made his movie debut co-starring with Linda Darnell and Dan Duryea in This Is My Love (1954). He then caught the attention of Alfred Hitchcock who signed him for the film The Trouble with Harry (1955), starring John Forsythe and Shirley MacLaine in what was her very first film role.
The budding young actor next appeared in two Bob Hope movies, The Seven Little Foys (1955) and That Certain Feeling (1956). The ‘50s also found him in two movies with Alan Ladd, Men of the Fighting Lady(1954) and The Deep Six (1958).
It was in 1957 however, with the debut of the series Leave It To Beaver (1957-63) that Jerry entered the hearts and homes of America as Theodore Cleaver, or The Beaver. An immediate success, the show gained national attention and ran for six seasons, totaling 234 episodes. When it celebrated its 50th anniversary on October 4, 2007, the show became the longest running scripted show in television history. In 2017, the show celebrated its 60th anniversary. Currently shown on Me-TV and in countries throughout the world, Leave it to Beaver has made Jerry an American Icon.
His television movie, Still the Beaver (1983), was one of the top ten movies of the week, which led to the development of a new series entitled The New Leave It To Beaver (1983-89). Jerry successfully completed filming 108 episodes which were syndicated and aired in all major domestic and foreign markets. As well as starring in the series, Jerry also directed multiple episodes.
In 2007, Jerry made his Broadway debut with a starring role as Wilbur Turnblad in the Tony-winning best musical, “Hairspray” at the Neil Simon Theater. Jerry in his first week boosted the attendance from 75% to 90% and for the rest of his run he played to standing room only houses with attendance at 110%.
Jerry Mathers has more than 40 acting credits and over 60 appearances as himself, such was the impact of his role as The Beaver. Jerry’s television credits also include The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet (1952), The Bob Hope Show (1956), Lassie (1968), Batman (1968), My Three Sons (1970), Saturday Night Live (1980), Hardcastle and McCormick (1984) (as himself), The Love Boat (1987), Howdy Doody Time Reunion (1987) (as himself), Conrad Bloom (1998) (as himself), Married with Children (1991) (as himself), and Diagnosis Murder (1999). Jerry has appeared on a number of game shows including Match Game / Hollywood Squares (1983, 1999), Family Feud (1983) and Weakest Link (2001). And Jerry has always been in demand for talk shows with the likes of Merv Griffin, Larry King, Johnny Carson and Oprah Winfrey.
Other motion picture film credits include Back to the Beach (1987) with Annette Funicello, Frankie Avalon and Pee Wee Herman, and The Shadow on the Window (1957). Better Luck Tomorrow (2002) was nominated for the Sundance Film Festival judges award that year. Jerry also appeared in Angels with Angles(2005), Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector (2006) (as himself), Will to Power (2008), The Hitchhiker short (2014), the pilot of Dad Dudes (2014) and the short Lucky Day (2015).
Jerry always enjoys meeting his fans and reminiscing when he makes personal appearances, to take photos and sign a personalized autograph.
Source: Jerry Mathers
Born in 1945 in Hollywood, Tony Dow’s earliest acting credit is perhaps also his most iconic - Wally Cleaver, the elder brother on Leave It To Beaver(1957-63).
Throughout the 1960s Tony was in demand as a guest star on a number of series including Dr. Kildare (1963), My Three Sons (1964), Mr. Novak (1963-65), and Lassie (1968). Throughout 1965 and 1966 he played the role of Chet on Never Too Young.
Television work for Dow continued through the 1970s and 1980s with appearances on Adam-12 (1970), Love, American Style (1971), Mod Squad (1971), Emergency! (1972), Quincy M.E. (1983), Knight Rider (1983), Murder, She Wrote (1987), and The Love Boat (1983, 1987), amongst many more.
Dow reprised his role as Wally Cleaver in The New Leave It To Beaver (1983-89) and reunited once again in 2007 with co-stars Jerry Mathers (The Beaver) and Barbara Billingsley (June Cleaver) to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the original show.
Although continuing his acting work up until 2018, Tony Dow worked as a director through the 1980s and 1990s on TV shows including The New Leave It To Beaver (1988-89), Babylon 5 (1997-98), Crusade (1999) and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1999).
Tony Dow has made a success of another career, as a modern-art sculptor. One of his bronze sculptures was accepted at 2008's Societe Nationale des Beaux-Arts, a 150-year-old art show staged annually at the Louvre in Paris, France.
Born in 1940, Ms Mills was raised in Chicago and began her acting career as an understudy in the Woody Allen play “Don’t Drink the Water.”
In 1966 she made her television debut, and the following year made her movie debut.
She came to prominence with her co-starring role in Play Misty For Me (1971) as Clint Eastwood’s girlfriend in what was his directorial debut.
Donna Mills was a popular guest star throughout the 1970s on shows such as Lancer (1970), Banyon (1973), Gunsmoke (1973), Marcus Welby, M.D. (1974), McMillan and Wife (1974), The Six Million Dollar Man (1975), Police Woman (1976), The Love Boat (1977, 1978) and Fantasy Island (1979), among many more series well into the 1980s.
In 1980 she joined the cast of primetime soap Knots Landing (1980-93) as wicked Abby Fairgate Cunningham Ewing Summer. As a spin off from Dallas (1978-91) the show was at risk of not being renewed before Mills joined the cast but her role gave new life to the series and she remained a popular cast member for nine years before leaving to pursue other projects. She often produced the television films she appeared in at this time as a means to highlight important social issues.
In a career that started over 50 years ago, and continues to this day, Donna Mills has more than 100 television and movie credits to her name.
Donna Mills has long been a supporter of various political and human rights causes.
Ed Asner is a television legend, the winner of more Primetime Emmys (7) than any other male performer. Not only a well-respected actor, equally adept at comedy, drama and voice acting, Ed served two terms as the President of the Screen Actors Guild (1981-1985) and has made a name for himself as a trade unionist and political activist.
Ed was born Yitzak Edward Asner on November 15, 1929, in Kansas City, Missouri. He attended the University of Chicago and worked on the assembly line of General Motors. He served in the U. S. Army Signal Corps and appeared in plays that toured army camps in Europe.
Ed Asner had many years of success as a theater actor culminating in his role on Broadway alongside Jack Lemmon in Face of a Hero, but in 1961 he relocated to Hollywood with his young family to pursue a career on television.
In Hollywood he enjoyed guest appearances on many of the biggest shows of the day including Route 66 (CBS), The Untouchables (ABC), and Alfred Hitchcock Presents (CBS).
In 1970 Ed Asner received the call that would lead to what is undoubtedly his most memorable role, Lou Grant, brought to comedic life first in The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970-1977) as a crusty, heavy-boozing yet endearing TV news producer, then in the spin-off drama Lou Grant, editor of a big-city newspaper who faces ethical dilemmas on a daily basis. Ed Asner’s character was one of only two in television history to appear in both a comedy and drama, both earning the actor multiple Emmy Awards. In the period between the two series, Ed found time to give two other Emmy-award winning performances, as Axel Jordache in Rich Man, Poor Man (1976) and as slave trader Captain Davies in Roots (1977), ABC’s legendary miniseries based on the genealogical novel by Alex Haley.
Lou Grant was cancelled by CBS in 1982 but he continued to land film and TV offers, including the captain of the force in the feature Fort Apache, the Bronx (1981) and the lawyer defending accused Russian spies in Sidney Lumet's, Daniel (1983). He also helmed a short-lived sitcom about the garment industry called Off The Rack (ABC, 1984) before returning to drama with The Bronx Zoo (NBC, 1987-1988), a grim portrait of inner city high schools. He co-starred with Sharon Gless in The Trials of Rosie O'Neill (CBS, 1991-1992), and was a formidable presence on the big screen as Guy Bannister in Oliver Stone's conspiracy-laden classic, JFK (1991) – cast opposite his old friend and Broadway co-star, Jack Lemmon (Jack Martin).
Western fans would recognise Ed guest starring in episodes of The Virginian (1963), A Man Called Shenandoah (1965), Gunsmoke (two episodes 1964-1966), Iron Horse (1967), The Wild Wild West (1968), and Here Come the Brides (1969). And he played Bart Jason opposite John Wayne and Robert Mitchum in El Dorado (1967).
Voice acting formed the bulk of Asner’s work from the 1990s whereby Ed found a much younger audience. In 2009 he voiced the lead character of Carl Fredricksen in Up (2009). He enjoyed a steady schedule of voicing animated fare like Batman: The Animated Series (Fox, 1992-1994), Gargoyles (ABC, 1994-1996), and Freakazoid! (Kids WB, 1995-1997), as well as recurring roles in the Spiderman franchise. He became the go-to guy for Christmas films, voicing many including the role of Santa in the 2003 movieElf.
As well as Ed's incredible record of Primetime Emmy Award wins, he is the recipient of 37 acting and voicing awards including five Golden Globe Awards and the 2002 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Screen Actors Guild. He can boast an additional 25 nominations.
With 373 acting credits to his name, we can't hope to do justice here to such an illustrious career. Please check out his Facebook page (source of much of this information, see link below) and che The Ed Asner Family Centre website (https://www.edasnerfamilycenter.org) where Ed makes the case for establishing "an oasis of creativity in every special needs community."
Prolific and versatile character actor Peter Jason was born on July 22, 1944, in Hollywood, California, and grew up in Balboa. He originally planned on being a football player, but fell in love with acting after playing the lead in a high school production of “The Man Who Came to Dinner."
Following his high school graduation he attended Orange Coast Junior College and did a season of summer stock at the Peterborough Playhouse in New Hampshire. He then studied as a drama major at the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh, PA. More stage work followed with the acting group The South Coast Repertory Company.
He made his film debut in Howard Hawks’ final film, Rio Lobo (1970) (which Jason says is one of his favorites).
He worked with Orson Welles on the uncompleted The Other Side of the Wind (2018) as an actor, boom operator, prop man and even cook for the cast and crew.
Jason has appeared in many films for director Walter Hill; he's especially memorable as the racist redneck bartender in 48 Hrs. (1982). He has also appeared in many films for director John Carpenter: he's very engaging as the jolly Dr. Paul Leahy in the Price of Darkness (1987) and was terrific as underground guerrilla army leader Gilbert in They Live 1988).
Other notable roles include a sinister government agent in Dreamscape (1984), rugged Maj. G.F. Devin in Clint Eastwood’s Heartbreak Ridge (1986), jerky detective Fedorchuk in Alien Nation (1988), a newspaper reporter in Seabiscuit (2003) and the U.S. president in Alien Apocalypse (2005).
In 2018 Jason reprised his recurring role as dissolute gambler Con Stapleton from the gritty cable Western TV series Deadwood (2004) in the Deadwood movie of 2018.
He also had a regular part as Capt. Skip Gleason on Mike Hammer, Private Eye (1997) and appeared on NCIS (same role, 2009, 2018), Longmire (2016), Justified (2010) and Castle (2009). In 2013 he enjoyed a recurring role on the TV series Arrested Development (2003-19.)
Among the many TV shows Peter has performed in guest spots on are Desperate Housewives (2004), Sabrina, The Teenage Witch (1996), Nash Bridges (1996), Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman (1993), Coach(1989), Quantum Leap (1989), Roseanne (1988), Married with Children (1987), The Golden Girls (1985), Murder, She Wrote (1984), B.J. and the Bear (1978), The Incredible Hulk (1977), Hawaii Five-0 (1968) and Gunsmoke (1955).
In addition to his substantial film and TV show credits, Jason has acted in over 150 plays and hundreds of TV commercials.
An accomplished baritone vocalist, Jason has sung in such musical stage productions as "The Music Man" (this is one of his favorite plays), "Stop the World, I Want to Get Off," "The Roar of the Greasepaint" and "Threepenny Opera" (as Mack the Knife).
With over 260 movie and television credits to his name since starting out in 1967, Peter is still acting to this day.
Peter Jason has been married to his wife Eileen since 1979. In his spare time he makes his own furniture with found, recycled wood.
Claude Jarman Jr., perhaps best known for his performance in The Yearling, was born in Nashville, Tennessee on September 27, 1934. As a child, he acted in productions of the Nashville Community Playhouse's Children's Theater.
Claude was in the movie Rio Grande with John Wayne, and also Wayne's son Patrick, who has been a guest of our festival and will be a guest again in 2020.
Claude was 10 years old and in the fifth grade in Nashville when he was discovered in a nationwide talent search by MGM Studios, and was cast as the lead actor in the film The Yearling (1946).
His performance attracted glowing reviews and he received a special Academy Award as outstanding child actor of 1946 as a result. He continued his studies at the MGM studio school, and made a total of 11 films with actors including Van Johnson, Jeanette MacDonald and Robert Sterling.
By the time he reached his early twenties he chose to leave his film career behind. Republic Studios had cast him in a couple of B movies but, discouraged, he moved back to Tennessee to finish college at Vanderbilt University.
Following coursework in pre-law at Vanderbilt, Claude appeared in Disney's The Great Locomotive Chase (1956), which was his final movie. After that, he served three years in the U. S. Navy, doing public relations work.
Claude moved to working behind the scenes. He ran the San Francisco Film Festival for 15 years (1965–1980) and was known for his in-depth retrospectives of movie stars and directors. He was Executive Producer of the music documentary film Fillmore (1972), about rock impresario Bill Graham.
Jarman returned to acting with a role on an episode of the television production Centennial (1978). Claude was a special guest as a past acting award winner at both the 1998 and 2003 Academy Awards ceremonies.
Jarman served as Director of Cultural Affairs for the City of San Francisco. He founded Jarman Travel Inc. in 1986 to serve the travel needs of corporations and executives.
Mr. Jarman has seven children by three wives, including two daughters with his current wife, Katharine. In 2018, he wrote a book about his life titled 'My Life and the Final Days of Hollywood'.
Laurie Prange was born on January 26, 1952 in Los Angeles, California. Her television acting career lasted over 20 years from her 1970 debut.
She is, perhaps, best known for her recurring role of Katie Maxwell on The Incredible Hulk (1977-82) opposite Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno on the “Prometheus” episodes.
With dozens of acting credits to her name, Laurie appeared in the most popular television series of the time including Medical Center(1969-1976) alongside James Daly and Chad Everett in 1970, The Partridge Family (1970-74) with Shirley Jones and David Cassidy, and Marcus Welby, M.D. (1969-1976) opposite Robert Young and James Brolin, both in 1971. In 1972Laurie appeared in My Three Sons (1960-1972) with Fred MacMurray and previous festival guests Stanley Livingston, Barry Livingston and Beverly Garland.
In 1971 Laurie gave an outstanding performance in Gunsmoke (1955-75) as Wild Child in the episode “The Lost” opposite Amanda Blake’s Kitty and James Arness and company.
The remainder of the 1970s saw her guest starring on television series that included Rod Serling’s Night Gallery (1969-73), Young Dr. Kildare (1972-3), The Waltons (1971-81) with previous festival guests Jon Walmsley, Alison Arngrim and Charlotte Stewart, Baretta (1975-78) with Robert Blake, Hawaii Five-0 (1968-80), Baa Baa Black Sheep (1976-78) starring previous festival guest Robert Conrad, Barnaby Jones (1973-80) with Buddy Ebsen and previous festival guest Lee Meriwether, The Love Boat (1977-87) with previous festival guest Bernie Kopell, and How the West Was Won (1976-79).
Laurie also appeared in the acclaimed and provocative Looking for Mr. Goodbar in 1977 in the role of Brigid and her appearance in Kung Fu (1972-75) with David Carradine and previous festival guest Radames Pera in the 1973 episode “The Hoots”earned her critical praise.
Laurie continued her television appearances throughout the 1980s, with roles in T.J. Hooker (1982-86) with William Shatner, Cagney and Lacey (1981-88) with Tyne Daly and Sharon Gless, Hardcastle and McCormick (1983-86), Highway to Heaven (1984-89) with Michael Landon, Hunter (1984-1991) with Fred Dryer and Stepfanie Kramer, and Murder, She Wrote (1984-1996) with Angela Lansbury.
James Drury was born in 1934 in New York City but has made Texas his home because, in his words, he “loves the dust, the sweat, the sunshine and the smell of the horses.”
Drury’s first movie credits date back to 1955 and in those early years he played bit parts and ‘second leads’ until his big break came in 1962 when he won the title role in The Virginian (1962-1971).
Drury had had plenty of experience playing cowboys before that, appearing in Gunsmoke (1955, 1959, 1961), The Rifleman (1958, 1961), Bronco (1958), Have Gun, Will Travel (1959), Cheyenne (1959), Rawhide (1959,1961), and Wagon Train (1960, 1962).
His acting credits weren’t limited to Western TV series, though these were amongst his most popular parts . Drury played roles on Perry Mason (1961), It Takes a Thief (1968), and Ironside (1971). He appeared in Ride the High Country (1962) as Billy Hammond and played Captain Spike Ryerson throughout the series Firehouse (1974). The first three episodes of Walker, Texas Ranger (1993) saw James Drury as Captain Tom Price, and followed that with his turn as Ethan Emerson on The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. (1993-94).
James Drury has long been a popular guest at the MidSouth Nostalgia (formerly Memphis Film) Festival having appeared in 1992, 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2013. The 2012 Festival was labeled A Gathering of Guns 4: A TV Western Reunion and James Drury was joined by many of his co-stars from The Virginian including Randy Boone, Bobby Clark, Gary Clarke, L. Q. Jones, Sara Lane, Don Quine, Diane Roter and Roberta Shore.
The Virginian was the first television Western to run 90 minutes in length which allowed the writers to explore more complex stories. Of course the one mystery that was never solved was the name of The Virginian. And James Drury isn’t telling.
Robert Fuller was born in Troy, New York on July 29, 1933. He and his mother moved to Florida when he was 5 years old where he later attended Miami Military Academy. After his mother remarried, the family moved to Key West, Florida where he attended high school. After completing school he moved to Hollywood with his parents.
Robert began working in films as an extra and eventually wound up doing stunt work, doubling such actors as Steve McQueen and Jerry Lewis. However, his career was put on hold while he served in the army infantry during the Korean Conflict. After completing his tour of duty, Robert returned to the States where he joined Richard Boone’s acting class. Boone eventually convinced Robert to continue his studies in New York with Sanford Meisner at the Neighborhood Playhouse. After completing his studies in New York, Robert returned to Hollywood.
Robert began to get the attention of the industry with appearances in numerous television shows, including Lux Playhouse of the Stars (1958), Alcoa Premiere (1962), Kraft Mystery Theater (1963), and Bob Hope Chrysler Theater (1966).
Robert’s big break was the starring role of Jess Harper in the hit series Laramie (1959-1963). During Laramie's four year run, Robert’s career skyrocketed, not only in the USA, but also in Germany, where he won five Golden Otto Awards (Germany’s equivalent to the Emmy Award) and in Japan, where he won Japan’s Best Actor’s award in 1961. Robert also received the highest award ever given to an American at that time: “The Golden Order of Merit” awarded under the direction of the Emperor of Japan and presented by the Japanese Red Cross for his work with physically challenged and orphaned Japanese children.
At the conclusion of Laramie, Universal Studios offered Robert the role of the scout Cooper Smith on the long-running series Wagon Train (1959-1965).
Robert also did a number of guest star appearances on TV and worked in such films as Return of the (Magnificent) Seven (1966), Whatever Happened to Aunt Alice (1969), Incident at Phantom Hill (1966), Sinai Commandos (1968) and The Hard Ride (1971). It was his performance in The Hard Ride as a veteran Marine returning home from Vietnam that prompted Jack Webb to cast Fuller as Dr. Kelly Brackett in the NBC series Emergency! (1972-1978).
Robert has not limited himself to one medium, having done some stage work. He had lead roles in plays including Wait Until Dark, Mr. Roberts, Boeing, Boeing, and Neil Simon’s Chapter Two.
Robert’s distinctive voice has been heard on many promotional announcements and commercials, both voice over and on camera. Robert was the national spokesperson for seven years for Teledyne Water-Pik and for Budweiser Malt Liquor.
An avid outdoorsman, Robert's love of fishing made his job as the on-camera host of the syndicated sport shows Fishing Fever, Blue Water Challenge and Colorado River Adventure some of the most enjoyable of his career.
On April 12, 2008, Robert was inducted into the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City where he received The Western Heritage Award and a plaque in the Hall of Great Western Performers. This along with three long-running television series, films, and awards and seeing his star included on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, just blocks from the famous Grauman’s Chinese Theater where he worked as a young man, are some of his personally most satisfying experiences.
Today Robert makes his home on a ranch in North Texas with his wife, actress Jennifer Savidge Fuller.
Source: Friend of Robert Fuller, Tony Gill
Darby Hinton was born in Santa Monica California August 19th, 1957 to actor Ed Hinton and his school teacher wife Marilynn. His long career started at the age of just 6 months in commercials, and his television and film appearances began at the tender age of 4 with Hero’s Island (1962) alongside James Mason and Neville Brand. Other early roles were in Mister Ed (1963), Route 66 (1964), Wagon Train (1964), and The Big Valley (1967).
At the age of 6 Darby landed the role of Fess Parker’s son Israel Boone on the hugely popular The Daniel Boone Show (1964-70) and to this day the show is attracting new fans. This role brought with it the development of a life-long friendship for the two actors with Parker becoming not just an acting mentor but also something of a surrogate father to the young Darby whose father had died in a plane crash when he was just over 12 months old. Darby’s mother never remarried.
After The Daniel Boone Show ended, Darby tried to shake the all-American image by playing a drug user on The Bold Ones: The New Doctors(1970), a troubled youth on Owen Marshall, Counselor at Law (1971), and even a drug dealer on Jack Lord's Hawaii Five-0 (1975). But everybody still loved and knew him as 'Israel'.
Darby then decided to take time off and focus on education. He left Hollywood and graduated high school from The American School in Switzerland. He then started his college experience completing three around the world voyages while attending World Campus Afloat where he was able to study theatre and actors from Indonesian Shadow Dance and Noh and Kabuki Theatre, to the classic Greek and Roman tragedies, all in their place of origin. When his academic voyages ended he went right back to work with featured roles on television’s Magnum, P.I. (1981), The Fall Guy (1982, 1983), Hunter (1989), Jake and the Fatman(1990), Knots Landing (1991), Mike Hammer, Private Eye (1997), and Beverly Hills, 90210 (1998), to name a few.
Darby continued his film work as well, from martial arts films in the Philippines to a detective in Malibu who couldn't shoot straight in the cult classic Malibu Express (1985). He did a number of other features that took him to places like Russia, Romania and Bulgaria. When he started his family he decided to look for work closer to home. He became the Probation Officer on Days Of Our Lives (1985) and eventually became 'The Salem Rapist' during some of the shows highest ratings. He started pursuing commercials and theatre close to home and that led him to a role based on Charles Doheny for Theatre 40's, 'The Manor’, a play he has starred in for 16 years, performing to sold out audiences in the real 1920s Doheny estate, 'Greystone,' in Beverly Hills.
As soon as the youngest of his five children left home Darby started focusing on his acting career again and has since portrayed some memorable historical characters like David Burnet, first president of Texas in Texas Rising (2015), George Donner in Dead of Winter: The Donner Party, and his most recent role as Cole Younger in Bill Tilghman and The Outlaws(2019).
Darby is also proud to be an advocate for child performers everywhere and uses his experience to work with a number of organizations to ensure young performers thrive in the industry.
Darby Hinton has now written a book documenting his early years in show business, his love of acting, and what it was like ‘Growing Up Israel.’ For more information you can visit his website.
Source: IMDb (Darby Hinton)
Buck Taylor Born on May 13, 1938 in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California. He is the son of actor Dub Taylor, with whom he appeared in Conagher (1991).
He is the father of three, and father-in-law of actor/producer Anne Lockhart. He lives with his wife Goldie on a ranch north of Fort Worth, Texas. They met in 1995 at a world quarter-horse show where his paintings were being exhibited.
Buck Taylor is most notably known for his work on the beloved television Western Gunsmoke (1955-75). Buck played the role of Matt Dillon’s Deputy, Newly O’Brien, in 158 episodes, between 1968-75.
Buck was recently cast in Paramount Network’s Yellowstone (2018). His many movie appearances include Tombstone (1993) with Kurt Russell and Val Kilmer, and Hell or High Water (2016) with Jeff Bridges, for which he received one of three Western Heritage Awards from the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
His acting credits, from 1961 to today, exceed 100 movie and TV shows and they are across many genres. They include Cowboys & Aliens (2011), The Mist (2007), Knots Landing (1991), and Dallas (1990-91). As well as his role on Gunsmoke (1967-75), he had a recurring role on The Monroes (1966-67) and a number of guest roles on The Virginian (1964-66).
His acting mentor and best friend James Arness died in 2011, at age 88. Taylor attended his funeral and read a eulogy. Buck speaks of a wonderful relationship with Arness.
Buck also has this to say of other Gunsmoke mentors: “Milburn Stone (Doc) and Ken Curtis (Festus) of Gunsmoke (1955-75) told me early on, ‘When you go in public, you're going to meet people that let you into the privacy of their homes, into their bedrooms. They'll think of you as part of their family, so they'll feel like they know you. Some will want to hug you. When they do that, don't disappoint them’. That's my advice to any actor – respect those that got you there. Enjoy those that you've made happy. My dad was like that also. That's old school, I guess.”
Buck Taylor is an inductee into the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum’s prestigious Hall of Great Western Performers. He has a star on the Texas Walk of Fame. As a member of the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame, he has a star in the Fort Worth Stockyards. Western Horseman announced artist and actor Buck Taylor as the recipient of the 2019 Western Horseman Award at the Western Heritage Classic in Abilene, Texas.
No less impressive is Buck Taylor's reputation and popularity as a fine artist. He studied art on a scholarship while in college and later was seen sketching during film and TV breaks. An accomplished western artist who enjoys exploring America's Old West and delving into typical everyday cowboy scenes of hitching horses or setting up camp, as well as magnificent portraits of his television and movie co-stars, he specializes in watercolor.
Since selling his first paintings at the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, Nevada, in 1993, Taylor’s watercolors have become fixtures in the Western art world. He has also been the official artist for several prestigious rodeos, including the NFR, Pendleton Round Up and Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo.
The availability of prints of his watercolors makes his exceptional art accessible for many more people.
Sources: IMDb and Western Horseman
Patrick (Pat) Wayne is a veteran of over thirty-five motion pictures, four television series, numerous television guest roles, and commercials.
Born on July 15, 1939), son of famed Academy Award-winning actor, John Wayne, and godson of Academy Award-winning director, John Ford, Patrick found this to be a double advantage when starting out in this highly competitive business.
Patrick Wayne has won star billing on his own right, accepting roles which have taken him around the world from Mexico to The Philippines, to Europe and Africa.
Wayne was born in Los Angeles, California, and at school attained great success in both scholarly and athletic pursuits. Wayne entered Loyola University in California, joined Alpha Delta Gamma fraternity in his sophomore year, and became its president as a senior. He received his B.S. degree in Biology and a minor in Philosophy.
Shortly after graduation from college, he enlisted in the United States Coast Guard where he spent eight years on active duty and in the reserves.
Wayne began his acting career at the age of eleven and, with the exception of active duty in the Coast Guard, he's been at it ever since. "I had reservations about becoming an actor from the time that I entered college," he says. "I thought I would get a better perspective about a career if my major were something apart from acting. College years and time in the Coast Guard gave me a more objective slant and I finally decided that I wanted a career in the entertainment business."
Many of the films Wayne has appeared in have become memorable examples of American motion picture making. His credits include The Long Gray Line (1955), Mister Roberts (1955), The Searchers (1956), The Alamo (1960), The Comancheros (1961) and McLintock! (1963) to name but a few. He won hearts as Sinbad in Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1977) and featured as Pat Garrett in Young Guns (1988).
Patrick Wayne also appeared in Rio Grande (1950) with his father John Wayne and Claude Jarman, Jr., who will also be a guest of the festival in 2020.
In television, Wayne has been equally active having starred in two dramatic series, Shirley (1979-1980) and The Rounders (1966-1967) and having made a number of other guest appearances on episodes of such well known series as Charlie's Angels (1981), The Love Boat (five roles, 1979-1986), Fantasy Island (three roles, 1981-1983), Police Woman (1974), Marcus Welby, M.D. (1974), Love, American Style (1970), Murder, She Wrote (1987), MacGyver (1988), Fantasy Island (three roles, 1981-1983) and Matt Houston (1984).
In addition, Wayne has been featured on more than ninety television commercials, including Old Spice after shave, Alpo dog food, Marathon candy and Aspen soft drink.
He made his debut in the theatre in 1981 and whenever his schedule permits he pursues "work on the boards."
He has been the Chairman of the Board of the John Wayne Cancer Institute since 2003.
Wayne, the father of three children, Melanie, Anthony and Michael, lives in the Toluca Lake section of Los Angeles.
Source: The Memphis Film Festival website
Bernie Kopell was born in New York City on June 21, 1933. He attended New York University, majoring in dramatic arts, alongside James Drury of The Virginian (1962-71) fame. Kopell then served in the United States Navy from 1955 to 1957. After completing active duty Bernie was lured to Los Angeles by James Drury with the promise of an agent.
During the 1960s and early 1970s Bernie Kopell appeared in many television series, often sitcoms, including Whispering Smith (1961), The Jack Benny Program (1962-63), 77 Sunset Strip (1963), McHale’s Navy (1963), Ripcord (1963), Petticoat Junction (1964), The Lucy Show (1964), The Danny Kaye Show (1964), My Favorite Martian (1964, 1965), The Beverly Hillbillies (1965), Ben Casey (1965), The Dick Van Dyke Show (1966), Green Acres (1966), The Flying Nun (1968), The Carol Burnett Show (1969), Love, American Style (1970, 1971), The Odd Couple (1972), in nine episodes of Bewitched (1969-72) as various characters, had a long stint on That Girl as Jerry Bauman (1966-1971), and as Charlie Miller on Needles and Pins (1973-74).
One of his most popular characters appeared at this time: KAOS agent Siegfried on Get Smart (1966-69). His skill at accents paid off here and he quickly became a fan favorite.
Further television work throughout the 1970s saw Kopell very busy as an actor. He appeared on The Doris Day Show (1970-73) as Louie Pallucci, in 13 episodes of When Things Were Rotten (1975) as Alan-A-Dale, in Harry O (1975), Kolchak: The Night Stalker (1975), The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1975), The Streets of San Francisco (1974, 1975), Kojak (1975), and The Six Million Dollar Man (1976).
1977 was the year he started his most famous, and certainly longest, role, that of Dr Adam Bricker on The Love Boat (1977-87). He remained on the series during its entire run, appearing in all 250 episodes.
Kopell has not been afraid to parody this role, or at least give it a nod, including appearances on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1992), Saturday Night Live (1994), and The Late Show with David Letterman (1995).
More recently Kopell has gained new fans with his work on My Name Is Earl (2009), Monk (2009), Arrested Development (2013), Raising Hope (2013), Hawaii Five-O (2017), The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time (2018), and Silicon Valley (2019).
Bernie Kopell’s career of 130-plus acting credits, over six decades, continues to this day. He is a close friend of fellow festival guest Robert Fuller.
Producer and actor Joel McCrea, a guest at our 2016 and 2019 festivals, is returning this year. As well as talking of his own career, Wyatt is always happy to recall his famous grandparents, actors Joel McCrea and Frances Dee. Wyatt spent much of his childhood on the property with them and has met a cavalcade of stars during events held there.
Wyatt is the executive producer of the documentary Floating Horses: The Life of Casey Tibbs (2017). It tells the rags-to-riches story of the nine-time rodeo world champion Casey Tibbs. He was also the associate producer of the 2009 television series Gen’s Guiltless Gourmet.
Although choosing not to follow in his grandparents’ footsteps on the screen, Wyatt has appeared in Canyon Trail (2015) and Call 911 (2008).
He has appeared in a number of documentaries since 2013.
Wyatt still lives on the McCrea Ranch in Thousand Oaks, California, as he has for the last 30 years. Purchased in 1933, the McCrea family donated the ranch in 1995 and it is now operated by the Conejo Recreation and Park District. However, Wyatt, as founder and board president of the Joel and Frances McCrea Ranch Foundation, sees it as his role to care for the place and ensure its future.
One of the charities to benefit from our auction this year will be the Joel and Frances McCrea Ranch Foundation.
Diamond Farnsworth was born 7 October, 1949 as Richard Farnsworth, Jr. He is a stuntman, stunt actor and stunt coordinator. Farnsworth is the son of late Academy Award-nominated actor and stuntman Richard Farnsworth, and the father of stuntwoman Courtney K. Farnsworth.
In a career spanning 50 years, Diamond has almost 100 credits to his name. He has stunt doubled for Scott Bakula in movies and television series including Quantum Leap (82 episodes 1989-1993), Color of Night (1994), Lord of Illusions (1995), and Mr. & Mrs. Smith (1996). He doubled Bakula in several episodes of Star Trek: Enterprise (2001-2005) as well.
Diamond Farnsworth has also stunt doubled for other actors such as Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Davison, David James Elliott (JAG) and Mark Harmon (NCIS).
Not only has Diamond Farnsworth worked as a stuntman, his greater success has been as stunt coordinator for hit television series including Quantum Leap (1989-1991, starring Scott Bakula and Dean Stockwell), JAG: Judge Advocate General (1995-2004), and NCIS (2003- ). As stunt coordinator for NCIS (2003-2019) he was responsible for the health and safety of his team for more than 375 episodes.
In 2008, Farnsworth received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Stunt Coordination of the NCIS episode "Requiem" (2008). He backed that up in 2013 with another Primetime Emmy Award nomination for the NCIS episode “Revenge” (2013).
Among his stunt-performing resume are films such as Rollerball (1975) Ghostbusters (1984), The Terminator (1984), No Way Out (1987) Batman Forever (1995) Pearl Harbor (2001) and The Dukes of Hazzard: The Beginning (2007).
He worked on a number of Western TV series including Laredo (1967), Here Come the Brides (1970), The Virginian (1970), Bonanza (1972, 1973) and Alias Smith and Jones (1972, 1973).
Farnsworth has served as Board Member of the Stuntmen's Association of Motion Pictures.
Sources: IMDb and memory-alpha.fandom.com
Marguerite Happy was born into a rodeo family, and married into a stunt family. She has made a career for herself in both fields.
Marguerite is renowned as a champion barrel racer on the rodeo circuit. The Martins rodeo family includes her father Jim Martins and brother Kearney Martins. Her sons Sean Happy and Ryan Happy continue the tradition.
Marguerite was raised in Salinas, California and married Clifford Happy in 1977, moving to Newhall, California, at which time her father-in-law Don Happy assisted her in becoming a background extra in the motion picture business. In 1979, while working on the film 1941, stunt coordinator Terry Leonard converted her during a fight routine and thereby began her stunt career.
Her credits as a stuntperson include Die Hard II (1990), The Mask of Zorro (1998) and Runaway Bride (1999). Her stunt work is on display in Charlie Chan and the Curse of the Dragon Queen (1981), War Games (1983), Triumphs of a Man Called Horse (1983), Wanted: Dead or Alive (1986) and in dozens of other movies and television shows spanning forty years.
In Back to the Future Part III (1990) she performed as stunt double for Mary Steenburgen and in Thelma and Louise (1991) Marguerite appeared as stunt double for Susan Sarandon’s Louise.
Marguerite is a member of The Women’s Professional Rodeo Association. Her specialty is horse work, although she has joined the ranks of well-rounded stuntwomen.
Marguerite Happy was inducted into the Hollywood Stuntmen’s Hall of Fame in 2010.
Sources: IMDb, Moab Happenings
Clifford Happy was born to Don and Edith Happy in Newhall, California and grew up around the rodeo business. Edith is an inductee of The National Cowboy Hall of Fame and the Pro Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame. Don was an NFR pick-up man in 1961 and 1962. Clifford worked every event excelling in steer wrestling, calf roping, saddle bronc and bareback riding, getting his RCA card at the young age of 13.
Cliff’s father Don opened doors for him into the motion picture industry where he has worked as both an actor (1978-2003) and as a stuntman with over 70 appearances (1978-2007). As an established, well rounded, working stuntman Cliff was asked to join the Stuntmen’s Association of Motion Pictures.
Since 1987 Cliff has been the personal stunt double for Tommy Lee Jones. Movies in which he has performed this role include The Fugitive (1993), Batman Forever (1995), Men In Black (1997), U.S. Marshals (1988), Double Jeopardy (1999), Space Cowboys (2000), Rules of Engagement (2000) and Men in Black II (2002).
Some of Clifford’s other credits include The Long Riders (1980), Red Dawn (1984), Silverado (1985), Ghostbusters II (1989) and Under Siege (1992).
In 2005 Cliff had the responsibility of stunt coordinator on The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada.
Cliff has appeared in many movies alongside his wife, stuntwoman Marguerite Happy. His and Marguerite’s two sons, Sean and Ryan, are third generation stuntmen and are carrying on the family legacy.
Clifford Happy was honored with the Silver Spur Award in 2012.
Sources: IMDb and Moab Happenings