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Star of ‘The Virginian’ Was 85 – Variety



James Drury, finest recognized for starring within the long-running Western collection “The Virginian,” died Monday of pure causes. He was 85.

His assistant, Karen Lindsey, posted the news on Facebook: “It’s with immense disappointment that I allow you to all know that James Drury, our beloved Virginian and pricey pal handed away this morning of pure causes, Monday, April 6, 2020. He might be missed a lot. It’s past phrases. Memorial service to be decided later.”

Drury was born April 18, 1934 in New York Metropolis. Throughout his childhood, the household made a number of journeys to the household ranch in Oregon, the place he developed a love for horses and the outside life. He first appeared on stage on the age of 8  when he performed King Herod in a youngsters’s Christmas play. He made his skilled appearing debut on the age of 12 in a touring firm of “Life With Father.”

Drury was skilled as an actor at New York College and credited with 12 Shakespeare roles. He went to Hollywood in 1954 and labored on “Blackboard Jungle,” “Forbidden Planet,” “The Tender Entice,” “Love Me Tender,” and “Pollyanna.” He visitor starred on “Playhouse 90,” “Gunsmoke,” “Cheyenne,” “Alfred Hitchcock Presents,” “Wagon Practice,” “Rawhide” and “Loss of life Valley Days” earlier than being solid within the lead position of “The Virginian” in 1962.

Drury’s quiet character had no identify apart from “The Virginian.” He portrayed the powerful foreman of the fictional Shiloh Ranch set within the latter a part of the 19th century within the Wyoming Territory. Most of the 249 episodes, airing over 9 seasons till 1971, concerned his character keeping off outlaws and rustlers. Every episode would run for 90 minutes.

“There have been instances after we had 5 ‘Virginian’ episodes capturing on the identical day,” Drury recalled in his biography on his official site. “I might actually trip on horseback from set to set to present two traces right here, three traces there, then over right here to do 10 pages of script.”

“The Virginian,” which aired on NBC, had the third-longest run of any TV Western, topped solely by CBS’s “Gunsmoke” (20 seasons) and NBC’s “Bonanza” (14). Drury and co-star Doug McClure appearsed on all 249 episodes.

In its final yr, the present was re-titled “The Males From Shiloh.” Within the ebook “A Historical past of Tv’s The Virginian, 1962-1971,” Drury stated he was unhappy that the present was canceled and added, “I might have gone on for an additional 10 years.”

Drury starred within the  ABC collection “Firehouse” and appeared on collection “Alias Smith and Jones,” “The Adventures of Brisco County Jr.,” “The Fall Man” and “Walker, Texas Ranger.” He had maintained an in depth touring schedule to Western occasions, eestivals and autograph exhibits throughout the nation “talking in regards to the West and the way cowboy values formed our nation and the way these values nonetheless maintain true to those that will adhere to them.”

His third spouse, Carl Ann, died in August.

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