Western Legends Roundup in Kanab, Utah – Part II | TheFencePost.com

Western Legends Roundup in Kanab, Utah – Part II

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Everyone who watched television westerns from 1962 through 1971 remembers the NBC series, “The Virginian” starring James Drury. It was the first 90-minute TV series. Besides the soft-spoken James Drury, we all loved actor Doug McClure on that show. He was the handsome, blonde, supporting actor who played “Trampas.”

Regretfully, Doug McClure died in Feb. 5, 1995, at age 59 of lung cancer, but he was fondly remembered by James Drury and fellow actors in a panel discussion led by Peter Brown of the “Lawman.” Brown had the crowd laughing with his funny McClure stories at the recent Western Legends Roundup in Kanab, Utah.

The classic book, “The Virginian” was written by Owen Wister, who is considered “the father of the Western novel.” Wister was a Philadelphian, a graduate of Harvard, and a college classmate of President Teddy Roosevelt. After traveling throughout the west himself, Owen Wister and Teddy Roosevelt, who hunted many seasons in western Colorado, shared a common love of the West. Wister was also a close friend of one of America’s most famous western landscape artists and sculptors, Frederic Remington, whom he met in Yellowstone.

“The Virginian,” published in 1902, took the Broadway stage in 1904. It was made into a movie four times. The first two in 1914 and 1923 were silent movies. The others were (1929) with Gary Cooper in the lead role, followed by (1946) Joel McCrea as the Virginian. But on television, James Drury literally became the Virginian and, although he played many other parts later, has always been associated with that show because of his outstanding performances over the nine years on television.

At the Roundup in Kanab, we were lucky enough to meet James Drury personally and chat about his films.

James Drury, 76, lives in Houston, Texas, with his wife of 30 years. He participates in many of these Western shows and festivals, including overseas events, with fellow cowboy actors and actresses.

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We also asked him about a Western actor whom we know and have corresponded with, Harry “Dobie” Carey Jr. He said he had acted with him in a film and liked him. (Dobie, now 89, owned a ranch in Durango, Colo., but moved back to the Santa Barbara area a few years ago for his health and to be near his daughters and grand-children.) We offered to share Dobie’s e-mail and mailing address with him, if he did not have it and he gave us his card.

James Drury is an avid sportsman. He has been quoted as saying, “Cowboy action shooting is the best way I know to promote our Second Amendment rights. We share a sense of history and connection with the old West.”

Everyone who watched television westerns from 1962 through 1971 remembers the NBC series, “The Virginian” starring James Drury. It was the first 90-minute TV series. Besides the soft-spoken James Drury, we all loved actor Doug McClure on that show. He was the handsome, blonde, supporting actor who played “Trampas.”

Regretfully, Doug McClure died in Feb. 5, 1995, at age 59 of lung cancer, but he was fondly remembered by James Drury and fellow actors in a panel discussion led by Peter Brown of the “Lawman.” Brown had the crowd laughing with his funny McClure stories at the recent Western Legends Roundup in Kanab, Utah.

The classic book, “The Virginian” was written by Owen Wister, who is considered “the father of the Western novel.” Wister was a Philadelphian, a graduate of Harvard, and a college classmate of President Teddy Roosevelt. After traveling throughout the west himself, Owen Wister and Teddy Roosevelt, who hunted many seasons in western Colorado, shared a common love of the West. Wister was also a close friend of one of America’s most famous western landscape artists and sculptors, Frederic Remington, whom he met in Yellowstone.

“The Virginian,” published in 1902, took the Broadway stage in 1904. It was made into a movie four times. The first two in 1914 and 1923 were silent movies. The others were (1929) with Gary Cooper in the lead role, followed by (1946) Joel McCrea as the Virginian. But on television, James Drury literally became the Virginian and, although he played many other parts later, has always been associated with that show because of his outstanding performances over the nine years on television.

At the Roundup in Kanab, we were lucky enough to meet James Drury personally and chat about his films.

James Drury, 76, lives in Houston, Texas, with his wife of 30 years. He participates in many of these Western shows and festivals, including overseas events, with fellow cowboy actors and actresses.

We also asked him about a Western actor whom we know and have corresponded with, Harry “Dobie” Carey Jr. He said he had acted with him in a film and liked him. (Dobie, now 89, owned a ranch in Durango, Colo., but moved back to the Santa Barbara area a few years ago for his health and to be near his daughters and grand-children.) We offered to share Dobie’s e-mail and mailing address with him, if he did not have it and he gave us his card.

James Drury is an avid sportsman. He has been quoted as saying, “Cowboy action shooting is the best way I know to promote our Second Amendment rights. We share a sense of history and connection with the old West.”