Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Blast from the Past: TV Western Star, Paul Brinegar

I just finished watching the last episode of the third season of the classic Western, Rawhide. I have spent the last few months watching the first four seasons of the this show while having my daily lunch break, and by gosh, what a great series it was!

Following the Sedalia Trail, Gil Favor (Eric Fleming) leads a band of cowpokes driving their herd to market. The outfit crosses paths with good guys and bad guys along the way in this 1950s Western series that features a memorable theme sung by Frankie Laine. The supporting cast includes a young Clint Eastwood (who gained fame for his portrayal of ramrod, Rowdy Yates), Sheb Wooley (as trail scout, Pete Nolan), and Paul Brinegar (as the grizzled Mountain-Man-turned-drive-cook, Wishbone).

Although he was portraying a 65-year-old man in the series, Brinegar was only 41 at the time the show was first filmed. When his hair started turning gray at the age of 32, he began to appreciate his receding hairline and craggy, lined face as profitable attributes in the acting business. The popular role of Wishbone (from Rawhide) followed Brinegar during his career, and was loosely carried over into the 1968-1970 CBS Western series, Lancer, in which he played the character of ranch handyman, Jelly Hoskins.

With acting credits far too numerous to list here, among them he appeared in 226 episodes of Rawhide, 51 episodes of Lancer, 38 episodes of Wyatt Earp, and 13 episodes of Matt Houston. More... ~Jean

Read the entire feature on Paul Brinegar at Taos Unlimited in our newest entertainment section, My Baby Loves the Western Movies

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