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STUNTS, STARS & LEGENDS - October 2017

Richard Farnsworth
For more than 30 years as a top stuntman, moved into acting and became an acclaimed character actor, Richard Farnsworth was a native of Los Angeles. He grew up around horses and as a teenager was offered an opportunity to ride in films. He appeared in horse-racing scenes and cavalry charges, first as a general rider and later as a stuntman. His riding and stunting skills gained him regular work doubling stars ranging from Roy Rogers to Gary Cooper, and he often doubled the bad guy as well. Although, like most stuntmen, he was occasionally given a line or two of dialogue, it was not until Farnsworth was over 50 that his natural talent for acting and his ease and warmth before the camera became apparent. When he won an Academy Award nomination for his role in “Comes a Horseman” (1978), it came as a surprise to many in the industry that this “newcomer” had been around since the 1930s. Farnsworth followed his Oscar nomination with a number of finely wrought performances, including “The Grey Fox” (1982) and “The Natural” (1984). In 1999 he came out of. semi-retirement for a tour-de-force portrayal in “The Straight Story” (1999).
Dick Farnsworth is an honored Inductee into the Hollywood Stuntmen’s Hall of Fame.

Buck Taylor III
Walter Clarence Taylor III, known as Buck Taylor is best known for his role as gunsmith-turned-deputy Newly O’Brien on “Gunsmoke” television series. Taylor was a painter and painted the portrait of his friend James Arness. Taylor’s painting specialty is the American West, and each year, he creates the posters for several Texas rodeos. His father was the character actor Dub Taylor, sometimes known as “Cannonball” Taylor. Dub Taylor, one of cinema’s most prolific supporting actors, appeared with dozens of leading actors, including John Wayne and the musicians Tex Ritter and Bib Wills and the Texas Playboys.

Buck grew up on the various Hollywood sets, and was close to his father’s Texas friend, the Western actor Chill Wills.

Taylor graduated from North Hollywood High School and studied theatre arts at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. In 1960, he tried out for the Olympic Games in gymnastics. He served two years in the United States Navy.

“Gunsmoke” introduced Taylor on a weekly basis to millions of viewers as the handsome younggunsmith Newly. He actually appeared in an earlier segment of the series as an outlaw. As Newly, he was clearly one of the “good guys” in the same tradition as James Arness as Matt Dillon. Taylor was actively involved in the preparation of the script for the 1987 “Gunsmoke”: Return to Dodge reunion film, by which time Milburn Stone, the cranky Doc Adams character, had died. Ken Curtis, who had portrayed the deputy Festus Haggen, felt shortchanged by the offer of less pay than Amanda Blake passed on the project.

In 1991, Taylor co-starred with Curtis in what turned out to be Curtis’ last acting role in the film version of Louis L’Amour’s “Conagher”, and also starred Taylor’s friend Sam Elliott and Elliott’s wife, Katherine Ross.

James Arness
James Arness (Matt Dillon), “Gunsmoke” TV series (1955-1975), being foot printed in Moab (1993), by John Hagner, founder of Hollywood Stuntmen’s Hall of Fame.

If interested in learning more about the Hall of Fame, please contact John Hagner (Founder) at 435 260-2160.
Hall of Fame website:

John Hagner (Founder) is also the Artist of the Stars.
His Celebrity Portrait Drawings are available at telephone 435-259-7000,
Mailing address: 50 W. 400 N, Moab, Utah 84532.
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