James Drury Dies: Star Of Long-Running Western ‘The Virginian’ Was 85
James Drury, who performed the mysterious, anonymous title character on the 1960s NBC Western The Virginian, died at present of pure causes. He was 85. His dying was introduced on the actor’s Fb web page by his longtime assistant, Karen Lindsey.
“It’s with immense disappointment that I allow you to all know that James Drury, our beloved Virginian and pricey good friend handed away this morning of pure causes,” Lindsey wrote. “He will probably be missed a lot. It’s past phrases.”
The Virginian was TV’s first 90-minute Western and ended up being one in all its longest operating and enduring, airing practically 250 episodes from 1962-1971. Drury’s character by no means revealed his actual identify as he “compelled his thought of regulation and order on a Wyoming Territory neighborhood within the 1890s.” That was Medication Bow, and the Virginian was the foreman of Shiloh Ranch.
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The Virginian was primarily based on the 1904 novel that additionally impressed theatrical options in 1914, 1929 — with Gary Cooper performed the title position — and 1946.
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It was a slow-building sequence, ratings-wise, rating as No. 26 amongst all primetime sequence for its inaugural 1962-63 season. It might peak through the 1966-67 season, ending tied for 10th for the 12 months in a three-network period.
Simply final week, Drury made a quick look in a “We Journey Collectively” public-service announcement from INSP.
Earlier than he landed the Virginian gig, Drury guested on dozens of TV Westerns and some options beginning within the mid-1950s. He had roles on such sequence as Gunsmoke, Have Gun – Will Journey, Rawhide, Wagon Prepare, Cheyenne, Loss of life Valley Days and Perry Mason.
Lindsey mentioned memorial plans are TBA