John Pickard (American actor)
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|John M. Pickard|
June 25, 1913|
Lascassas, Rutherford County
|Died||August 4, 1993
Rutherford County, Tennessee
Cause of death
|Attack by a bull|
|Other names||Jack Pickard|
|Spouse(s)||Ann M. Pickard (?-1993, his death) 1 child|
Pickard was born in Lascassas in Rutherford County, near Murfreesboro in central Tennessee. He graduated from the Nashville Conservatory in Nashville, Tennessee. His first acting roles were small parts in films, mostly uncredited, beginning in 1936 as a dueling soldier in the picture Mary of Scotland, based on the 16th-century queen, Mary of Scotland.
Pickard returned to acting after the war and appeared in supporting roles in scores of westerns and action dramas before landing the starring role in the syndicated television series, Boots and Saddles, set on an Arizona fort in the late 19th century. His second film role,[clarification needed] also uncredited, came in John Wayne's Wake of the Red Witch (1948).
Pickard's first television guest-starring roles were in crime dramas in 1951 and 1952, respectively -- Racket Squad, with Reed Hadley, and Boston Blackie. In 1954, he guest starred on the legal drama, The Public Defender, again with Reed Hadley. He was also cast on the syndicated western anthology series, Stories of the Century, with Jim Davis, and later on Davis' other series, Rescue 8, based on stories of the Los Angeles County Fire Department. Pickard appeared on Hopalong Cassidy and in 1956 on the CBS children’s western My Friend Flicka. That same year he was cast in another anthology series, Navy Log, and in an episode of Jack Webb's NBC series, Dragnet. He appeared in a 1956 episode of the TV Series The Lone Ranger entitled "Trouble at Tylerville".
From 1957 to 1958, he filled the lead role of Captain Shank Adams on Boots and Saddles, with episodes set in the Arizona Territory on a United States Army fort. Afterwards, Pickard guest starred in many more westerns including Tales of the Texas Rangers, Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theater, Yancy Derringer, Wagon Train, Johnny Ringo, Tales of Wells Fargo, The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp, The Texan, The Rebel, Laramie, The Rifleman, Empire, Rawhide, The Wild Wild West, and The Virginian. From 1960 to 1975, he appeared in twelve episodes of the long-running CBS western, Gunsmoke, with James Arness, who in 1955 had beaten out Pickard for the series lead as Marshal Matt Dillon.
In 1959, Pickard was cast, uncredited, as a Mississippi River pirate in the episode "The Unwilling" of the NBC western series, Riverboat, starring Darren McGavin and Burt Reynolds. In the story line, businessman Dan Simpson, played by Eddie Albert, attempts to open a general store in the American West despite a raid from river pirates who stole from him $20,000 in merchandise. Debra Paget is cast in this episode as Lela Russell, and Russell Johnson, as Darius.
In addition to roles in westerns, Pickard also guest starred in several dramatic series. He made four appearances on Perry Mason, all as law-enforcement officials. Other television series' include Lassie, Ben Casey, Ironside, Mission: Impossible, and Cannon.
On August 4, 1993, Pickard, at the age of eighty, was killed by a bull on the family farm in Rutherford County, Tennessee. He was survived by his wife, Ann M. Pickard, and one adult child, three grandchildren, and numerous great-grandchildren.