Larry Ward (actor)
October 3, 1924|
Columbus, Ohio, USA
|Died||February 16, 1985
Los Angeles, California
|Occupation||Actor: The Dakotas|
Ward was born in Columbus, Ohio. His father was a former college football coach and a member of the Ohio State Senate. Ward studied at a number of universities before joining the United States Navy, where he served for three years.
Enrolling in the American Theatre Wing under the G.I. Bill of Rights, Ward soon appeared in several outstanding productions. He turned his talents to writing but also kept his hand in the acting profession by appearing in a television soap opera titled The Brighter Day in 1954. Here he played a character called Dr. Randy Hamilton, but Ward had his sights set on Hollywood and left the show in 1957 when his character died of a myocardial infarction.
Ward got his break in 1962 while he was visiting the Warner Brothers studio to discuss a film script with producer Jules Schermer, who was so impressed with his appearance that he gave him a minor part as Blake Stevens in the episode "The Holdout" of the western series Lawman, starring John Russell and Peter Brown, which was filming the following morning during its last season on the air. This break was followed by minor roles in other TV series, and in 1963 Schermer gave Ward the starring role of U.S. Marshal Frank Ragan in a new western series called The Dakotas, which also featured Chad Everett, Mike Greene, and Jack Elam as Ward's deputies. The series was suddenly canceled after a public outcry over the nineteenth episode, in which a priest was injured during a gunfight at a church.
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