Robert Horton (actor)

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Robert Horton
Robert horton 1976.JPG
Horton in 1976 as a guest on Police Woman
Born Meade Howard Horton, Jr.
(1924-07-29) July 29, 1924 (age 90)
Los Angeles, California
United States
Residence Encino, Los Angeles County
Occupation Television, film, stage actor, singer
Spouse(s) Marilynn Bradley Horton

Robert Horton (born Meade Howard Horton, Jr., on July 29, 1924, in Los Angeles, California) is an American television actor, who was most noted for the role from 1957 to 1962 of the frontier scout Flint McCullough in the NBC Western television series, Wagon Train. His costars were Ward Bond, John McIntire, Terry Wilson, and Frank McGrath. Horton quit that series to pursue a career in musical theater.[1] His Wagon Train role was replaced by that of Robert Fuller as the scout Cooper Smith, and thereafter the series moved to ABC. Fuller, a veteran of the western series Laramie, resembled Horton and the two actors coincidentally shared the same birthday, albeit nine years apart.

According to the April 20, 1959, issue of Time magazine, Horton's measurements were 42-31-40.

Horton played Ronald W. Reagan's role in the television version of Kings Row (1955), which featured Jack Kelly and ran for seven episodes as part of the Warner Bros. Presents series, rotating with a television version of Casablanca and Cheyenne, starring Clint Walker, the first television western in a 60-minute format.

The ruggedly handsome Horton made dozens of appearances in movies and television shows between 1951 and 1989, including a small role in the film Bright Road starring Dorothy Dandridge, an episode of Ray Milland's CBS sitcom, Meet Mr. McNutley, and on the syndicated Sheriff of Cochise, starring John Bromfield. Horton played Corporal Tom Vaughn in the 1956 episode "False Prophet" of the religion anthology series, Crossroads.

Horton appeared on seven episodes of the anthology series, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, including memorably as a tennis-playing bookie and blackmailer opposite Betsy von Furstenberg in "The Disappearing Trick", directed by Arthur Hiller. He was cast as Danny Barnes in the episode "No Place to Hide" of the CBS anthology series The DuPont Show with June Allyson and on the NBC interview program Here's Hollywood and NBC's anthology series, The Barbara Stanwyck Show. He appeared several times also on NBC's The Ford Show, Starring Tennessee Ernie Ford.

Horton in Wagon Train

Horton is also remembered for his offbeat role as a cowboy amnesiac in his 1965-1966 ABC television series A Man Called Shenandoah. Horton even took a turn in daytime soap operas, having played the part of Whit McColl from 1983 to 1984 on CBS's As the World Turns. In 1966, he starred in "The Dangerous Days of Kiowa Jones", the first Western made specifically for television and simultaneous distribution to cinemas in Europe. It was made by MGM and co-starred Sal Mineo and Diane Baker.

He went on to perform for many years in theaters and nightclubs all over America and in Australia as a singer (sometimes with his wife, the former Marilynn Bradley). In 1963, producer David Merrick hired him as the male lead in the musical version of N. Richard Nash's play The Rainmaker (entitled 110 in the Shade), in the part played on the screen by Burt Lancaster. The musical, which boasted a score by Tom Jones (writer) and Harvey Schmidt, ran for 330 performances on Broadway.

Horton is also an accomplished pilot and aircraft owner, having once said in a 'Plane and Pilot' interview, "His three greatest thrills were his first solo flight, a performance before Queen Elizabeth II, and being featured on Ralph Edwards' This Is Your Life. His frequent copilot was his French Poodle, "Jamie".[2]

Horton has been the recipient of several lifetime achievement awards for television, including the prestigious Golden Boot, and recently the Cowboy Spirit Award at the National Festival of the West. Horton and his wife reside in the Encino section of Los Angeles.

Actor Robert Fuller is sometimes described as having replaced Horton on Wagon Train. Though Fuller did have a role on the program after Horton departed, according to an August 17, 2009 interview with Fuller in On Screen and Beyond, he did not replace him. The two are sometimes confused with each other because of a general physical resemblance and because they have the same birthday, July 29, though Horton is nine years older than Fuller.[3]

On July 29, 2009, Horton celebrated his 85th Birthday. According to his publicist, he would no longer be making any personal appearances, because he claimed he was growing tired of the traveling.[4] Five years later, on July 29, 2014, Horton celebrated his 90th Birthday. In honor of his nonagenarian birthday, the Presentation of the Western Legend Award was bestowed to him.[5]

Selected filmography[edit]


External links[edit]