Buck Taylor

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Buck Taylor
Walter Clarence Taylor III

(1938-05-13) May 13, 1938 (age 85)
Occupation(s)Actor, artist
Years active1961–present
(m. 1961; div. 1983)
Goldie Ann Taylor
(m. 1995)
ParentDub Taylor (father)

Buck Taylor (born Walter Clarence Taylor III,[1][2] May 13, 1938)[3] is an American actor and artist, best known for his role as gunsmith-turned-deputy Newly O'Brian in the CBS television series Gunsmoke.

Early life and career[edit]

Taylor is the son of character actor Dub Taylor,[4] from whom Buck reportedly acquired his nickname simply because, having clocked in at a hefty nine pounds at birth, he "looked like a big buck."[1] Taylor graduated from North Hollywood High School, where he became a talented gymnast. Actor Guinn "Big Boy" Williams sponsored him to go to the U.S. Olympic Trials as a gymnast, but he failed to qualify for the 1960 Summer Olympics.[5] He served two years in the United States Navy.[6]

His first important acting role was as Trooper Shattuck in the 1961 Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theatre episode "Image of a Drawn Sword". His other early roles were in a 1964 episode of The Outer Limits entitled "Don’t Open Till Doomsday", and as John Bradford (Brad) in four episodes of the 1966 ABC Western series The Monroes.[7]


From 1967 to 1975, Taylor played Newly O'Brian in the television series Gunsmoke.[8]: 413–414  He replaced deputy marshal Clayton Thaddeus Greenwood, played by Roger Ewing, after Ewing left the show.[8] The character came to Dodge City as a gunsmith, and later became a deputy marshal. He reprised his role in the 1987 television movie Gunsmoke: Return to Dodge,[9] where he played the city's marshal.

In 1981, the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum inducted Taylor into the Cowboy Hall of Fame, and awarded him the Trustee Award for his performance on Gunsmoke.[10]


Taylor attended the Chouinard Art Institute, and has been selling his watercolor and acrylic paintings of cowboys, Native Americans, and horses since 1993.[10] Many of his paintings are of characters and scenes from movies and television series in which he has appeared. These images are made into prints, which are sold in various sizes.[11] He is the official artist for many rodeos and state fairs, and creates their promotional posters.[12]




Year Title Role Notes
1962 The Alfred Hitchcock Hour Officer Frazier Season 1 Episode 10: "Day of Reckoning"
1963 Going My Way Mickey Episode 15: "My Son The Social Worker"
1963 Johnny Shiloh Josh TV movie
1963 The Fugitive Jamie episode "Terror At High Point"
1964 The Outer Limits Gard Hayde episode "Do Not Open 'Til Doomsday"
1965 The Alfred Hitchcock Hour Dancer Smith Season 3 Episode 20: "Death Scene"
1965 The Big Valley Turk episode "The Young Marauders"
1966 The Virginian Lem Bliss [ men with guns]
1966 The Monroes John "Brad" Bradford 4 episodes 1967–1975 Gunsmoke Newly O'Brien 103 episodes[13]
1977 Barnaby Jones Foster episode "Shadow of Fear"
1979 The Sacketts Reed Carney TV movie
1985 General Hospital Ralph Russell
1985 Crazy Like a Fox Blake
1987 The Alamo: 13 Days to Glory “Colorado” Smith miniseries
1987 Gunsmoke: Return to Dodge Newly O’Brien TV movie
1997 Rough Riders George Neville miniseries
1999 The Soul Collector Charlie TV movie
2018–2022 Yellowstone Emmett Walsh


  1. ^ a b Yoggy, Gary A. (1995). Riding the Video Range: The Rise and Fall of the Western on Television. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company. p. 123. ISBN 9780786400218.
  2. ^ Aaker, Everett (2017). Television Western Players, 1960-1975: A Biographical Dictionary. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company. p. 408. ISBN 978-1-4766-6250-3.
  3. ^ Duffin, Allan; Matheis, Paul (2005). The 12 O'Clock High Logbook: The Unofficial History of the Novel, Motion Picture, and TV Series. BearManor Media. p. 185. ISBN 9781593930332 – via Google Books.
  4. ^ Dub Taylor, 87, Actor in Westerns, The New York Times, October 5, 1994, Section B, Page 12
  5. ^ Artist and Actor Finds Inspiration for Art from Work on Western Films, American Cowboy, September - October, 1995, Pages 23 and 30
  6. ^ At Home with Walter Clarence "Buck" Taylor III at americancowboy.com. Retrieved August 21, 2020.
  7. ^ Brooks, Tim and Marsh, Earle, The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows 1946 - Present, pages 679 to 680, Ballantine Books, 1999
  8. ^ a b Brooks, Tim; Marsh, Earle (1999). The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows 1946-Present. Ballantine Books. p. 570. ISBN 9780345429230 – via Google Books.
  9. ^ Maltin, Leonard, Leonard Maltin's TV Movies and Video Guide, 1991 Edition, Plume, 1990
  10. ^ a b Meetings, The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Vol. 100, No. 1, July, 1996, Page 94
  11. ^ Artist and Actor Finds Inspiration for Art from Work on Western Films, American Cowboy, September - October 1995, Pages 23 and 30
  12. ^ Bell, Kathy, The Life of Buck Taylor, Daily Globe, December 2, 2019
  13. ^ Greenland, David R., The Gunsmoke Chronicles (Ebook), BearManor Media, 2015