McClure in 1961
|Born||Douglas Osborne McClure
May 11, 1935
Glendale, California, U.S.
|Died||February 5, 1995
Sherman Oaks, California, U.S.
|Cause of death||Lung cancer|
|Resting place||Woodlawn Memorial Cemetery at Santa Monica, California|
|Alma mater||University of California, Los Angeles|
|Spouse(s)||Faye Brash (m. 1957–61) (divorced) (1 child)
Barbara Luna (m. 1961–63) (divorced)
Helen Crane (m. 1965–68) (divorced)
Diane Soldani (m. 1970–79) (divorced) (1 child)
Diane Furnberg (m. 1979–95) (his death)
Douglas Osborne McClure (May 11, 1935 – February 5, 1995) was an American actor whose career in film and television extended from the 1950s to the 1990s. He is best known for his role as the cowboy Trampas during the entire run from 1962 to 1971 of the NBC Western series, The Virginian, loosely based on the Owen Wister novel.
McClure was born in Glendale, California. His English mother, Clara Elsie (née Barker; 1907–1997), had moved to the United States from her native United Kingdom in 1915, when her widowed mother married an American, Frank S Artman. Clara Barker was naturalized as an American citizen in 1918, and married Irish-American Donald Reed McClure (1904–1965) in 1929. Donald and Clara were parents to Donald Reed McClure Jr. (1931–2003) and then Doug. The widowed Clara would marry former Beverly Hills mayor Frank Clapp in 1971.
McClure's acting career included such films as The Enemy Below, The Unforgiven and Because They're Young, before he landed the role of Trampas on The Virginian – a role that would make him famous. He also starred:
- As Frank "Flip" Flippen on NBC's western, Overland Trail (1960), with co-star William Bendix
- As Jed Sills on the CBS detective series Checkmate (1960–62) opposite Anthony George as Don Corey and Sebastian Cabot as Dr. Carl Hyatt
- As C.R. (Christopher Robin) Grover in the sci-fi/detective series Search (1972–1973) in which he rotated the lead with Hugh O'Brian and Anthony Franciosa as a high-tech PROBE agent
- As Mayor Kyle Applegate on the fantasy sitcom Out of This World (1987–1991)
McClure had a minor role in 1957 as an Army officer in "California Gold Rush in Reverse" on the syndicated anthology series Death Valley Days. The episode is a dramatization of the race in 1848 between the Army and the Navy to be the first to deliver gold nuggets from California to Washington, D.C.
He appeared as Adam Davis in 1959 in the episode "The Court Martial of Trooper Davis" of another syndicated Western series, Mackenzie's Raiders, starring Richard Carlson and set in southwest Texas.
Then in 1962, he was cast as Trampas on NBC's The Virginian. His co-stars throughout the series were James Drury, Roberta Shore, Lee J. Cobb, Randy Boone, Gary Clarke, Clu Gulager, Diane Roter, Charles Bickford, Sara Lane, Tim Matheson, Jeanette Nolan and John McIntire.
After The Virginian ended in 1971, McClure was slated to co-star with Bette Davis on a series about a parolee assisting a judge, played by Davis, by doing detective work. The pilot, produced and written by the prolific team of Richard Levinson and William Link, failed to generate interest in the series and was released as a telemovie under the title The Judge and Jake Wyler. McClure made one more attempt at a television series during the 1972–73 season by co-starring on SEARCH as a hi-tech investigator, rotating with Anthony Franciosa and Hugh O'Brian. He then shifted to low-budget science fiction films such as At the Earth's Core, The Land That Time Forgot and The People That Time Forgot, all three based on the novels of Edgar Rice Burroughs. In 1967, he played the Errol Flynn role in a remake of Against All Flags titled The King's Pirate. He was cast in the lead in three World War II adventures, The Longest Hundred Miles, The Birdmen, and State Of Division or Death Race. In the 1970s and 1980s, McClure appeared in commercials for Hamms Beer. McClure also appeared as the blonde slave to Jamie Farr's character in the sequel Cannonball Run II (1984).
He also had a cameo role as a poker player in the 1994 remake of Maverick.
In 1994, McClure was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Television at 7065 Hollywood Blvd. It was unveiled in what would be his final public appearance.
On February 5, 1995, McClure died at age 59 from lung cancer in Sherman Oaks, California. He is interred at Woodlawn Memorial Cemetery, in Santa Monica. McClure was married to his fifth wife at the time of his death, and was also survived by daughter Tané from his first marriage, and daughter Valerie from his fourth marriage. McClure was divorced four times, including twice while he was performing on The Virginian.
In popular culture
The character of Troy McClure on The Simpsons was modeled after McClure and fellow actor Troy Donahue. Mike Reiss, executive producer of The Simpsons, said that Doug McClure's daughter informed him that Doug was a big fan of The Simpsons. She said that while watching an episode Doug saw the character Troy McClure on the show and said, "Are they making fun of me?" Doug said he thought the parody was funny and his daughters would call him Troy McClure behind his back as a joke.
In the episode of Red Dwarf titled "Backwards", Rimmer and Kryten landed on Earth. When Rimmer asked Holly what the time period was, his question was, "Do we expect to see a herd of flesh-eating dinosaurs feeding off the bones of Doug McClure?" McClure is also referenced in the Red Dwarf episode "Legion" in an apology from Kryten to Lister about the evening movie - "I'm sorry sir, it is another Doug McClure. Please, don't hit me."
- The Enemy Below (1957)
- Gidget (1959)
- The Unforgiven (1960)
- Because They're Young (1960)
- The Lively Set (1964)
- Shenandoah (1965)
- Beau Geste (1966)
- The King's Pirate (1967)
- The Longest Hundred Miles (1967)
- Nobody's Perfect (1968)
- Backtrack (1969)
- The Birdmen (1971)
- Terror in the Sky (1971)
- The Death of Me Yet (1971)
- Playmates (1972)
- The Judge and Jake Wyler (1972)
- Death Race (1973)
- Satan's Triangle (1974)
- Hell Hounds of Alaska (1973)
- What Changed Charley Farthing (1974)
- The Land That Time Forgot (1975)
- At the Earth's Core (1976)
- SST: Death Flight (1977)
- The People That Time Forgot (1977)
- Warlords of Atlantis (1978)
- Wild and Wooly (1978)
- Humanoids from the Deep (1980)
- Firebird 2015 A.D. (1981)
- The House Where Evil Dwells (1982)
- Cannonball Run II (1984)
- 52 Pick-Up (1986)
- Omega Syndrome (1986)
- Tapeheads (1988)
- Dark Before Dawn (1988)
- Prime Suspect (1989)
- Battling for Baby (1992)
- Dead Man's Revenge (1993)
- Maverick (1994)
- Riders in the Storm (1995)
Other television roles
- Riverboat – Corporal Jenkins in "The Face of Courage" (1959)
- U.S. Marshal – Bruce Williams in "The Threat (1959)
- The Twilight Zone – Pete Grant (episode: "Mr. Denton on Doomsday," 1959)
- COronado 9 – Jimmy Hoke in "The Widow of Kill Cove" (1960)
- Hennesey – Seaman Davies in "Angel Face" (1960)
- Johnny Midnight – Rice in "Mother's Boy" (1960)
- Overland Trail – Frank Flippin (1960)
- Checkmate – Jed Sills (1960–62)
- The Virginian – Trampas (1962–71)
- The Longest Hundred Miles (1967)
- Barbary Coast – Cash Conover (1975)
- Satan's Triangle – Lt. J. Haig (1975)
- Search – C. R. Grover (1972–73)
- Roots – Jemmy Brent (1977)
- The Rebels – Eph Tait (1979)
- The Fall Guy (TV series) five episodes (once as Himself)
- Murder, She Wrote: "Steal Me a Story" (airdate November 15, 1987)
- Out of This World – Mayor Kyle Applegate (1987–1991)
- Matlock: "The Outcast" – Elliot Jones (7 Feb. 1992)
- In the Heat of the Night: "Time's Long Shadow" (1994)
- The Gambler Returns: The Luck of the Draw (1994)
- "Death Valley Days: "California Gold Rush in Reverse", 1957". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved October 29, 2012.
- Billy Hathorn, "Roy Bean, Temple Houston, Bill Longley, Ranald Mackenzie, Buffalo Bill Jr., and the Texas Rangers: Depictions of West Texans in Series Television, 1955 to 1967", West Texas Historical Review, Vol. 89 (2013), p. 113
- Shipman, David (7 Feb 1995). "OBITUARY: Doug McClure". The Independent. Retrieved July 7, 2016.
- Doug McClure Played Trampas and commercial Dick Kleiner syndicated column, Ocala Star-Banner, Oct 29, 1982.
- The Simpsons, Season 2 DVD, Episode: "Homer vs. Lisa and the 8th Commandment"
- "Red Dwarf Season 3 Episode 1: Backwards". planetsmeg.com. Retrieved November 9, 2015.
- "Red Dwarf Season 6 Episode 2: Legion". tv.com. Retrieved November 9, 2015.