Clint Walker

Actor


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his nearly three-hour Archive interview, Clint Walker (1927-2018) talks about the many odd jobs he held before embarking on a film and television career. He tells how he ventured out to Hollywood and landed a role in Cecil B. DeMille's "The Ten Commandments," and how the role led to other film projects and eventually a contract with Warner Brothers. Walker then details the series for which he's best know, Cheyenne, in which he played the title character, "Cheyenne Bodie." He describes auditioning for the role, how he kept in shape, and the many stunts he performed on the program. He outlines the show's production schedule, speaks about his co-stars and famous guest-stars, and explains the importance of Cheyenne as television's first hour-long Western. He explains why he believes Westerns were so popular in the 1950s and why their popularity waned. Walker then talks of his famous contract dispute with Jack Warner, chronicles how Ty Hardin came to play the lead in Cheyenne, and gives his reasons for returning and then ultimately leaving the program. He talks about other film and television appearances, including those in "The Night of the Grizzly," the made-for-television movie Yuma, and the series Kodiak. Stephen J. Abramson conducted the interview on September 21, 2012 in Beverly Hills, CA.

"I think they had all the leading men available in Hollywood to test for 'Cheyenne' two days in a row and they had me test with them. The first day I was very, very nervous. I could see all these people that I'd seen in pictures over the years and I thought, 'I don't stand a chance.' The second day I thought, 'I'm not going to get the job anyway so why don't I just relax and enjoy it.' Which I did. Then the next thing I heard about four days later was Jack Warner reviewed all the stuff, pointed to me and said, 'That is 'Cheyenne.''"

Highlights
Clint Walker on advice to aspiring actors
00:35
Clint Walker on getting cast in "The Dirty Dozen"
00:47
Clint Walker on realizing how famous he was
01:02
Clint Walker on the legacy of Cheyenne
02:24
Clint Walker on 1974's Kodiak
01:28
Clint Walker on Cheyenne being one of the first successful Westerns
03:48
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early years and influences; on Jack Warner giving him the name "Clint"; on odd jobs he held over the years and his fascination with tools
13:30
On his high school years and working on a river-boat; on serving in the Merchant Marines during World War II; on how he got to Hollywood
15:19
On getting a role in Cecil B. DeMille's "The Ten Commandments"; on his first film job; on getting a contract at Warner Brothers and winning the lead in Cheyenne
08:13
On the premise of Cheyenne; on doing film roles while also doing a TV show; on shooting the first episode of Cheyenne; on his character, "Cheyenne Bodie"
21:21

Chapter 2

On his hat and ensemble as "Cheyenne Bodie"; on what he had in common with "Cheyenne"; on heading up a parade in his hometown; on his approach to acting
07:11
On the format, guest stars, and stunts on Cheyenne; on a typical production day and fellow actors who appeared on the show
20:22
On his height, Cheyenne's shooting schedule, and the birth and appeal of the Western genre
13:48
On the producers, directors, and showrunners on Cheyenne; on shooting on location and on the backlot; on how he stayed in shape
09:41
On wanting to do features; on Ty Hardin becoming the lead in Cheyenne when Walker had a contract dispute and Hardin spinning off in Bronco
09:17

Chapter 3

On difficult shooting circumstances on Cheyenne; on contract negotiations with Jack Warner and wanting to do features
04:10
On favorite episodes and storylines on Cheyenne; on fame
03:26
On the popularity and subsequent demise of television Westerns; on attending memorabilia events
06:27
On guest-starring on other television series; on his role in the film "The Dirty Dozen"; on the favorite of his feature films - "The Night of the Grizzly"
10:33
On appearing in Aaron Spelling's TV movie Yuma; on 1974's Kodiak; on playing "Cheyenne Bodie" in projects other than Cheyenne
04:20
On his skiing accident and how it affected him; on current (2012) projects; on his proudest achievements and how he'd like to be remembered
11:21
Shows

Bronco

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Clint Walker on Ty Hardin becoming the lead in Cheyenne when Walker had a contract dispute and Hardin spinning off in Bronco
09:17

Cheyenne

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Clint Walker on winning the starring role in Cheyenne as part of the new WB television lineup: King's Row, Casablanca, and Cheyenne
01:27
Clint Walker on the premise, setting, and sound effects of Cheyenne
03:00
Clint Walker on the theme song to Cheyenne
00:12
Clint Walker on his tall stature helping him in certain instances, and hindering in others
02:15
Clint Walker on his schedule while shooting Cheyenne; on performing at rodeos and not getting a cut of Cheyenne merchandising 
01:50
Clint Walker on his approach to playing "Cheyenne Bodie" on Cheyenne
01:49
Clint Walker on shooting the first episode of Cheyenne
04:07
Clint Walker on his character, "Cheyenne Bodie", on Cheyenne; on riding horses
06:58
Clint Walker on how "Cheyenne" dressed
00:44
Clint Walker on the format, guest stars, and stunts on Cheyenne
08:30
Clint Walker on a typical production day on Cheyenne; on "Smitty" leaving the show
04:15
Clint Walker on actors who appeared on Cheyenne
07:37
Clint Walker on how his height affected his performance on Cheyenne
00:36
Clint Walker on the typical shooting schedule on Cheyenne; on rehearsal and improvisation
07:05
Clint Walker on Cheyenne being the first hour-long Western on television and the advantages over half-hour Westerns
01:33
Clint Walker on the popularity of Cheyenne; on the popularity of Westerns
04:34
Clint Walker on the producers, showrunners, and directors on Cheyenne
03:03
Clint Walker on location and backlot shooting on Cheyenne
01:05
Clint Walker on how he stayed in shape on Cheyenne; on the popularity of Westerns
04:21
Clint Walker on Ty Hardin becoming the lead in Cheyenne when Walker had a contract dispute and Hardin spinning off in Bronco
09:17
Clint Walker on working with stuntman Hal Needham on Cheyenne
00:41
Clint Walker on not complaining during an uncomfortable staged fight with Leslie H. Martinson on the set of Cheyenne
01:58
Clint Walker on favorite episodes and storylines on Cheyenne
02:24
Clint Walker on the legacy of Cheyenne; on questions he still gets from fans
05:36

Jack Benny Program, The

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Clint Walker on guest-starring on The Jack Benny Show
01:45
Topics

Bloopers

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Clint Walker on being overly tired on the set of Cheyenne and misspeaking a line about gun butts.
04:16

Characters & Catchphrases

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Clint Walker on his approach to playing "Cheyenne Bodie" on Cheyenne
01:23
Clint Walker on his character, "Cheyenne Bodie", on Cheyenne; on riding horses
06:58

Fame and Celebrity

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Clint Walker on fame
01:02

Memorable Moments on Television

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Clint Walker on guest-starring on The Jack Benny Show
01:45

Pop Culture

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Clint Walker on the theme song to Cheyenne
00:12
Clint Walker on his approach to playing "Cheyenne Bodie" on Cheyenne
01:23
Clint Walker on his character, "Cheyenne Bodie", on Cheyenne; on riding horses
06:58

TV Theme Songs

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Clint Walker on the theme song to Cheyenne
00:12

TV's Golden Age (1940s & '50s)

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Clint Walker on the legacy of Cheyenne
02:24

Television Industry

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Clint Walker on Ty Hardin becoming the lead in Cheyenne when Walker had a contract dispute and Hardin spinning off in Bronco
09:17
Clint Walker on fame
01:02

War

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Clint Walker on serving in the Merchant Marines during World War II
01:33

World War II

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Clint Walker on serving in the Merchant Marines during World War II
01:33
Professions

Actor

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Clint Walker on his approach to acting
02:36

Performers

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Clint Walker on his approach to acting
02:36
Genres

Western Series

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Clint Walker on winning the starring role in Cheyenne; on the setting, premise, and theme song  
05:14
Clint Walker on his approach to playing "Cheyenne Bodie"; on the ins and outs of the character, and shooting the first episode of Cheyenne
13:41
Clint Walker on Cheyenne being one of the first successful Westerns; on Westerns as a format
03:48
Clint Walker on his ensemble, format, guest stars, and stunts on Cheyenne; on a typical production day
27:33
Clint Walker on the producers, directors, and showrunners on Cheyenne; on shooting on location and on the backlot; on how he stayed in shape
09:41
Clint Walker on Ty Hardin becoming the lead in Cheyenne when Walker had a contract dispute and Hardin spinning off in Bronco
09:17
Clint Walker on the popularity and subsequent demise of television Westerns
00:51
Clint Walker on favorite episodes, storylines, and fan reactions to Cheyenne
09:53
People

Lucille Ball

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Clint Walker on working with Lucille Ball
00:13

Richard Bare

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Clint Walker on his favorite directors on Cheyenne - Richard Bare
01:11

Jack Benny

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Clint Walker on guest-starring on The Jack Benny Show
01:45

Dan Blocker

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Clint Walker on actors who appeared on Cheyenne - Dan Blocker
00:08

Cecil B. DeMille

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Clint Walker on getting a role in Cecil B. DeMille's "The Ten Commandments"
03:54

Angie Dickinson

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Clint Walker on actors who appeared on Cheyenne - Angie Dickinson
00:21

James Drury

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Clint Walker on sitting next to James Drury (The Virginian) at memorabilia events
01:12

Jack Elam

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Clint Walker on actors who appeared on Cheyenne - Jack Elam
04:54

James Garner

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Clint Walker on actors who appeared on Cheyenne - James Garner
01:02

Dennis Hopper

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Clint Walker on actors who appeared on Cheyenne - Dennis Hopper
00:25

Roy Huggins

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Clint Walker on the producers and showrunners of Cheyenne - Roy Huggins
00:48

Michael Landon

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Clint Walker on actors who appeared on Cheyenne - Michael Landon
00:41

Leslie H. Martinson

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Clint Walker on not complaining during an uncomfortable staged fight with Leslie H. Martinson on the set of Cheyenne
01:58

Hal Needham

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Clint Walker on working with stuntman Hal Needham on Cheyenne
00:41

Aaron Spelling

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Clint Walker on appearing in Aaron Spelling's TV movie Yuma
01:12

Jack L. Warner

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Clint Walker on getting a contract at Warner Brothers
00:40
Clint Walker on winning the starring role in Cheyenne as part of the new WB television lineup: King's Row, Casablanca, and Cheyenne
01:27
Clint Walker on his contract dispute and leaving Cheyenne
09:17
Clint Walker on contract negotiations with Jack Warner and wanting to do features
02:22

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