Don Collier, the rugged actor who built a career filled with westerns with turns in three John Wayne films and worked on shows such as The Haut Chaparral, Outlaw and Young Riders, is dead. He was 92 years old.
Collier died of lung cancer in Harrodsburg, Ky. On Monday, friend and casting director Susan McCray (Little house in the meadow) Recount Hollywood journalist.
On the big screen, Collier starred alongside Wayne in The golden (1966), The war chariot (1967) and The Undefeated (1969) and starred with Audie Murphy in Seven paths since sunset (1960) and with Val Kilmer in tomb stone (1993).
From the 1970s, Collier played the role of “Gum Fighter” for years. in advertisements for Hubba Bubba chewing gum (“Big bubbles, no problem!”).
Collier also appeared with New York Yankees legends Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris and Whitey Ford in the Spring Training set. Safe at home! (1962).
Necklace with blue eyes and deep voice got his big chance in 1960 when he was hired to play MP Will Foreman on NBC’s Outlaw, also starring Barton MacLane, and he starred on this show for both of its seasons.
He returned to another NBC western to play the honorable ranch foreman Sam Butler on The Haut Chaparral. He remained with this series for all four of its seasons, until 1971.
“Mine is a simple role to play, a man who hits cattle for a living,” he said in a 1968 interview. “And I play him pretty straight.”
Collier then returned as trader William Tompkins on ABC Western 1989-92 Young Riders.
Donald Monger Collier was born in Inglewood on October 17, 1928. After stints in the US Navy and US Merchant Marine, he attended Hardin-Simmons College in Texas (on a track fellowship) and the University. Brigham Young in Utah.
Back in California, Collier caught the eye of actor Francis Lederer and agent Henry Willson, who portrayed Rock Hudson, Tab Hunter, and Robert Wagner. His riding skills helped him land his Outlaw concert.
Collier appeared in five episodes of Windfall from 1960 to 1972, playing different characters each time, and appeared in episodes of many other series, from The Virginian, Train car, Gun smoke, Mark and Death Valley Days To The Waltons, Banak and Little house in the meadow. He later told The desert speaks, a series of documentaries for the University of Arizona.
Don Collier: Confessions of an Acting Cowboy was released on DVD last year.
Survivors include her children, Pamela, Diane, Steven and Mike; 11 grandchildren; 19 great-grandchildren; and two great-great-grandchildren.
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