Friday, June 18, 2010

Have Gun will Travel

The weathered fellow above is one Richard Boone, born this day 1917 in Los Angeles, California. After leaving college early, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1941, and saw some combat action during World War II. After the war, he used his G I Bill money to study acting at the Actor's Studio in New York City. He made his debut on Broadway in 1947. He then moved to movies and TV, and it was his role as Paladin in the series "Have Gun-Will Travel" that shot him to stardom. It was, in many ways, a groundbreaking series, and it made him a household name. He appeared in some pretty big films with some pretty big names, but it is for the role of Major James Lassiter in 1964's "Rio Conchos" that I anoint him my hero for today. Truth be told, it is not a great film, it is barely a good film, but Boone makes it worth watching. His grizzled looks, and unique voice/accent are a wonder to watch, even though you know how the movie will end. His performance is the only reason to watch it, and I have, about 5 times. Each time I like him more. He had a long, and successful career, and had other roles that I admire, but the role in "Rio Conchos" is the one I will always remember him by. Sometimes doing one thing really, really well is all it takes, and so for that superb role in a shit film, Richard Boone (June 18th, 1917-January 10th, 1981, at the age of 63 of throat cancer), you are my (297th) hero of the day.

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