Norman Eugene Walker, known as Clint
(born May 30, 1927), is an American actor best known for his cowboy
role as "Cheyenne Bodie" in the TV Western series,
- Literary pursuits
- Personal life
Walker was born in Hartford, Illinois; he was
a twin, and is of one-quarter Cherokee descent. He left school to work
at a factory and on a river boat, then joined the United States
Merchant Marine at the age of seventeen in the last months of World
War II. After leaving the Merchant Marine, he labored at odd jobs in
Brownwood, Texas, Long Beach, California, and Las Vegas, where he
worked as a doorman at the Sands Hotel. He also was employed as a
sheet-metal worker and a nightclub bouncer.
In Los Angeles, he was hired by Cecil B.
DeMille to appear in The Ten Commandments. A friend in the film
industry helped get him a few bit parts that brought him to the
attention of Warner Bros., which was developing a western style
Walker's good looks and imposing physique, he
stood 6 feet, 6 inches tall with a 48-inch chest and a 32-inch waist,
helped him to land an audition where he won the lead role in the TV
Billed as "Clint" Walker, he was cast as
Cheyenne Bodie, a cowboy hero in the post-American Civil War era.
While the series regularly capitalized on Walker's rugged frame with
frequent bare-chested scenes, it was well-written and acted. It proved
hugely popular for eight seasons on the ABC television network.
Walker's pleasant baritone singing voice was also occasionally
utilized on the series and led Warner Brothers to produce an album of
Walker doing traditional songs and ballads.
Walker then played roles in several big-screen
films, including a trio of westerns for Gordon Douglas - Fort Dobbs in
1958, Yellowstone Kelly in 1959, and Gold of the Seven Saints in 1961,
the comedy Send Me No Flowers in 1964, The Night of the Grizzly in
1966, and as the meek convict Samson Posey, in the war drama The Dirty
Dozen in 1967.
In 1969, New York Times film critic Howard
Thompson, in reviewing Walker's performance in the movie More Dead
Than Alive, described the actor as "a big, fine-looking chap and about
as live-looking as any man could be. And there is something winning
about his taciturn earnestness as an actor, although real emotion
seldom breaks through". In 1958, Thompson described the actor, then
starring in Fort Dobbs, as "the biggest, finest-looking Western hero
ever to sag a horse, with a pair of shoulders rivaling King Kong's".
During the 1970s he returned to television,
starring in a number of made-for-TV western films as well as a
short-lived series in 1974 called Kodiak. He starred in the
made-for-television cult film Killdozer! the same year. In 1998, he
voiced Nick Nitro in the film Small Soldiers. In December 2009,
several internet movie websites had indicated that Sylvester Stallone
had or was about to make an approach to Walker to come out of
retirement to play the father of John Rambo in Stallone's forthcoming
film Rambo V.
Walker met western author Kirby Jonas through
James Drury, a mutual friend. Jonas and Walker subsequently spent two
years collaborating on a story idea suggested by Walker involving gold
and the Yaqui, a partnership that led to the publication of the 2003
Western novel Yaqui Gold (ISBN 978-1-891423-08-6).
Clint Walker has a star on the Hollywood Walk
of Fame at 1505 Vine Street, near its intersection with Sunset
Boulevard (approximate coordinates: In 2004, he was inducted into the
Hall of Great Western Performers at the National Cowboy & Western
Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Walker has been married to:
Verna Garver, married 1948, divorced 1968. They
had one daughter, Valerie (born 1950).
Giselle Hennessy, married 1974, died 1994.
Susan Cavallari, married 1997.
Walker's twin sister, Neoma L. "Lucy"
Westbrook (b May 30, 1927), died Nov 11, 2000 at her residence in
Hartford, IL., aged 73.
Walker currently lives in Grass Valley,
Walker, who is on the political right, is an
occasional guest on The Mark Levin Show to discuss politics.
1954 - Jungle Gents
1956 - The Ten Commandments
1958 - Fort Dobbs
1959 - Yellowstone Kelly
1961 - Gold of the
Send Me No Flowers
- None But the Brave
1966 - The Night of the Grizzly
1966 - Maya
1967 - The Dirty Dozen
1969 - More Dead Than Alive
1969 - Sam Whiskey
1969 - The Great Bank Robbery
1971 - Yuma (TV)
1972 - Hardcase (TV)
1972 - Pancho Villa
1972 - The Bounty Man (TV)
1974 - Scream of the
The White Buffalo
- Deadly Harvest
Centennial (TV mini-series)
1977 - Snowbeast (TV)
1983 - Hysterical
1983 - Love Boat - guest star, episode, "Friend
of the Family/Affair on Demand/Just Another Pretty Face"
1985 - The Serpent Warriors
1985 - All American
1991 - The
Gambler Returns: The Luck of the Draw (TV movie) - guest star as
Tropical Heat (TV) - guest star, episode "The Last of the Magnificent"
1995 - Kung Fu: The
Legend Continues (TV) - guest star as Cheyenne Bodie, episode
Small Soldiers - Voice only