Just heard the sad news that another baby boomer favorite, Dennis Weaver, has passed away at the age of 81. I can remember vividly being gathered around the "box" with my family watching "Gunsmoke" and laughing at "Chester". It was something we all looked forward to. One of the types of things that seems to be missing these days. Condolences and best wishes to his family.
'Gunsmoke' Actor Dennis Weaver Dies
LOS ANGELES, Feb. 27, 2006 (AP) Dennis Weaver, the slow-witted deputy Chester Goode in the TV classic western "Gunsmoke" and the New Mexico deputy solving New York crime in "McCloud," has died. The actor was 81.
Weaver died of complications from cancer Friday at his home in Ridgway, in southwestern Colorado, his publicist Julian Myers said.
In 1966, Weaver starred with a 600-pound black bear in "Gentle Ben," about a family that adopts a bear as a pet. The series was well-received, but after two seasons, CBS decided it needed more adult entertainment and cancelled it.
Next came the character Sam McCloud, which Weaver called "the most satisfying role of my career."
The "McCloud" series, 1970-1977, juxtaposed a no-nonsense lawman from Taos, N.M., onto the crime-ridden streets of New York City. His wild-west tactics, such as riding his horse through Manhattan traffic, drove local policemen crazy, but he always solved the case.
He appeared in several movies, including "Touch of Evil," "Ten Wanted Men," "Gentle Giant," "Seven Angry Men," "Dragnet," "Way ... Way Out" and "The Bridges at Toko-Ri."
Weaver also was an activist for protecting the environment and combating world hunger.
He served as president of Love Is Feeding Everyone (LIFE), which fed 150,000 needy people a week in Los Angeles County. He founded the Institute of Ecolonomics, which sought solutions to economic and environmental problems. He spoke at the United Nations and Congress, as well as to college students and school children about fighting pollution and starvation.
"Earthship" was the most visible of Weaver's crusades. He and his wife Gerry built a solar-powered Colorado home out of recycled tires and cans. The thick walls helped keep the inside temperature even year around.
"When the garbage man comes," Jay Leno once quipped, "how does he know where the garbage begins and the house ends?"
Weaver responded: "If we get into the mindset of saving rather than wasting and utilizing other materials, we can save the Earth."
The tall, slender actor was born June 4, 1924, in Joplin, Mo.
Weaver appeared in dozens of TV movies, the most notable being the 1971 "Duel." It was a bravura performance for both fledgling director Steven Spielberg and Weaver, who played a driver menaced by a large truck that followed him down a mountain road. The film was released in theaters in 1983, after Spielberg had become director of huge moneymakers.
Weaver is survived by his wife; sons Rick, Robby and Rusty; and three grandchildren.
2005 INFERNO RED RT AWD
How old would you be if you didn't know how old you are?
...Gunsmoke was before my time...but I wore out my copy of Duel on VHS...time to pick up the DVD... awesome movie.
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Duel is one of my favourites too. Actually one of the movies that got me over this side of the pond from the UK, just had to see California after that. Hwy 395 is one of my fave roads anywhere, along with Hwy 50.
Dodge Magnum RT AWD MDH=Jan 19th 2005 7-8pm
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Interesting, all three who passed away this weekend first names started with the letter "D"
"The most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the government and I'm here to help."
- Ronald Reagan
I only knew him from McCloud, but he was awesome in that. After Knotts and McGavin, I was wondering who the third one would be. Now we know.
Alis volat propiis.
Glenn Harper - 2006 Brilliant Black Magnum SRT8
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that is sad, but, deul, is one the best movies ever made....
there are no strangers here, just friends you haven't met yet..
Man what a shame, I watched them all, Gunsmoke, McCloud. He was also a top spokesman for fuel cell technology and vehicle integration. He actually seemed to know what he was talking about.
From wild to extra wild we got you covered with crap ya never knew you needed.
The first 6.1 transformation and it all went down hill from there.
08 route 66 burnout champion 07 Shindig 6.1NA winner. Willow Springs 1:42!!. 11.796 @ 117mph