The Ultimate TV Cowboy: The Clint Walker Bio

Saturday, September 17 by Wendy Adams

This Clint Walker Bio tracks the life of the actor who pioneered the western television series of 1950’s with his hit show “Cheyenne” that ran of eight years. Clint Walker rose from humble beginnings during the depression to become a bigger than life Hollywood star. Walker’s career spanned over four decades bringing us such films as “The Dirty Dozen’ and “Yellowstone Kelly”.

Early Life. Clint Walker was born Norman Eugene Walker in Hartford, Illinois on May 30. 1927. Walker and his twin sister were depression era kids during a time in American history when money and jobs were scarce. Common in a lot of depression era families, Clint qui high school at 16 to start earning his living.

Early Career. After leaving high school, 16 year old Norman worked at a variety of jobs like factory worker, a hand on a Mississippi River boat, working in the oil fields of Brownwood, Texas, bouncer, and golf caddy. After a year of odd jobs, he joined the Merchant Marines at the age of 17. Following the work trail led him to California where he worked for a private detective agency. Las Vegas was his next stop where he worked security in the Sands Hotel where he crossed paths with a Hollywood celebrity who introduced him to the idea of acting.

Movie Career. Through connections, Clint was introduced to filmmaker Cecil B. Demille, who cast him in his film “The Ten Commandments” in 1956 where he played the Captain of the Guard. After his appearance in the movie, Warner Brothers Studio saw the performance and suddenly Walker was under contract to producer Hal B. Wallis. In 1966 Walker hit the big time starring as former lawman turned pioneer family man “Big Jim” in “The Night of the Grizzly” with Martha Hyer and Keenan Wynn. Walker’s most memorable supporting roles came in 1967 in the mega hit “The Dirty Dozen”. In 1964 Walker had a supporting role opposite Doris Day and Rock Hudson in “Send Me No flowers”. Only Clint Walker could upstage the good looks of Rock Hudson. Clint Walker made over 30 films in his career.

Television Career. What to do with an extremely handsome, six foot six inch tall actor with a 54 inch hairy chest, 34 inch waist, and muscles everywhere? Producer Hal B. Wallace knew the answer. He starred Clint Walker in the television series “Cheyenne”. Clint Walker was something new for television audiences. For eight years, Walker’s imposing physique, often shirtless, became weekly eye candy for ladies, which was uncommon in 1955. For the male audiences, Cheyenne Bodie was the soft spoken man’s man. The television series “Cheyenne’ was responsible for the cowboy western craze in Hollywood that launched several similar themed television series.

Personal Life. In 1948, Norman Eugene Walker married Verna Garver. They had one child and divorced after twenty years of marriage. Walker’s took a second wife, Giselle Hennessy, in 1974. They were also married for twenty years until her death in 1994. Walker now lives with his third wife Susan Cavallari that he married in 1997. He is now retired and living in Grass Valley, California but still makes the occasional personal appearance.

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