Hugh O'Brian, star of TV's 'The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp,' dies at 91

Mon Sep 5, 2016 4:07pm EDT
 
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By Carmel Dagan

LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - Hugh O'Brian, who starred in the long-running series "The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp," died Monday. He was 91.

The actor died peacefully in his Beverly Hills home, according to a statement from Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership.

ABC Western "The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp," in which the exceedingly handsome, muscular O'Brian starred as the title character, ran for 221 episodes from 1955-61. At the time he was one of television's great male sex symbols.

In 1957 he was nominated for an Emmy for best continuing performance by an actor in a dramatic series for his work on "The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp."

So popular and so much a part of popular culture was O'Brian that he showed up as Earp, uncredited, in the 1959 Bob Hope Western comedy "Alias Jesse James," as well as in the 1960 TV movie "The Secret World of Eddie Hodges"; when the actor guested on "Make Room for Daddy" in 1956, the episode was entitled "Wyatt Earp Visits the Williamses."

The actor had appeared in many feature Westerns by the time ABC cast him in its series as Wyatt Earp, a lawman who was one of the legends of the Old West.

Later he appeared in features including the 1963 comedy "Come Fly With Me"; in 1965, he starred in the feature "Agatha Christie's Ten Little Indians" along with Shirley Eaton and Fabian and had an uncredited role in Otto Preminger's World War II drama "In Harm's Way," starring John Wayne, Patricia Neal and Kirk Douglas.

In 1972-73 he starred with Doug McClure, Anthony Franciosa and Burgess Meredith in the NBC series "Search."   Continued...