From his early life finding jobs in the height of the Depression to his years starring as Cheyenne Bodie during the Golden Era of television and beyond, Clint Walker was blessed with good luck – and many fans.
Norman Eugene “Clint” Walker and his twin sister, Lucy, were born on May 30, 1927 in Hartford, Illinois. Growing up during the Depression, Clint quickly learned the value of hard work. By the time he was 16, he had already done stints as a factory worker, boatman on the Mississippi River, a golf caddy, and carnival worker. When he turned 17, he joined the Merchant Marine during World War II
Cheyenne blazed a trail for Westerns on television and soon Clint Walker was a household name. He briefly left the show over a contract dispute but returned after his deal was renegotiated. Cheyenne racked up 103 episodes and ran from 1955-1963.
Clint Walker’s popularity gave him the chance to star in movies too, including Fort Dobbs, Yellowstone Kelly, Gold of the Seven Saints, Send Me No Flowers, The Dirty Dozen, and his personal favorite, The Night of The Grizzly.
In 1971, Walker was almost killed when he fell off a ski lift and was pierced through the heart with one of his ski poles. He was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead then a doctor discovered that Walker was still alive. The medical staff rushed Walker into surgery and fixed his damaged heart. Within two months, lucky Clint Walker was back to work!
Walker made the most of his luck during the 1960s and 1970s with appearances in Yuma, Pancho Villa, Hardcase, The Bounty Man, Centennial, and Scream of the Wolf. He also appeared in the movies More Dead Than Alive, Sam Whiskey, The Great Bank Robbery, and The White Buffalo.
In 1998, he came out of retirement to be a voice actor along with some of his colleagues from The Dirty Dozen (including Ernest Borgnine, Jim Brown, and George Kennedy) on the animated film Small Soldiers.
Clint Walker has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, as well as, on the Texas Trail of Fame at the Fort Worth Stockyards. He also received the Golden Boot Award in 1997 and he was inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in 2004.