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Local Stuff

September 7, 2019 BY THE EDITOR (CHRONICLE, THAT IS)

This is the page normally reserved for LOCAL happenings, things sent in by our friends and neighbors.  But, as you can see, it's usually slim pickens.

Wait just a dad-gum minute.  Let's talk about Slim Pickens (the actor).  What does "Wikipedia" have to say about Slim?

Louis Burton Lindley Jr. (June 29, 1919 – December 8, 1983), better known by his stage name Slim Pickens, was an American rodeo performer and film and television actor. During much of his career, Pickens played mainly cowboy roles, and is perhaps best remembered today for his comic roles in Dr. Strangelove, Blazing Saddles and 1941.  He played the B-52 commander in Dr. Strangelove and I can still see him around the campfire in Blazing Saddles.

So who knew he was a rodeo performer? I can definitely remember him in Dr. Strangelove and Blazing Saddles but I don't remember seeing "1941".

After nearly 20 years of rodeo work, his distinctive country drawl, his wide eyes, moon face, and strong physical presence gained him a role in the Western film, Rocky Mountain (1950) starring Errol Flynn. He appeared in many more Westerns, playing both villains and comic sidekicks to the likes of Rex Allen.

Hollywood made good use of Pickens' rodeo background. He did not need a stand-in for horseback scenes, and he was able to gallop his own Appaloosa horses across the desert, or drive a stagecoach pulled by a six-horse team. In a large number of films and TV shows, he wore his own hats and boots, and rode his own horses and mules.

Pickens appeared in dozens of films, including Rocky Mountain (1950), Old Oklahoma Plains (1952), Down Laredo Way (1953), Tonka (1959), One-Eyed Jacks (1961) with Marlon Brando, Dr. Strangelove (1964), Major Dundee (1965) with Charlton Heston, the remake of Stagecoach (1966; Pickens played the driver, portrayed in the 1939 film by Andy Devine), Never a Dull Moment (1968), The Cowboys (1972) with John Wayne, The Getaway (1972) with Steve McQueen, Ginger in the Morning (1974) with Fred Ward, Blazing Saddles (1974), Poor Pretty Eddie (1975), Rancho Deluxe (1975), Tom Horn (1980), also with McQueen, Beyond the Poseidon Adventure (1979) with Michael Caine and Karl Malden, An Eye for an Eye (1966) and Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid (1973). He had a small but memorable role in Steven Spielberg's 1941 (1979) in scenes with Toshiro Mifune and Christopher Lee; during one scene, he enumerates the objects on his person, similar to the way he does in the "Survival Kit Contents Check" scene inDr. Strangelove. In 1978, Pickens lent his voice to theme park Silver Dollar City as a character named Rube Dugan, for a ride called "Rube Dugan's Diving Bell". The diving bell was a simulation ride that took passengers on a journey to the bottom of Lake Silver and back. The ride was in operation from 1978 to 1984. He also played werewolf sheriff Sam Newfield in The Howling (1981).

In 1960, he appeared in the NBC Western series, Overland Trail in the episode "Sour Annie" with fellow guest stars Mercedes McCambridge and Andrew Prine. Pickens appeared five times on NBC's Outlaws (1960–62) Western series as the character "Slim". The program, starring Barton MacLane, was the story of a U.S. marshal in Oklahoma Territory — deputies played by Don Collier, Jock Gaynor, and Bruce Yarnell — and the outlaws that they pursued. In 1967, Pickens had a recurring role as the scout California Joe Milner on the ABC military Western Custer, starring Wayne Maunder in the title role.

In 1975, Pickens was in another Western, playing the evil, limping bank robber in Walt Disney's The Apple Dumpling Gang; that same year, the exploitation classic Poor Pretty Eddie was released, with Pickens portraying twisted Sheriff Orville. He provided the voice of B.O.B. in the 1979 Disney science-fiction thriller The Black Hole. His last film was his least notable, Pink Motel (1982) with Phyllis Diller.

September 8, 2019
What a cast for Dr. Strangelove:


               
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