Clint Walker, who reigned o’er TV screens in the late 1950s as true blue hero sheriff Cheyenne Bodie, still gets heaps of fan attention at age 83 — and not just from folks who are old enough to have watched the show. He and his wife Susan, he reports “are busy with our website seven days a week. It’s grown more and more,” he says of his Clintwalker.com, where he posts his appearance schedule, makes memorabilia available for sale, and communicates with followers. He also gets “Crayola drawings from youngsters who are just discovering the series now, mail from 17-25 year olds who are familiar with the series or other movies I made. I feel so blessed.”
Warner Archive Collection released his “Cheyenne Season 2 – Parts 1 & 2″ this month on demand and digital download. The shows, dotted with intriguing guest stars like Dennis Hopper, Marie Windsor and John Carradine, still hold up. So do Walker’s anecdotes. Turns out, things could get mighty funny out there on the prairie.
“One time, we started our day at 7 a.m. and we were still shooting at 1:30 the next morning. The leading lady was so tired she was crying. We were doing a scene where the Indians were approaching, and I was supposed to say, ‘Don’t shoot! They’re carrying their rifles butt-first.’ But it came out, ‘Don’t shoot! They’re carrying their butts first.’ Everyone broke up.”
Another time, the hunky, 6’6″ Walker had a scene in which he doffed his shirt and splashed water on his face. “I stole a little piece of black take from the crew and put it on my chest, and attached my sheriff’s badge to the tape. When we did the scene, I took off my shirt, and people started laughing. The director said, ‘What’s wrong?’ And then he realized I had the badge there. He retaliated later by having the script girl hide in a closet when I was supposed to open it to get my coat. She jumped out and said, ‘Darling!’” he recalls.
“I know some people thought those things were a waste of film, but I don’t think so. They energized everyone and put them in a light mood.”