“The Virginian” Shiloh Ranch owners Lee J. Cobb and Charles Bickford both starred with Jennifer Jones in “The Song of Bernadette” (1943). Following news of Bickford’s death in 1967 Jennifer Jones attempted suicide. He was her mentor and his death added to her already fragile mental state at the time. Full details in my biography of Jennifer Jones.
Second hour: Author Paul Green helps Ed revisit the life and career of Pete Duel, the star of Alias Smith and Jones who took his life on Dec. 30, 1971, at the height of his television celebrity. Paul recently updated his book Pete Duel: A Biography with new information from not only Duel’s family and friends, but the many fans who have kept the memory of Duel alive, more than four decades after his death. Also in this hour: Tony and Donna remember the thirty-fifth anniversary of the death of John Lennon, while Ed plays an excerpt from his December 2010 conversation with Keith Eliot Greenberg, author of Dec. 8, 1980: The Day John Lennon Died.
James Drury was perfect casting in the role of the Virginian. A gentleman of great charm with a rugged, tough edge when required. A man who lived by a moral code in a time when lawlessness was common. A natural leader and a team player who at heart was something of a loner with a past he kept close to his chest. Through nine seasons James Drury played the Virginian with integrity and remained faithful to the character.
Many fans have been worried by news of the terrible floods and loss of life in Houston, Texas this last week. James Drury, who lives in Houston, called his personal assistant Karen Lindsay several times today. Mr. and Mrs. Drury are fine. Their home has not been affected by the storms in Houston. They live on higher ground. He sends his best regards to everyone.
Sara “Russell” Lane recently left this message for her fans. For those who don’t know she was critically ill a few months ago but thanks to excellent health care and much love is on the road to recovery. This is her message:
I had bad stomach poisoning and was so sick I blew a hole in my stomach. The Docs say they’ve seen this before. The result was peritonitis, renal failure and the need to spend a week intubated and sometimes in soft restraints so I didn’t pull the tubes out. My dear daughter, Sara, brought me everyone’s good wishes but could only stay for moments at a time. When I transferred to a skilled nursing facility I wasn’t yet able to turn over.
All of that is behind me now. I just got home and feel strong and optimistic again. What a glorious thing to be able to sit in the sun at home and have the luxury of time and strength to read and savor your posts and cards.
My thanks and love to you all.
The Second Edition of “Pete Duel: A Biography” was published April 29, 2015 by McFarland & Co. Inc. It includes new interviews, chapters and photographs. I am now taking orders for autographed copies of my book. Price is $39.95 plus $5.00 shipping and handling within the USA. Just leave a message and I’ll get back to you or you can contact me through my Facebook page: Paul Green: Author & Artist.