“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.