“The Virginian” is 55 today. It was first broadcast on NBC September 19, 1962 where it was promoted as the first 90 minute TV Western (length before adverts approx. 74 min.). A testament to its lasting quality is the fact the show is still in syndication today.
Starting September 30 at 2 P.M EST the cable station INSP will start broadcasting “The Virginian: The Men From Shiloh.” This was the final, revamped season of “The Virginian.” Sadly for fans of the first eight seasons INSP will no longer be broadcasting “The Virginian.” The contract has run out. “The Men From Shiloh” was something of a departure, with Trampas and the Virginian no longer wearing their regular costumes and most of the stories taking place away from Shiloh Ranch. The only episode featuring Trampas and the Virginian together at Shiloh Ranch was the first episode of the season.
Happy birthday to James Drury – 83 today.
“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.
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.