I’m happy to announce my Roy Huggins book was published on Friday January 24. You can order it from my publisher McFarland & Co. with immediate effect or if you want an author signed copy please contact me. Amazon and Barnes & Noble online stores also have my book in stock.
A chapter on Huggins’ involvement in the first season of The Virginian is included with comments from executive producer Frank Price and director Richard L. Bare.
Huggins’ daughter Katherine Crawford, well known to fans of The Virginian, has also contributed to my book.
Many thanks to Val for posting extensive video footage of The Virginian cast panel at the 50th Anniversary event. To view the footage click on the Comments section of “Clu Gulager at the 50th Anniversary Autry Event.’ Clu Gulager is in fine form and I’m very pleased to hear him and Don Quine giving credit to producer Frank Price.
I thought I’d share with you some of my thoughts on the people I interviewed for my book. Personalities stand out immediately when you conduct interviews. James Drury is a commanding personality who speaks with great authority and care for his choice of words. Gary Clarke is a great storyteller and a funny guy. Roberta Shore still has the girlish charm that made her so memorable as Betsy. Randy Boone was one of my favorite interview subjects. Genuinely down-to-earth and humble about his achievements. Sara Lane is an enthusiastic, upbeat lady who I loved to interview.
The most knowledgable person I interviewed was without doubt Frank Price. He knows more about The Virginian than anyone alive today, having written the original format for the show and serving as executive producer. He literally gave me months of his time and many rare behind the scenes photographs for my book. His wife, former actress Katherine Crawford was also extremely helpful. She provided the story behind her on set friction with James Drury on “Felicity’s Spring” and working with Doug McClure.
It was obvious Tane McClure had great love and affection for her father Doug as she told me she was looking at his framed photograph on her desk as I interviewed her. Tane also kindly provided family photographs. I attempted to capture the personality of the people I interview by presenting my interviews in a Q&A format. I hope it worked.
After my book was published a few people stand out in my memory. I’ll always remember my wife telling me James Drury was on the phone as I came from our mailbox. He told me how much he enjoyed my book. I thought it very kind of him to take the trouble to call me personally. Another pleasant surprise was receiving a handwritten letter from Randy Boone saying that he actually appreciated The Virginian more after reading my book. I’ve posted the reaction of The Virginian cast and producers in my Reviews section.
Of course there were people who didn’t respond to my attempts to interview them. That is always out of the control of any author. Timing is a factor. People may be unavailable because of work or family commitments or they simply might not wish to talk. I was able to contact Sara Lane with weeks left on my deadline. So I am always extremely thankful for the people who agree to be interviewed on any of my projects.
Writing my book on The Virginian television series was not only a challenge, but also very rewarding on a personal level in that I got to speak with many of my favorite actors, actresses and producers about my favorite television Western series. Back when I was watching The Virginian every Friday night on BBC 1 I never imagined I would one day speak with the cast and producers and write a history of the show.
“I really enjoyed your book. It is comprehensive and a valuable resource for anyone interested in studying The Virginian.” – James Drury [The Virginian]
“The book was very interesting and very well written. I was fascinated.” – Randy Boone [Randy Benton]
“My husband is reading the book avidly and loving it. It’s a wonderful book.” – Sara Lane [Elizabeth Grainger]
“I am very impressed with it. You did a great job of research on The Virginian and it is certainly apparent in the book. It is a work that reflects your high standards.” – Frank Price [Executive Producer on The Virginian]
“Wonderfully detailed and nostalgic book…congratulations on this remarkable effort!”—Joel Rogosin [Producer, Writer, Director on The Virginian]