Robert Horton, a ruggedly handsome actor who uncovered television stardom in 1957 together the scout Flint McCullough top top “Wagon Train” but who resisted being typecast in westerns together he gone after a parallel career together a singer, died on Wednesday in Los Angeles. He was 91.

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His death was confirmed by his niece, Joan Evans, who stated that he was injured in a fall last November and also had recently been placed in hospice care.

Mr. Horton taped albums and also sang at the London Palladium, yet he to be never entirely successful in shedding the frontiersman image. In his later on years, he appeared at film-western events about the country.

He play Flint from the first episode the “Wagon Train,” in 1957, until the show moved indigenous NBC to abc in 1962. The series, inspired by the 1950 john Ford film “Wagon Master,” in-depth the travails of world aboard a wagon train journeying indigenous Missouri to California ~ the civil War. Mr. Horton was the show’s heartthrob, often given occasions to eliminate his shirt.


Starring with Mr. Horton to be Ward Bond, who played the grizzled wagon master, Maj. Seth Adams. (Mr. Bond also appeared in the Ford film.)

Onscreen the two had actually an virtually father-son relationship, though they walk not always appear together; episodes tended to attribute one or the other in alternative weeks. But offscreen they often clashed. After ~ one an especially fierce argument, the two guys vowed no to show up together ~ above camera again. (They walk weeks later, however, once the script referred to as for it.)

Mr. Bond died of a heart strike in 1960, and John McIntire came to be the brand-new wagon master. “Wagon Train” overtook “Gunsmoke” atop the Nielsen ratings in 1961.

Mr. Horton left the present when it to be at the elevation of that popularity, transforming down a financially rewarding contract because, he said, he wanted to avoid coming to be typecast.


“There is a lot an ext to this company than just collecting your paycheck,” the told The Saturday Evening article shortly afterward. “Getting well-off as an actor and also then sitting on one island someplace and also drinking vodka is not my idea of just how to invest my life. Ns interested in using everything talent i have.”


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Mr. Horton’s rendition the the theme tune from “The Man called Shenandoah” was consisted of on an album.

Mr. Horton pursued a recording and musical theater career when he functioned on “Wagon Train,” do albums and performing in nightclubs. His appearance in ~ the Palladium in London drew “squeals and shrieks,” one newspaper reviewer said.

He likewise played the rainmaker in “110 in the Shade,” a musical variation of N. Richard Nash’s beat “The Rainmaker,” on Broadway in 1963. In spite of lukewarm reviews, the present ran for almost a year, after which Mr. Horton perform in regional theater.

In 1965 he went back to westerns come star in “A Man referred to as Shenandoah,” an ABC collection about a man with amnesia who roams the West looking for clues to his past. Mr. Horton stated he welcomed the component because he saw the show’s story as much more interesting than that the a typical western. “Basically that a character study of a man looking for his identity,” the told The day-to-day News of brand-new York.

He likewise sang the show’s template song, and also his rendition was contained on one album, “The Man dubbed Shenandoah.” though the present lasted one season, the recording stayed his most popular.

Meade Howard Horton Jr. To be born come a well-off household in Los Angeles ~ above July 29, 1924. He to be such an impetuous child, that said, that he never ever felt that fit right into his appropriate Mormon household. He overcame operations because that a hernia and also an enlarged kidney come play football at a army school in phibìc Hollywood.


He enlisted in the shore Guard in 1943 but was medically discharged because of the enlarged kidney.

In 1945, a opportunity encounter through a talent scout resulted in an uncredited part in Lewis Milestone’s civilization War II film “A go in the Sun.” Mr. Horton’s parents were no pleased.

“I rushed in and said, ‘Dad, I’ve gained a part in this picture!’” Mr. Horton recalled. “And he said, ‘That’s more than likely the worst thing that ever happened come you.’”

After earning a bachelor’s level in theater arts in ~ the university of California, Los Angeles, Mr. Horton relocated to brand-new York, wherein he struggled to discover work. He went back to California and appeared in the movie “Apache war Smoke” in 1952. Mr. Horton acted in six more pictures because that MGM and appeared on television shows favor “The Lone Ranger” and “The windy Defender” before winning the component on “Wagon Train.”

He married the former Marilynn Bradley in 1960. She is his only instant survivor.

Mr. Horton threw himself right into the “Wagon Train” role. He learned the frontier era, drove the actual route the fictional wagon train took, and also invented a back story for his character. He did most of his very own horseback riding on the show.

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He likewise often fought with the writers.

“I need to rewrite fifty percent the scripts,” Mr. Horton said The Saturday night Post. “Otherwise I’d obtain laughed turn off the screen.”