Sunday, May 30, 2010

Worth 1,000 Words: HOPPY & MATT DILLON, the long riders

By Steve Crum

AN ICONIC PHOTO if ever there was one, two legendary--and fictional--cowboy heroes meet. While Dennis Weaver's Chester character from Gunsmoke observes, MARSHAL MATT DILLON (JAMES ARNESS), left, greets man in black HOPALONG CASSIDY (WILLIAM BOYD) on the set of Gunsmoke, circa 1956. [from Steve Crum's showbiz memorabilia collection]
Both Matt and Hoppy hold Guinness Book records for their repeated portrayals of one character. WILLIAM BOYD [June 5, 1899-Sept. 12, 1972] played Hopalong Cassidy in 66 feature films, not including his Hopalong Cassidy television series. JAMES ARNESS, born May 26, 1923, played Marshal Dillon a staggering 640 times over the 20 year Gunsmoke run, including five made-for-TV Gunsmoke movies after the series ended. That constitutes gallons of saddle soap.
A tribute to Hoppy, William Boyd:

1 comment:

  1. My understanding was that when Bill Boyd decided he was getting too old to play Hopalong, rather than put his entire film crew out of work, he turned everything over to "Gunsmoke". It speaks even more highly of our most important role model of the 40's and 50's. I do wish there was another like these men for today's generation-who dispiritetly need one!