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Robert Horton (actor)

Horton in 1976 as a guest on Police Woman,
Personal information
Birth nameMeade Howard Horton, Jr.
Birth dateJuly 29, 1924(age 91)
Place of birthLos Angeles, California
United States
OccupationTelevision, film, stage actor, singer

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Robert Horton (born Meade Howard Horton, Jr., on July 29, 1924, in Los Angeles, California) is an American television actor, who was most noted for the role of the frontier scout Flint McCullough in the NBC Western television series, Wagon Train (1957 - 1962). Horton quit that series to pursue a career in musical theater.

According to the April 20, 1959, issue of Time magazine, Horton's measurements were 42-31-40. Horton also played Ronald W. Reagan's role in the TV version of Kings Row (1955), which featured Jack Kelly and ran for seven episodes as part of the Warner Bros. Presents series, rotating with a TV version of Casablanca and a western series called Cheyenne.

The ruggedly handsome Horton made dozens of appearances in movies and television shows between 1951 and 1989, including an episode of Ray Milland's Meet Mr. McNutley and John Bromfield's Sheriff of Cochise. Horton also appeared on seven separate episodes of the anthology series Alfred Hitchcock Presents, including memorably as a tennis-playing bookie and blackmailer opposite Betsy von Furstenberg in one titled "The Disappearing Trick" which was directed by Arthur Hiller. He appeared as Danny Barnes in the episode "No Place to Hide" of the CBS anthology series The DuPont Show with June Allyson and on the NBC interview program Here's Hollywood and NBC's anthology series, The Barbara Stanwyck Show. He appeared several timess too on NBC's The Ford Show, Starring Tennessee Ernie Ford.

Horton is also remembered for his offbeat role as a cowboy amnesiac in his ABC television series A Man Called Shenandoah (1965 - 1966). Horton even took a turn in daytime, playing the part of Whit McColl on As the World Turns (1983 1984). In 1966 he starred in "The Dangerous Days of Kiowa Jones", the first Western made specifically for television and simultaneous distribution to cinemas in Europe. It was made by MGM and co-starred Sal Mineo and Diane Baker.

He went on to perform for many years in theaters and nightclubs all over America and in Australia as a singer (sometimes with his wife, the former Marilynn Bradley). In 1963, producer David Merrick hired him as the male lead in the musical version of N. Richard Nash's play The Rainmaker (entitled 110 in the Shade), in the part played on the screen by Burt Lancaster. The musical, which boasted a score by Tom Jones (writer) and Harvey Schmidt, ran for 330 performances on Broadway.

Horton is also an accomplished pilot and aircraft owner, having once said in an 'Plane and Pilot' interview, "His three greatest thrills were his first solo flight, a performance before Queen Elizabeth, and being featured on This Is Your Life". His frequent co-pilot was his French Poodle "Jamie".

Horton has been the recipient of several lifetime achievement awards for television, including the prestigious Golden Boot, and recently, the Cowboy Spirit Award at the National Festival of the West. Mr. and Mrs. Horton live in Encino, California.

Actor Robert Fuller is sometimes described as having replaced Horton on Wagon Train. Though Fuller did have a role on the program after Horton departed, according to an August 17, 2009 interview with Fuller in On Screen and Beyond, he did not replace him. The two are sometimes confused with each other because of a general physical resemblance and because they have the same birthday (July 29), though Horton is nine years older than Fuller.


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