Eighth Annual

Link to:

Festival of the West

from which this info is taken...



Media Contact:
Mary Brown
Public Relations for U S WEST
National Festival of the West
(602) 996-4387

To Receive Cowboy Spirit Award

Buck Taylor

There are few people in the motion picture industry who can ride, shoot, do their own stunt work, and then paint a picture about it. But ,1998 Festival of the West Cowboy Spirit Award Recipient, Buck Taylor is one of those gifted actors who is truly multi-talented. Perhaps best known for his role as Newly O'Brien in the long-running western TV series Gunsmoke, Buck is a popular personality, both in front of the camera as well as in front of a canvas.
The son of veteran character actor, Dub Taylor, Buck was born near the movie studios that turned out many of the B westerns of the 1930's and '40's. His neighbors included the great Yakima Canutt, as well as many other Hollywood legends.
Raised in southern California when it was still rural, Buck learned early about outdoor activities. Hunting, fishing and working at a livery stable as a trail guide helped him develop skills that would later serve him as an actor. "I decided I wanted to become an actor when I began watching Burt Lancaster films," he says with boyish enthusiasm. "Burt was in great physical shape and performed many of his own stunts." As a result, Buck took up gymnastics, eventually competing for the U. S. Olympic team.
Diversified in his interests, Buck has always been captivated by art. "I grew up admiring N. C. Wyeth's and George Caitlin's images of the West," he recalls. "My dad had some Russell prints on the wall of his den and every time I stared at them, I began to dream about the frontier. I wanted to be part of it." On a scholarship Buck attended the prestigious Chouinard Art Institute of Los Angeles.
But his art career was put on hold when he began earning significant roles in numerous westerns including The Rebel, Have Gun Will Travel, and a regular role in The Monroes. Buck's big break came when he was cast as a "bad guy" in the top-rate series, Gunsmoke. The producers liked what they saw and asked the man who could ride, rope and shoot to try out for the part of a town blacksmith, Newly O'Brien. The rest, as they say, is history.
Today, Buck has found the perfect mix of art and acting. He continues to appear in numerous films and has recently been seen in Dallas, Conagher, Tombstone, and, most recently, The Rough Riders,. where he plays outlaw-hero, George Neville. Beyond that, Buck has picked up the paint brush again and has found renewed fame as a much-sought-after artist who captures the spirit of the West with his watercolor images. In 1981, Buck Taylor was inducted into the Cowboy Hall of Fame and was given the Trustee Award for his performance on Gunsmoke.
Buck has four grown children - Tiffany, who is happily living in Montana. - Adam who, before his death in a motorcycle accident, worked as an assistant director and actor. - Matthew, a top stunt man. - and Cooper who has a promising career as an actor.
And now Buck has found another love in his life - his new wife Goldie Taylor. Goldie is a avid horsewoman who loves barrel racing and is a flight attendant for American Airlines. Buck proudly says, "She's a real cowgirl." The two have made their home in Boyd, Texas where they raise horses and enjoy a rural lifestyle. "I've never been happier," beams Buck. "My life as an actor and a painter is just beginning. I feel like I'm living a dream."