Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Fond Farewell: Clint Walker 1927-2018

From almost the moment this blog began, more than nine years ago, we've been waxing rhapsodic about the towering, gentle yet manly, blue-eyed beacon of beefcake, western star Clint Walker. Monday, at the age of ninety, we lost our hero just nine days before he turned ninety-one due to heart failure.
Because we have posted about him time and time (and time!) again, we won't belabor the point too much further, but we felt we did have to mark the sad occasion. If you can watch this fan-made tribute to shirtless Walker in his prime on his television western Cheyenne and come away still not understanding his appeal, you likely never will.

What really sealed the deal for us was a combination of two things: Seeing him in COLOR in movies such as Yellowstone Kelly (1959) and None But the Brave (1965), Night of the Grizzly (1966) and in particular The Great Bank Robbery (1969) and then hearing that voice of his. So soothing and comforting to hear.
The western world and, indeed, the western world, lost one of its last great gentlemen with the passing of Mr. Walker. He was a welcome sight in virtually any project, even when his role was abridged, as in The Dirty Dozen (1967), or when it wasn't a western, such as his comedic turn in Rock Hudson & Doris Day's Send Me No Flowers (1964.) Umm... do take note of his HANDS in the pics below.
He had a long, prosperous, memorable life - and we all must go sooner or later - but we did love having him here on Earth with us while we could. Farewell Mr. Tall, Dark & Handsome!
:::ADDITION:::   I just had to add this little bit. In going over Mr. Walker once more, I found this interview clip from his later years. I implore you to listen to the whole thing (it's about four minutes long.) It demonstrates the type of person he was and also what rewards can sometimes lie in store for those who extend kindness to others. Clint (who was up for the role of Joshua in The Ten Commandments, 1956, but had practically no acting experience to speak of) is seen in the film as The Sardinian Captain of the Guards (in the horned helmet.)


Gingerguy said...

Now that was a MAN. Gorgeous coloring and you are 100% right, in technicolor he is a double knock out. You turned me on to him here Poseidon. I rarely can say dreamier than John Gavin, but he was in a lumberjack way. Sigh...R.I.P. to someone born for movies.

Tom Peeping said...

Those eyes, that chest (that hairy chest), that dark hair, that smile, that voice... Oh, my!
Clint Walker is gone.
Thank you for your well felt post.

Martin said...

Thank God Clint wasn't shy about revealing so much of himself so often. What a prime specimen of manhood!

hsc said...

I found out about this earlier today when logging onto another forum (Classic Horror Films Board). Really sorry to hear of Clint Walker's passing, and based on the response over there, he apparently still had a lot of fans and was highly respected by a number of people.

Here's two excerpts from a 1963 guest appearance on the Jack Benny Show.

In the first clip, Clint banters with his host, who seems to be as taken with him as the rest of us:

In the second clip, Clint sings "The Navajo Trail":

R.I.P., big guy.

Scooter said...

He was something else. Btw, I can't believe he was able to get into that Jag in Send me no Flowers.

Poseidon3 said...

Thanks, Gingerguy! So glad you were turned towards the charms of Mr. W. As for John Gavin, you'll want to stay tuned for my annual Memorial Day post. ;-) Oh, an by the way, I updated this post this morning at the tail end with something I thought was very neat and which, I must confess, gave me goosebumps and even a tear or two.

Tom Peeping, I happy you liked this and that you also enjoy the many charms of Clint Walker!

Martin, you're so right! The airwaves were (and now the Internet is) full of shirtless pics of Clint. Glad you are a believer. :-)

hsc, it's true that his fans are legion. And why not?! We miss his "type" today. Sorely... I loved the clip with Jack Benny. Hilarious physical comedy. And you know that ol' Jackie was enjoying every sec of it! Walker had a nice baritone voice. He sang on "Cheyenne" once, a ditty called "Whip Crack O' Way" though the real thrill is seeing him decked out in white tie and tails to sing it! So gorgeous. Also, Lucy had her fun with him as well as Jack did. He worked on her (rather lame-brained) color show where his towering physique was featured as a construction worker. In this scene, she's measuring him! --> I mean, the man's proportions were just exquisite! He really needed to portray Superman, but no one thought of it, apparently.

Scooter, that brief sequence is so funny. The car is color-coordinated to his clothes in that old-style way, too. He dwarfed almost everything, yet never looked "roided out" or overly muscular.

WonderPrincess said...

When I heard of Mr. Walker's passing, my first thought was how much happiness he brought to his fans over the years. He was one of my first crushes. He seemed like such a sweetheart and his physical attributes were one of a kind. Thank you for bringing back such sweet memories.

Rick Gould said...

Poseidon, I'd look at all your other Clint Walker posts this morning, but that would make me very late for work : )

When I was a kid, I thought 'Night of the Grizzly' was the scariest movie I'd ever seen...the 'Jaws' of its day, right? Well, maybe not...but it scared the crap out of this grade schooler!

Which is what I love about your tributes, Poseidon. Very few get to have the careers of a Meryl or a Bogart or a Liz Taylor or Robert DeNiro. But you give a spotlight to stars who audiences enjoyed, whether briefly or over a lifetime, from TV to movies, no matter the size of the roles.
I learn a lot from reading your blog!


Poseidon3 said...

Thanks for sharing your own recollections of CW, WonderPrincess. He truly was one of a kind as you say. Thank goodness we have a wealth of film and print of him to soothe our loss. Have a great weekend!

Unknown said...

In all seriousness, is it wrong that I heard of Clint Walker's death and instantly thought of you? I had scant knowledge of him because never watched a Western - other than Rifleman and the odd episode of Bonanza). And no, Wild Wild West doesn't count. - despite being in the target age-bracket, so I truly appreciate your devotion over the years. He was a rock-solid hunk, a prime slab of American beefcake, and a true gentleman of the old school.

Karen Wiedmeier said...

Thank you for this thoughtful, sweet remembrance of Clint Walker. I especially enjoyed the clip of him talking about his role in The Ten Commandments. It seems like he was the total package, with both stunningly good looks and a sweet disposition. As you said, at least we have his movies to comfort us!

Poseidon3 said...

Unknown, sorry to be so late and acknowledging your comments here. Thank you so much and I'm actually very honored that you would associate me with Clint Walker! I doubt that he was ever aware of how much I posted about him here, but he was one of my all-time favorite people. I'm glad I help to make a believer out of you as well?

Karen, thank you very much for taking time to comment as well! I appreciate it a lot.