Pic of the Day: “Quaker Girl” revisited

Today’s pic takes another look at “Quaker Girl,” the second of two episodes of Gunsmoke in which Timothy appears. It was first broadcast on December 10, 1966. Opportunistic bad guys Dave Westerfeldt (Tom Reese) and Vern Morland (Ben Johnson) rely on their part-Indian tracker “Buster” Rilla to help them nab a killer.

Quaker Girl - 1966

Johnson and Timothy had previously both appeared in Marlon Brando‘s One-Eyed Jacks (1961), though not on-screen together. Johnson was certainly one of the greatest Western stars who ever lived. If he seemed like an authentic cowboy on-screen, that’s because he was one off-screen as well. He was ever at home in the saddle, having been discovered in 1940 in his home state of Oklahoma by Howard Hughes while he was a rodeo rider and ranch hand. Hughes hired him to run a herd of horses to California, Johnson ended up sticking around, and his Hollywood career began. He returned briefly to rodeo riding in 1953, but the pay in Hollywood was a lot better, so back he went. His father, Ben Johnson Sr., was also a champion steer roper and a legend in the rodeo world.

Pic of the Day: “Home to Methuselah”

Our week begins with a pic from the episode of the long-running Western series The Virginian entitled “Home to Methuselah,” which was first aired on November 26, 1969. Timothy gives what I believe is one of his best and most low-key performances as outlaw Zach Ontro, on the run but knowing that his time will soon be over.

Home to Methuselah - 1969

Also appearing in this episode is the great G.D. Spradlin, another of Hollywood’s best character actors. He was active in local politics in his home state of Oklahoma before he got into acting, serving as the state director of John F. Kennedy’s 1960 presidential campaign. He also made an unsuccessful run for mayor of Oklahoma City in 1965.