Richard Boone Poster


Jump to: Overview (5)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (3)  | Trade Mark (2)  | Trivia (30)  | Personal Quotes (6)

Overview (5)

Born in Los Angeles, California, USA
Died in St. Augustine, Florida, USA  (throat cancer)
Birth NameRichard Allen Boone
Nickname Dick
Height 6' (1.83 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Richard Allen Boone was born in Los Angeles, California, to Cecile Lillian (Beckerman) and Kirk Etna Boone, a wealthy corporate lawyer. His maternal grandparents were Russian Jewish immigrants, while his father was descended from a brother of frontiersmen Daniel Boone and Squire Boone.

Richard was a college student, boxer, painter and oil-field laborer before ending up in the U.S. Navy during World War II. After the war he used the G.I. Bill to study acting with the Actor's Studio in New York. Serious and methodical, Boone debuted on Broadway in the play "Medea". Other plays followed, as did occasional TV work. In 1950 20th Century-Fox signed him to a contract and he made his screen debut in Halls of Montezuma (1951), playing a Marine Corps officer. Tall and craggy, Boone was continually cast in a number of war and western movies. He also tackled roles such as Pontius Pilate in The Robe (1953) and a police detective in Vicki (1953). In 1954 he was cast as Dr. Konrad Styner in the pioneering medical series Medic (1954), which was a critical but not a ratings success. This role lasted for two years, though in the meantime, he continued to appear in westerns and war movies.

In 1957 he played Dr. Wright, who treats Elizabeth for her memory lapses, in Lizzie (1957). It was also in that year that Boone was cast in what is his best-known role, the cultured gunfighter Paladin in the highly regarded western series Have Gun - Will Travel (1957). Although a gun for hire, Paladin was usually a moral one, did the job and lived at the Hotel Carlton in San Francisco. Immensely popular, the show made Boone a star. The series lasted six years, and in addition to starring in it, Boone also directed some episodes. He still kept busy on the big screen during the series' run, appearing as Sam Houston in the John Wayne epic The Alamo (1960), and as a weary cavalry captain fighting Indians in A Thunder of Drums (1961). After Have Gun - Will Travel (1957) ended in 1963, Boone hosted a dramatic anthology series, The Richard Boone Show (1963), but it was not successful.

Boone moved to Hawaii for the next seven years. During this time he made a few Westerns, including the muscular Rio Conchos (1964), but he was largely absent from the screen. In the 1970s he moved to Florida, and resumed his film and TV career with a vengeance. In 1972 he again appeared on television in the Jack Webb-produced series Hec Ramsey (1972) (years before he had played a police captain in Webb's first "Dragnet" film, Dragnet (1954)). Based on a real man, Hec was a tough, grizzled old frontier sheriff at the turn of the 20th century who, late in life, has studied the newest scientific theories of crime detection. His new boss, a much younger man, doesn't always approve of Hec, his nonconformist style or his new methods. The series lasted for two years. Boone continued working until the end of the decade but died as a result of throat cancer in 1981.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Tony Fontana

Spouse (3)

Mary Claire McAloon (27 April 1951 - 10 January 1981) ( his death) ( 1 child)
Mimi Kelly (1949 - 1950) ( divorced)
Jane Helen Hopper (25 December 1937 - 1940) ( divorced)

Trade Mark (2)

Deep commanding voice that sounded more raspy and gravelly in later years.
Craggy face.

Trivia (30)

Uncle of Randy Boone
Cousin of Nick Todd.
On a December 14, 1957, episode of Have Gun - Will Travel (1957), Boone found himself stripped to the waist by Apaches and bound spreadagle-style between four stakes driven into the ground. So vivid was this scene that leading men in other TV westerns soon found themselves in similar circumstances, most notably Robert Horton in Wagon Train (1957) Ralph Taeger in Hondo (1967) and Peter Brown and William Smith in Laredo (1965).
He directed the final scenes of The Night of the Following Day (1969) at the insistence of star Marlon Brando, as Brando could no longer tolerate what he considered the incompetence of director Hubert Cornfield. The film is generally considered the nadir of Brando's career, though it didn't hurt Boone, who was cast as the heavy.
According to Joseph McBride's "Searching for John Ford" (St. Martin's Press, 2001 - ISBN 0312242328), director John Ford was urged to cast Boone and Anthony Quinn as the Little Wolf and Dull Knife characters in Cheyenne Autumn (1964), as both had Native American blood. Ricardo Montalban and Gilbert Roland, who were of Mexican descent, were cast instead.
At the end of his life, he taught acting classes at Flagler College in St. Augustine, FL.
In the last year of his life he was appointed Florida's cultural ambassador.
Turned down Jack Lord's role in Hawaii Five-O (1968).
Enjoyed weightlifting.
Turned down Robert Shaw's role in The Sting (1973).
His great-great-great-great-grandfather, George Boone, was a brother of pioneers Daniel Boone and Squire Boone.
He is a sixth cousin of singer and actor Pat Boone (Richard's five times great-grandparents, Squire Boone and Sarah Morgan, were also Pat Boone's five time great-grandparents).
Taught acting classes at the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York City from 1974-75. He was temporarily replacing Sanford Meisner, who had become stricken with throat cancer.
Served in the US Navy during World War II.
He was cast in the role of "Old Lodge Skins" in Little Big Man (1970), but a real Native American, Chief Dan George, ended up playing the part.
Richard's only child, Peter Boone, from his third wife, Claire McAloon, is named after Richard's great-great grandfather.
He was an auto-racing fan.
His father was of English, Scottish, German, and Welsh descent, and his maternal grandparents were Russian Jewish immigrants. Richard was very proud of his Jewish heritage, and starred in the first western to be filmed in Israel, His Name Was Madron (1970). He received an award from Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1979 for his contribution to Israeli cinema.
He was a chain smoker.
His height was sometimes given as 6'2", although he himself gave his height as 6'0".
Struggled with alcoholism for most of his life, allegedly partly due to his experiences in World War II.
In her 2004 autobiography "'Tis Herself", 'Maureen O'Hara' wrote that Boone and Peter Lawford, while filming Kangaroo (1952) in Melbourne, Australia, were arrested in a gay brothel "full of beautiful boys", but the studio prevented this from being reported by the press.
Richard Boone was married to Jane Hopper of Sausalito, CA, for a while in the 1940's in San Francisco where they both studied art and drama at the California Art Institute. They were best friends, drinkers both, but the marriage wasn't working so they split up and divorced. In 1945, Jane became pregnant from an affair with Richard Stiegler of Connecticut, a recently discharged naval captain, and even though she and Richard had separated, he nevertheless saw Jane through her pregnancy and the birth of a baby girl on June 17, 1946. The baby was given the name, "Melissa Boone" at birth but because it was hard at that time for an unmarried woman to have a child, the baby girl was put up for adoption and consequently adopted by Dr. and Mrs. Douglas G. Campbell of San Francisco who renamed her "Gail Russell Campbell". Jane's family tells of much craziness in her and Richard's relationship, including an instance when Richard was practicing sword fighting for a drama class and while waving his sword around, accidentally cut himself substantially in the thigh. Gail R. Campbell resides in Eugene, Oregon.
His later career was seriously affected by his chronic alcoholism. He walked off the set of God's Gun (1976) before he had recorded his dialog. As a result his voice in the film had to be dubbed by someone else.
Before the United States entered World War II he had intended to be a painter.
He was sought to run for political office by the Republicans but declined.
Due to sporting a similar appearance later in life (salt & pepper hair, distinctive mustache), Boone was sometimes confused with actor Charles Bronson, who was enjoying a highly active movie career as an action star while Boone's own career was winding down in the 1970's. The two men were actually friends, and Bronson guest starred several times on the television series "Medic" in the 1950's, on which Boone was the main star.
He often smoked 60-100 cigarettes a day.
Boone was actually being examined by a dentist when a tumor was discovered. Soon afterward he was diagnosed with throat cancer.
He refused treatment after being diagnosed with cancer of the larynx and became a recluse.

Personal Quotes (6)

[about John Wayne] He was an heroic figure and a hero. He stood up for causes when they weren't popular at all and he never hesitated to stand up and get counted, he was that kind of a person.
You have to use the power you acquire to protect the integrity of what you're doing. And to do that, you have to be prepared to go all the way. If you have the strength to do that, you're in pretty good shape.
Have I changed? Maybe success was necessary for me. I believe that unless I achieved it I would be a pretty miserable beast. Maybe I am a miserable beast. But now that I've got success, in some measure, I can decide what I want - and what I want, in a word, is to do the best work I can under the best possible conditions.
[on Have Gun - Will Travel (1957)] It was a ridiculous thing, but I don't ever have to worry about money. As a result of playing Paladin, I have what is known to actors as a lot of go-to-hell money.
It's harder and harder to do your best work on TV. (1967)
[on "God's Gun"] I'm starring in the worst picture ever made. The producer is an Israeli and the director is Italian, and they don't speak. Fortunately it doesn't matter, because the director is deaf in both ears.

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