Clyde Randall "Randy" Boone (born January 17, 1942) is an American former actor and Country music singer. He is most well known for appearing in recurring episodes of all three 90 minute western television shows that aired during the sixties. They are Wagon Train, The Virginian and Cimarron Strip.
Early years and family:
Boone was born in Fayetteville, North Carolina, to Clyde Wilson Boone (born 1917) and Rhumel E. Boone (born December 31, 1919). He is related to frontiersman Daniel Boone, actor Richard Boone, actor singer Pat Boone and actress singer Debby Boone.
Randy Boone graduated from Fayetteville Senior High School where he played football as the punter. In 1960, Boone entered North Carolina State University at Raleigh but dropped out to tour the country and play his guitar, spending a lot of time in his early adulthood in coffeehouses.
At twenty, Boone co-starred in his first acting role as Vern Hodges in the 1962-1963 NBC comedy-drama It's a Man's World, based on the activities of four young men living on a houseboat on the Ohio River.
After It's a Man's World, Boone's career skyrocketed. He guest starred as Pete Tanner in the episode "Last Seen Wearing Blue Jeans" on The Alfred Hitchcock Hour. Thereafter, came his three Wagon Train episodes, entitled "The Eli Bancroft Story" in which Boone appeared as Noah Bancroft, "The Robert Harrison Clarke Story", with Boone in the role of Private Jamie, and "The David Garner Story", with Boone as David Garner. Boone also appeared as Private Michael McCluskey in "The 7th Is Made Up of Phantoms" episode of The Twilight Zone, which aired on CBS on December 6, 1963.
In 1963, Boone also joined The Virginian cast in its second season with the returning costars James Drury, Doug McClure, Gary Clarke, and Lee J. Cobb. Boone appeared in forty-six episodes over three seasons as the singing cowboy Randy Benton, a romantic interest for a time for Betsy Garth, played by Roberta Shore. He also appeared with cast members Clu Gulager and Diane Roter. Boone composed original songs that were featured in the series. For example, in a season four episode, "The Inchworm's Got No Wings At All" he sang and played his song during the opening credits and the songs melody continued throughout the episode adding dimension and continuity to the story. This episode starred Boone, Drury and Roter with featured guests Stacey Maxwell, Lou Antonio, Anthony Caruso and Jack Dodson adding dramatic tension to the heartfelt storyline.
He won the Bronze Wrangler award from the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in 1966 for his acting in the episode titled "The Horse Fighter" with the following cast and crew: Lee J. Cobb, James Drury, Doug McClure, Harry Guardino, Clu Gulager and Diane Roter (actors). Norman MacDonnell and James Duff McAdams (producers), Richard Fielder (writer) and Anton Leader (director).
While on The Virginian, he guest starred on David Janssen's ABC series The Fugitive. He also starred in the film Country Boy as Link Byrd, Jr., a country singer. After The Virginian, Boone guest starred on episodes of Combat!, Bonanza, and Hondo.
From 1967 to 1968, Boone co-starred in the western series Cimarron Strip in the role of 25-year-old photographer Francis Wilde, who is also a part-time deputy to Marshal Jim Crown, portrayed by series star Stuart Whitman. After Cimarron Strip, Boone made a few television appearances, including NBC's Emergency! in 1973 and ABC's Kolchak: The Night Stalker with Darren McGavin in 1974. The following year, he appeared as Deputy Dickie Haycroft in the television movie Savages, with co-stars Andy Griffith, Sam Bottoms, Noah Beery, Jr., and James Best.
His last role was as Farkas in the 1987 film The Wild Pair (also known as The Devil's Odds), about a narcotics officer and a Federal Bureau of Investigation agent.
After his acting ended, Boone returned to Fayetteville, from where he also engaged in country music and attended occasional music and film festivals.
In July 2003, he was a guest at the Western Film Fair in Charlotte, North Carolina, along with his The Virginian co-stars James Drury, Roberta Shore, Clu Gulager, and Gary Clarke. In 2011, Randy Boone was inducted into the Fayetteville Music Hall of Fame.
In August 2012, Boone and his wife moved away from North Carolina to be closer to family. Also in 2012, Boone appeared with fellow The Virginian cast members James Drury, Gary Clarke, L.Q. Jones, Roberta Shore, Clu Gulager, Diane Roter, Sara Lane, and Don Quine at 50th Anniversary Celebrations at the Memphis Film Festival and the Autry National Center and Museum.
On September 22, 2012, The Virginian began a three-year agreement to run on the Inspiration Network cable channel. Cozi TV the NBCUniversal classic television digital specialty network began airing episodes in 2013. MeTV airs episodes in selected viewing areas.
Boone attended as guest star, the Cowboy Up for Vets Horse Show with fellow The Virginian cast members Drury, Shore, Clarke, Gulager, Roter, Lane and Quine. The show was held on March 28, 2014 in Swanton, OH. He took part in a special celebration of James Drury's 80th birthday at the show.
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