Friday, July 27, 2012

RIP R.G. Armstrong

R.G. Armstrong passed away in his sleep on July 27, 2012. He was 95. Born Robert Golden Armstrong on April 7, 1917 in Birmingham, Alabama. He attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. While there he was frequently performing on stage with the Carolina Playmakers. Although his mother had hoped he would follow the ministry, ffter graduating, R.G. headed to New York, where his acting career really took off. In 1953 he, along with many of his Actor's Studio buddies, was part of the cast of "End As a Man" -- this became the first play to go from off-Broadway to Broadway. The following year, R.G. got his first taste of movies, appearing in “Garden of Eden” (1954). However, he returned to New York and the live stage. He received great reviews for his portrayal of Big Daddy in the Broadway production of "Cat On a Hot Tin Roof" in 1955. In 1958 he took the plunge to Hollywood and appeared in two movies, a TV series, and numerous guest appearances on TV shows that year, usually in westerns such as "The Rifleman" (1958), "Have Gun - Will Travel" (1957) and "Zane Grey Theater" (1956), among others. He would go on to appear in 80 movies and three TV series in his career, and guest-starred in 90 TV series, many of them westerns, often as a tough sheriff or a rugged land baron. R.G. was a regular cast member in the TV series "T.H.E. Cat" (1966), playing tough, one-handed Captain MacAllister. Although most of us remember R.G. as a regular in several Sam Peckinpah films, the younger generation knows him as spooky Lewis Vandredi, who just wouldn't let the main characters have a good night's sleep on the "Friday the 13th" (1987) TV series. Finally retiring after six successful decades in show business, his last film appearance was in the TV western film “Purgatory” (1999). Mr. Armstrong had been blind for the past few years he enjoyed listening to old radio programs and the Encore westerns channel. Armstrong received a Golden Boot award in 1999. R.G. appeared in one Euro-western as Honest John in “My Name is Nobody” (1973).

ARMSTRONG, R.G. (Robert Golden Armstrong)
Born: 4/7/1917, Birmingham, Alabama, U.S.A.
Died: 7/27/2012, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.

R.G. Armstrong’s westerns – actor:
Jefferson Drum (TV) – 1958 (Kreiger)
From Hell to Texas – 1958 (Hunter Boyd)
Have Gun – Will Travel (TV) – 1958 (Marshall Tom Jaffey, Mayor S.J. Lovett)
The Californians (TV) – 1958 (Malone)
The Rifleman (TV) – 1958 (Sheriff Fred Tomlinson)
Bronco (TV) – 1958 (Reverend Hardin)
Zane Grey Theater (TV) – 1958 (Sheriff Fred Tomlinson, Sheriff Les Houghton)
Sugarfoot (TV) – 1958, 1959 (Clay Calhoun, Lou Stoner)
The Texan (TV) – 1958, 1959 (Cliff Clifford, Big Sam Aldridge)
Black Saddle (TV) – 1959 (Ben Dawes)
U.S. Marshal (TV) – 1959 (Link Thompson)
No Name on the Bullet – 1959 (Asa Canfield)
Lawman (TV) – 1959 (Gabe Dallas)Major Ben Rogers)
Wanted Dead or Alive (TV) – 1959 (Asa Wynter)
Riverboat (TV) – 1959 (Rothgate)
Maverick (TV) – 1959, 1960 (Colonel Karl Bent, Wellington Cosgrove)
Rawhide (TV) – 1959, 1960, 1962, 1965 (Enoch Talby, Burke, Gantry Hobson, Sheriff John Keeley)
Bonanza (TV) – 1959, 1961, 1966 (Andrew Holloway, Nathan Clay, Colonel Keith Jarrell)
The Westerner (TV) – 1960 (Shell Davidson)
Ten Who Dared – 1960 (Oramel Howland)
The Tall Man (TV) – 1960 (Neal Bailey)
Cheyenne (TV) – 1960, 1961 (Angus Emmett, Nathanael Grimm)
Laramie (TV) – 1960, 1961, 1962 (Matthews, Sam Jarrad, Jud, Marshal Al Dawson, Vic Prescott)
The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp (TV) – 1961 (Joe Taylor)
Bat Masterson (TV) – 1961 (Marshal William MacWilliams)
Gunsmoke (TV) – 1961, 1963, 1965, 1966, 1967 (Capt. Benter, Major, Jud Briar, Argonaut, Carl Anderson)
Frontier Circus (TV) – 1962 (Uriah Foster)
Tales of Wells Fargo (TV) – 1962 (Hanson)
Ride the High Country – 1962 (Joshua Knudsen)
Wagon Train (TV) – 1962 (John Muskie, General Kirby)
The Wide Country (TV) – 1963 (Charlie Devlin)
Death Valley Days (TV) – 1963, 1965 (Steve, Bundage)
The Virginian (TV) – 1963, 1967 (Ben Winters, Frederick Harley)
He Rides Tall – 1964 (Joshua 'Josh' McCloud)
Major Dundee – 1965 (Reverend Dahlstrom)
The Big Valley (TV) – 1965 (Wallace Miles)
El Dorado – 1966 (Kevin MacDonald)
Cimarron Strip (TV) – 1967 (William Payne)
The Guns of Will Sonnett (TV) – 1967 (Collin Atwood)
Daniel Boone (TV) – 1967, 1968 (Jarvis, Joseph Garth)
Lancer (TV) – 1968 (Gant Foley)
Here Come the Brides (TV) – 1969 (Lijah)
The Ballad of Cable Hogue – 1970 (Quittner)
The McMasters – 1970 (Watson)
The High Chaparral (TV) – 1970 (Henderson)
J.W. Coop – 1971 (Jim Sawyer)
Alias Smith and Jones (TV) – 1971 (Max)
Justin Morgan Had a Horse – 1972 (Squire Fisk)
The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid – 1972 (Clell Miller)
Hec Ramsey (TV) – 1972 (Ben Ritt)
Cotter – 1973
Gentle Savage – 1973 (Rupert Beeker)
Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid – 1973 (Ollinger)
Running Wild – 1973 (Bull)
My Name is Nobody – 1973 (Honest John)
Boss Nigger – 1975 (Mayor Griffin)
The Legend of the Golden Gun – (TV) – 1979 (Judge Harrison Harding)
The Last Ride of the Dalton Gang (TV) – 1979 (Leland Stanford)
The Shadow Riders (TV) – 1982 (Sheriff Miles Gillette)
Lone Wolf McQuade – 1983 (T. Tyler)
Red Headed Stranger – 1986 (Sheriff Reese Scoby)
Independence (TV) – 1987 (Uriah Creed)
Walker, Texas Ranger (TV) – 1994 (Frank Dodge)
Purgatory (TV) – 1999 (coachman)
Sam Peckinpah's West: Legacy of a Hollywood Renegade (TV) -2004 [himself]

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