If you go to the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo, you’re going to meet people with interesting stories, maybe tall tales, some with unusual comments or experiences; there are story twists and surprises, and certainly the variety seems to never end.
Here in an ongoing series are some of those stories of people encountered this year at Will Rogers Memorial Center:
“I love talking to people,” said Walter Clarence “Buck” Taylor III, the man who played Newly O’Brien for eight seasons on TV’s Gunsmoke ending in 1975 and more recently acted in the Cowboys & Aliens movie. A lifelong western artist, Buck Taylor specializes in watercolor paintings. He has been a Fort Worth-area ranch resident.
Taylor, son of famous character actor Dub Taylor, reports showing his artwork for the 23rd year at the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo; included are many ranch and Old West scenes — some done as Stock Show & Rodeo posters — often graced with countenances of TV and Hollywood western actors and actresses. His booth is in the Amon G. Carter Jr. Exhibits Hall.
And, also not retired from acting at age 77, Taylor is quick to mention that he’s proud of two of his latest movie roles, one in the Jeff Bridges/Chris Pine/Ben Foster-starring western-laced heist film titled Comancheria and the second as Mia Sorvino’s father in the psychological thriller Indiscretion. Taylor says his roles are not typical of his career characters, and both movies are scheduled for release later this year.
His links to the Fort Worth area are long. In his autobiographical sketch online, Taylor recalls being in the Fort Worth Stockyards in the late 1940s with his dad. Taylor says Dub Taylor acted in around 500 movies, including Bonnie and Clyde, and TV shows.
Seen routinely in his booth surrounded by his paintings and drawings, Buck Taylor says he’s as comfortable – unlike many celebrities – visiting with new acquaintances as with old friends. He rarely is not visiting in the booth or in the exhibits area aisles. Buck’s epitaph is reportedly going to be: “I got lots of friends.”
“Dad was like that, too,” he said.