- (1922–1999)Born Francis Timothy McCown in Burbank, California, Rory Calhoun used his chiseled good looks and sturdy build to keep him in steady work in movies and television from the 1950s through the 1980s. Alan Ladd discovered him in 1943 when he saw Calhoun riding a horse. Impressed with his natural horse-handling ability, Ladd urged him to get a screen test. Early uncredited bit parts in a few war movies followed, and then his break occurred when he played James Corbet in the vintage boxing movie The Great John L. (1945). With this film, along with a name change, Calhoun began a steady career. As a professional gambler, he played opposite Marilyn Monroe and Robert Mitchum in the high-profile Western River of No Return (1954). Later Westerns included Way of a Gaucho (1952), Four Guns to the Border (1954), The Silver Whip (1953),andThe Yellow Tomahawk(1954).After 1958 Calhoun moved to television for most of his remaining career. The Texan(1958–1960) was his most well-known television Western series. Massacre River (1949), a romantic Western, was perhaps Calhoun’s finest cinema Western. He played an Army officer (Lieutenant Phil Acton) in love with Kitty Reid (Cathy Downs), the sister of a fellow officer, Randy Reid (Johnny Sands). Unfortunately, his love is unrequited as Kitty pledges love to Lieutenant Larry Knight (Guy Madison), who proves unworthy of her and falls for the wiles of a dance hall girl named Laura (Carole Mathews). Larry resigns his commission and leaves town with Laura. While Kitty descends into despair, Phil pursues Larry and Laura into Indian territory, vowing justice. He finds the two, but a pending fight to the death is interrupted when all three must turn their attention to surviving an Apacheattack.
Historical Dictionary of Westerns in Cinema. Paul Varner. 2012.
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Calhoun, Rory — ▪ 2000 Francis Timothy McCown [Durgin] American actor whose chance meeting with actor Alan Ladd led him to a career as the rugged hero of a number of B westerns in the 1950s; he also starred in the television series The Texan in 1958–60… … Universalium
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