There have been a lot of different personalities that became famous for their roles in certain television shows or films. You probably know a lot of different film and TV stars based on the volume of their work or a certain performance that they did. Because so many people have worked in those two industries, it’s sometimes hard to keep track of all of them. Fortunately, there have been plenty of different conventions and events that focus on certain genres of film and television or even specific movies and television shows.
As somebody who didn’t really grow up watching a lot of older television shows, I wasn’t really aware that much of the breadth of work that a certain actor has done. So when I come across a profile for an actor who hasn’t been on my radar, I am always bit curious about the kind work that they did as an actor. Often times, there might be a movie or an episode of a television that I may or may not have seen that they were a part of. But for the most part, I’m going into their filmography blind. Like I said, I didn’t really have access to older types of films and television shows.
Morgan Woodward is an actor probably best known for his role as the guy who wore mirrored sunglasses in the 1967 film Cool Hand Luke. It feels really reductive to refer to him as just a guy who played a character who wore mirrored sunglasses. I haven’t really watched the film so I don’t really know much about his character. But he seems to be a pivotal character in it.
A lot of older actors tend to not have much in regards to their life story, just from browsing his Wikipedia page. He was the middle child in the family. He spent most of his childhood in Texas. After graduating high school, he signed up for the United States Air Force where he managed to fly his first plane at the age of 16. He primarily served during World War II. After that, he decided to continue his studies at the North Texas Agriculture College where he got a bachelor’s degree in finance. Although he was pretty active in the theater during his years in college. Then he attended law school at the University of Texas at Austin. He was really into participating in the arts during those years. He had a local radio show and somehow managed to sing in a barbershop quartet.
His acting career pretty much started shortly thereafter. His first appearance was in the 1956 film The Great Locomotive Chase. Somehow the film was produced by Walt Disney Productions. Yes, that Walt Disney Productions. Pretty much most of Morgan Woodward’s body of work was in the genre of westerns. If you look at any picture of him during that time, you would probably agree that he gives off the vibe that he does western movies a lot.
He pretty much had a steady career appearing in film and television in the next forty years or so of his career. He juggled doing appearances in both mediums during his early years. Though his television work was mostly guest roles here and there. Though one of his major roles in television was in the series The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp which ran from 1955 to 1961. Morgan played the role of Shotgun Gibbs in the series. Another major role for him was in the role of Marvin Anderson in the series Dallas which ran from 1980 to 1987.
The years after that, Morgan wasn’t really as active as much. His last appearance in either film or television is in a 1997 episode of the Fox television series Millennium where he played the role of Iron Lung Man. At that point, he reached a net worth of about $1,750,000. He does seem to have done a few appearances in events and conventions after that. He was recognized for his work in the western film genre, having been inducted in the Hall of Great Western Performers at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in 2009. He passed away in his home in California in 2019.
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