William Dennis Weaver (1924 - 2006)

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Nicknames: "Dennis Weaver"
Birthplace: Joplin, Jasper County, Missouri, United States
Death: Died in Ridgway, Ouray, Colorado
Managed by: Catherine "Erin" Serafina Liora Spiceland
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About William Dennis Weaver

William Dennis Weaver[1] (June 4, 1924 – February 24, 2006) was an American actor, best known for his work in television, including his role as Matt Dillon's trusty helper Chester Goode on the long-running western series Gunsmoke. He later played Marshal Sam McCloud on the NBC police drama McCloud, and appeared in the 1971 TV movie Duel, the first film of director Steven Spielberg.

Weaver was born in Joplin, Missouri, son of Walter Weaver and his wife Lenna Prather. His father was of Irish, Scottish, English, Cherokee and Osage ancestry. Weaver wanted to be an actor from childhood. For a short time during his teenage years he lived in Manteca, California. He studied at Joplin Junior College, now Missouri Southern State University and then transferred to the University of Oklahoma at Norman, where he studied drama and was a track star, setting records in several events. During World War II he served as a pilot in the United States Navy. At the war's end, he married Gerry Stowell and they had three children.

Weaver's first role on Broadway came as an understudy to Lonny Chapman as Turk Fisher in Come Back, Little Sheba. He eventually took over the role from Chapman in the national touring company. Solidifying his choice to become an actor, Weaver enrolled in The Actors Studio,[3] where he met Shelley Winters. In the beginning of his acting career, he supported his family by doing odd jobs, including selling vacuum cleaners, tricycles and women's hosiery.

In 1952, Shelley Winters helped him get a contract from Universal Studios. He made his film debut that same year in the movie The Redhead from Wyoming. Over the next three years, he played in a series of movies, but still had to work odd jobs to support his family. It was while delivering flowers that he heard he had landed the role of Chester Goode, the limping, loyal assistant of Marshal Matt Dillon (James Arness) on the new television series Gunsmoke — it was his big break — the show would go on to become the highest-rated and longest-running series in US television history (1955 to 1975). He received an Emmy Award in 1959 for Best Supporting Actor (Continuing Character) in a Dramatic Series.

For his contribution to the television industry, Dennis Weaver was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6822 Hollywood Blvd, and on the Dodge City (KS) Trail of Fame. In 1981, he was inducted into the Western Performers Hall of Fame with the Bronze Wrangler Award at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dennis_Weaver

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William Dennis Weaver's Timeline

1924
June 4, 1924
Joplin, Jasper County, Missouri, United States
1930
1930
Age 5
Joplin, Jasper, Missouri
1930
Age 5
Joplin, Jasper, Missouri
1930
Age 5
Joplin, Jasper, Missouri
1945
1945
Age 20
2006
February 24, 2006
Age 81
Ridgway, Ouray, Colorado
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Actor