McClure at 26 (1961)
|Born||Douglas Osborne McClure
May 11, 1935
Glendale, California, U.S.
|Died||February 5, 1995
Sherman Oaks, California, U.S.
Cause of death
|Woodlawn Memorial Cemetery at Santa Monica, California|
|Alma mater||University of California, Los Angeles|
Faye Brash (m. 1957–61) (divorced)
Douglas Osborne "Doug" McClure (May 11, 1935 – February 5, 1995) was an American actor whose career in film and television extended from the 1950s to the 1990s. He is best known for his role as the cowboy Trampas during the entire run from 1962 to 1971 of the NBC western television series, The Virginian, loosely based on the Owen Wister novel.
McClure was born in Glendale, California, to an English mother, Clara Elsie (née Barker) (1907–1997); she had moved to the United States from her native United Kingdom in 1915 when her widowed mother married an American, Frank S Artman. Clara Barker was naturalised as an American citizen in 1918, and married Irish-American Donald Reed McClure (1904–1965) in 1929. Doug McClure had an older brother, Donald Reed McClure (1931–2003). Clara McClure married Frank Clapp in 1971, six years after Donald McClure's death.
McClure's acting career included such films as The Enemy Below, South Pacific, The Unforgiven, and Because They're Young, before landing the part of Trampas on The Virginian – a part that would make him famous. He also starred in four other series:
- as Frank "Flip" Flippen on NBC's western, Overland Trail (1960), with co-star William Bendix
- as Jed Sills on the CBS detective series Checkmate (1960–62) opposite Anthony George as Don Corey and Sebastian Cabot as Dr. Carl Hyatt
- in the sci-fi/detective series Search (1972–1973) in which he rotated the lead with Hugh O'Brian and Anthony Franciosa as a high-tech PROBE agent, and
- in the series Out of This World (1987–1991) as Mayor Kyle Applegate.
McClure had a minor part in 1957 as an Army officer in "California Gold Rush in Reverse" on the syndicated anthology series Death Valley Days. The episode is a dramatization of the race in 1848 between the Army and the Navy to be the first to deliver gold nuggets from California to Washington, D.C.1
In 1958 and 1959 McClure appeared in three episodes of the syndicated western series 26 Men, stories of the Arizona Rangers. He appeared as Adam Davis in 1959 in the episode "The Court Martial of Trooper Davis" of another syndicated series, Mackenzie's Raiders, starring Richard Carlson. He was in the third episode of The Twilight Zone, "Mr. Denton on Doomsday".
Then in 1962, he got the part of Trampas in NBC's The Virginian. His co-stars throughout the series were James Drury, Roberta Shore, Lee J. Cobb, Randy Boone, Gary Clarke, Clu Gulager, Diane Roter, Charles Bickford, Sara Lane, Tim Matheson, Jeanette Nolan, and John McIntire.
After the show ended in 1971, McClure was slated to co-star with Bette Davis in a series about a parolee assisting a judge, played by Davis, by doing detective work. The pilot, produced and written by the prolific team of Richard Levinson and William Link, failed to generate interest in the series and was released as a telemovie under the title "The Judge and Jake Wyler".2 McClure starred in science fiction films such as At the Earth's Core, The Land That Time Forgot and The People That Time Forgot, all three based on the novels of Edgar Rice Burroughs. In 1967, he played the Errol Flynn role in a re-make of Against All Flags titled The King's Pirate. He was cast in the lead in two World War II adventures, The Longest Hundred Miles and The Birdmen. In the 1970s and 1980s, McClure appeared in commercials for Hamms Beer.3
In 1994, McClure was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Television at 7065 Hollywood Blvd. It was unveiled in what was his final public appearance.
On February 5, 1995, McClure died from lung cancer in Sherman Oaks, California. Doug had been a life long smoker. He was fifty-nine. He is interred at Woodlawn Memorial Cemetery, located at 1847 14th Street in Santa Monica, California. In addition to his fifth wife, he is survived by two daughters, Valerie and Tane McClure, who is an actress. McClure was twice divorced while he was a co-star of The Virginian.
The character of Troy McClure on The Simpsons was designed after him along with the late Troy Donahue. Mike Reiss, executive producer of The Simpsons, said that Doug McClure's daughter informed him that Doug was a big fan of The Simpsons. She said that while watching an episode Doug saw the character Troy McClure on the show and said, "Are they making fun of me?" Doug said he thought the parody was funny and his kids would call him Troy McClure behind his back as a joke.4
- The Enemy Below (1957)
- South Pacific (1958)
- Gidget (1959)
- The Unforgiven (1960)
- Because They're Young (1960)
- The Lively Set (1964)
- Shenandoah (1965)
- Beau Geste (1966)
- The King's Pirate (1967)
- The Longest Hundred Miles (1967)
- Nobody's Perfect (1968)
- Backtrack (1969)
- Terror in the Sky (1971)
- Playmates (1972)
- The Judge and Jake Wyler (1972)
- State of Division aka Death Race (1973)
- Die blutigen Geier von Alaska (Germany, 1973)
- What Changed Charley Farthing/The Bananas Boat (1974)
- The Land That Time Forgot (1975)
- At the Earth's Core (1976)
- SST: Death Flight (1977)
- The People That Time Forgot (1977)
- Warlords of Atlantis (1978)
- Wild and Wooly (1978)
- The Rebels – Pt. 2 of the Kent Family Chronicles (1979)
- Humanoids from the Deep (1980)
- Firebird 2015 A.D. (1981)
- The House Where Evil Dwells (1982)
- Cannonball Run II (1984)
- 52 Pick-Up (1986)
- Omega Syndrome (1986)
- Prime Suspect (1988)
- Tapeheads (1988)
- Dark Before Dawn (1988)
- Battling for Baby (1992)
- Dead Man's Revenge (1993)
- Maverick (1994)
- Riders in the Storm (1995)
- Riverboat – Corporal Jenkins in "The Face of Courage" (1959)
- U.S. Marshal – Bruce Williams in "The Threat (1959)
- Twilight Zone – Gunslinger (episode "Mr. Denton on Doomsday" (1959)
- COronado 9 – Jimmy Hoke in "The Widow of Kill Cove" (1960)
- Hennesey – Seaman Davies in "Angel Face" (1960)
- Johnny Midnight – Rice in "Mother's Boy" (1960)
- Overland Trail – Frank Flippin (1960)
- Checkmate – Jed Sills (1960–62)
- The Virginian – Trampas (1962–71)
- The Longest Hundred Miles (1967)
- Escape of the Birdmen (1971)
- Barbary Coast – Cash Conover (1975)
- Satan's Triangle – Lt. J. Haig (1975)
- Search – C. R. Grover (1972–73)
- Roots – Jimmy Brent (1977)
- The Fall Guy (TV series) five episodes (once as Himself)
- Murder, She Wrote - (episode "Steal Me A Story" (air date 1November 15, 1987)
- Out of This World – Mayor Kyle Applegate (1987–1991)
- In the Heat of the Night: "Time's Long Shadow" (1994)
- The Gambler Returns: The Luck of the Draw (1994)
- "Death Valley Days: "California Gold Rush in Reverse", 1957". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved October 29, 2012.
- Shipman, David (7 Feb 1995). "OBITUARY: Doug McClure". The Independent. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
- Doug McClure Played Trampas and commercial Dick Kleiner syndicated column, Ocala Star-Banner, Oct 29, 1982.
- The Simpsons, Season 2 DVD, Episode: "Homer vs. Lisa and the 8th Commandment"
- Doug McClure at the Internet Movie Database