James Drury Wiki
James Child Drury Jr. Born on April 18, 1934, was an Irish/American actor best known for his success in playing the title role in the 90-minute weekly Western television series The Virginian, broadcast on NBC from 1962–71.
James Drury Early Years
Drury was born in New York City, the son of James Child Drury and Beatrice Crawford Drury. His father was a New York University professor of marketing. He grew up between New York City and Salem, Oregon, where his mother owned a farm. Drury contracted polio at the age of ten.
He studied drama at New York University and took additional classes at UCLA to complete his degree after he began acting in films at MGM.
James Drury Wife Cristall Othones And Children’s
On February 7, 1957, Drury married Cristall Othones. They had two children and divorced on November 23, 1964. He married Phyllis Jacqueline Mitchell on April 27, 1968, and they divorced on January 30, 1979. He married Carl Ann Head on July 30, 1979. Drury died from natural causes on April 6, 2020, at age 85.
James Drury Death & Cause
James Drury, who played the gruff title character of NBC’s “The Virginian,” has died. He was 85.
Drury’s assistant, Karen Lindsey, confirmed the news to USA TODAY, writing that he died early Monday morning at his home in Houston, Texas, of natural causes.
James Drury Career
Drury’s professional acting career began when he was twelve years old, when he performed in a road company’s production of Life with Father.
He signed a film contract with MGM in 1954 and appeared in bit parts in films. After he went to 20th Century Fox, he appeared in Love Me Tender (1956) and Bernardine (1957).
In 1959, Drury was cast as Harding, Jr., in the episode “Murder at the Mansion” on Richard Diamond, Private Detective. On May 9, 1959, early in his career, Drury appeared as Neal Adams in the episode “Client Neal Adams” of ABC’s western series Black Saddle. In the story line, Adams is an old friend of series protagonist Clay Culhane, a gunfighter-turned-lawyer played by Peter Breck. Adams has robbed a bank of $8,000 and was subsequently shot in the back by a pursuing bounty hunter, played by Charles Aidman. Adams asks Culhane for help and makes the false claim that the bounty hunter is the brother of a man whom Adams had earlier killed in self-defense.
On Christmas eve 1959, Drury was cast in the episode, “Ten Feet of Nothing” on the syndicated anthology series, Death Valley Days, hosted by Stanley Andrews. Drury portrayed a young miner, Joe Plato, who in a drunken stupor gives away half of his then worthless mining claim to a saloon singer, Kathy Mulqueen (Preshy Marker). Kathy arrives to collect on her interest in the mine when gold is discovered on the adjacent property. Soon Joe and Cathy fall in love and marry. Hank Patterson was cast as Plato’s friend, Abe.
In 1960, Drury appeared in different roles in two episodes, “Fair Game” and “Vindication” of another ABC western series, The Rebel, starring Nick Adams as a Confederate adventurer roaming through the post-Civil War American West. On November 16, 1960, Drury played young pioneer Justin Claiborne in the episode “The Bleymier Story” of NBC’s Wagon Train.. He was also cast in the 1960 Disney movie, Pollyanna as George Dodds, the love interest of Nancy Olson.