Dennis Weaver

Dennis Weaver Biography

Dennis Weaver

Dennis Weaver

William Dennis Weaver, born June 4, 1924 in Joplin, Missouri, was a famous American actor, best known for his work in television, including roles on such series as “Gunsmoke” and as Officer Sam McCloud on a 1971 detective series on NBC entitled “McCloud”.

Early Life

Dennis Weaver was the son of Walter Weaver and his wife Lena Prather. His father was a descendant of Irish, Scottish, English and Cherokee ancestry. He attended the University of Oklahoma, where he excelled as an athlete: in 1948 was ranked sixth in the decathlon tests that give access to the Olympic Games, won by the legendary Bob Mathias, and won the final race of 1500 m. At the same time began appearing in theater university functions. After enlisting and fulfilling military service, he decided to devote himself to the interpretation. The actress Shelley Winters gave him his first serious chance to help him get a role in the production of the play Come Back, Little Sheba.


In 1952 he made his film debut. His first appearances in small roles consist with just dialogue, usually in westerns. Enjoyed great success with his first major work on television series Gunsmoke (1955-64), in which he played the sheriff Chester Goode, and for which he was nominated twice for an Emmy for Best Supporting Actor in a series. He also intervened episodically in other series such as Dragnet, The Lone Ranger, The Twilight Zone and The Virginian. Among his best roles on the big screen featured a brief appearance as the hotel manager in Touch of Evil (1958) by Orson Welles.

At the same time, he took his first steps as a country singer; another great passion. In 1958 he formed a trio with Milburn Stone and Amanda Blake, with whom he toured the United States. Even in the best moments of his career as an actor, Weaver continued to issue solo albums cowboy music. His greatest success as an actor arrived in the early seventies. The series McCloud (1971), in which he played the protagonist, urban Sheriff Sam McCloud, let his image patrolling the streets of the big city on a horse and became a familiar figure on the small screen in the world.

The other great part of his career as an actor came in television production. The Duel (1971), the first masterpiece as director Steven Spielberg, was shot considering the small screen, but its extraordinary quality allowed releasing it in the movies. In it, Dennis Weaver played the salesman David Mann, harassed during a road trip through a mysterious truck. From the seventies his acting career was limited to only minor productions for television.

Private Life

Until his death, he is married to Gerry Stowell (from 20 October 1945 to 24 February 2006) and three sons Rick, Robby and Rusty.

Dennis Weaver and Ecology

He was one of the first persons to seriously engage in ecology. His family including him is vegetarians, and in 1990, he lived entirely on solar energy. His huge house Ridgway is constructed with 300 tires and 300,000 recycled cans.


Dennis Weaver died of cancer on February 24, 2006 at the age of 81, at his home in Ridgway, Colorado.



  • 1952: The Traitor Texas (Horizons West), Budd Boetticher: Dandy Taylor
  • 1952: The Raiders: Dick Logan
  • 1953: The Pretty Redhead from Wyoming (The Redhead from Wyoming) Matt Jessup
  • 1953 The Lawless (The Lawless Breed): Jim Clements
  • 1953: The Gentleman from Louisiana (The Mississippi Gambler): Julian Conant
  • 1953 It Happens Every Thursday: Al, President of the Chamber of Commerce
  • 1953: When the powder speak (Law and Order): Frank Durling
  • 1953: The Heroic Lieutenant (Column South) Menguito
  • 1953: The Deserter Alamo (The Man from the Alamo): Reb
  • 1953: The Legend of Camelot (The Golden Blade): Rabble Rouser
  • 1953: The Nebraska Man (The Nebraskan): Captain De Witt
  • 1953 Assault on Fort Clark (War Arrow): Pino
  • 1954 Mission dangerous (Dangerous Mission) ranger clerk
  • 1954: The police are on the teeth (Dragnet): Police Captain RA Lohrman
  • 1954: The Bridges at Toko-Ri (The Bridges at Toko-Ri): the intelligence officer of the Air Force
  • 1955: Ten men down (Ten Wanted Men): Sheriff Clyde Gibbons
  • 1955: Seven Angry Men: John Brown Jr.
  • 1955: The Grand Chef (Chief Crazy Horse): Staff Carlisle
  • 1955: Storm Fear: Hank
  • 1956: Navy Wife
  • 1958: Touch of Evil (Touch of Evil) a night watchman at the Mirador Motel
  • 1960: The Gallant Hours: Lieutenant Andy Lowe
  • 1966: The Battle of the Diablo (Duel at Diablo): Willard Grange
  • 1966: Hang the ramp, Jerry (Way … Way Out): Hoffman
  • 1967: The Great Bear and the child (Gentle Giant) Tom Wedloe
  • 1968: Mission Batangas: Chip Corbett
  • 1970: A Man Called Sledge (A Man Called Sledge): Erwin Ward
  • 1971: What’s the Matter with Helen? : Linc Palmer
  • 1977: Cry for Justice
  • 1995 Two Bits & Pepper: Sheriff Pratt
  • 1997 Telluride Crosses Over Time: cameo
  • 1998: Rescue at Wildcat Canyon (Escape from Wildcat Canyon): Grandfather Flint
  • 2000: Crash in the ocean (Submerged): Buck Stevens

TV series:

  • 1955 Schlitz Playhouse of Stars: Ben
  • 1955 Badge 714 (Dragnet) Dave Rotbart
  • 1955: The Lone Ranger: Jeb Sullivan
  • 1955-1964: Gunsmoke Chester Goode
  • 1956 Big Town
  • 1958 Climax! Steve Maclyn
  • 1958 Playhouse 90: Karl Ohringer
  • 1960 Alfred Hitchcock Presents (Alfred Hitchcock presents): Charles Cavender
  • 1961: The Fourth Dimension (The Twilight Zone): Adam Grant
  • 1964-1965: Kentucky Jones Kentucky Jones
  • 1965: Young Dr. Kildare (Dr. Kildare): Wayne Wandemeir
  • 1965: Fight! Noah
  • 1966: Disney Parade (Disneyland): George Tucker, the Sundown Kid
  • 1967: My friend Ben (Gentle Ben) Tom Wedloe
  • 1969 Judd for the Defense: Professor Robert Beardsley
  • 1969: The Rules of the Game (The Name of the Game): Walter Grayson
  • 1970: That Girl: Lewis Franks
  • 1970 The Virginian (The Virginian): Jed Haines says “Judge Harker”
  • 1970-1977: A sheriff in New York: Sam McCloud
  • 1974: The Flip Wilson Show: himself
  • 1978 Pearl: Colonel Jason Forrest
  • 1978: Colorado (Centennial, TV series): PJ Poteet
  • 1979 Police Story: Bently
  • 1980: Stone: Inspector Daniel Stone
  • 1983: Scandals in Admiralty against Admiral Thomas Mallory
  • 1985: Magnum (Magnum P.I.): Lacy Fletcher
  • 1987: Buck James: Dr. James Buck
  • 1991: The New Adventures of Captain Planet (Captain Planet and the Planeteers) Josh
  • 1994-1995: Lonesome Dove (Lonesome Dove: The Series): Buffalo Bill Cody
  • 2001: The Beast: Walter McFadden
  • 2001: Partners for Law (Family Law): Richard J. Lloyd
  • 2002: The Simpsons (The Simpsons): Buck McCoy
  • 2003 Touched by an Angel (Touched by an Angel) Emmett Rivers
  • 2005: Wildfire: Henry


  • 1970: McCloud: Who Killed Miss U.S.A.? (TV movie) Sam McCloud
  • 1970 Swing Out, Sweet Land (TV movie) Tom Lincoln
  • 1971: The Forgotten Man (TV movie) Lt. Joe Hardy
  • 1971 Duel (TV movie) David Mann
  • 1972: The Great Man’s Whiskers (TV movie) Abraham Lincoln
  • 1972: On track (Rolling Man TV movie) Lonnie McAfee
  • 1973: Female Artillery (TV movie): Deke Chambers
  • 1973: Stranger (Terror on the Beach, telefilm) beach: Neil Glynn
  • 1976: The John Denver Special (TV movie)
  • 1977: Intimate Strangers (TV movie) Donald Halston
  • 1978 The Islander (TV movie) Gable McQueen
  • 1978 Ishi: The Last of His Tribe (TV movie) Professor Benjamin Fuller
  • 1979: Summary Executions (Stone TV movie) Daniel Ellis Stone
  • 1978-1979: Colorado (Centennial series): RJ Poteet
  • 1979: The Ordeal of Patty Hearst (TV movie) Charles Bates
  • 1980 Amber Waves (TV movie): Elroy “Bud” Burkhardt
  • 1980: The Ordeal of Dr. Mudd (TV movie) Dr. Samuel A. Mudd
  • 1981 The Break (The Day the Loving Stopped, TV movie) Aaron Danner
  • 1982: A child of light (Do not Go to Sleep, TV movie) Phillip
  • 1983: Cocaine (Cocaine: One Man’s Seduction, TV movie) Eddie Gant
  • 1985: Race to the top (Going for the Gold: The Bill Johnson Story, TV movie) Wally Johnson
  • 1986 A Winner Never Quits (TV movie) Mr. Wyshner
  • 1987 Bluffing It (TV movie) Jack Duggan
  • 1988: Disaster at Silo 7 (TV movie) Sheriff Ben Harlen
  • 1989: The Return of Sam McCloud (TV movie) Sam McCloud
  • 1992 Mastergate (TV movie) Dale Burden
  • 1994 Greyhounds (TV movie) Chance Wayne
  • 1994: The Battles of the Civil War (The Great Battles of the Civil War, series): Robert E. Lee (voice)
  • 1997: Heart of seductress (Seduction in a Small Town) (TV movie) Sam Jenks
  • 1997 Stolen Women, Captured Hearts (TV movie) Captain Farnsworth
  • 2000 The Virginian (The Virginian TV movie) Sam Balaam
  • 2000: High Noon (TV movie) Howe Mart



1987 – Humanitarian Award – Film Crystal Awards – United States.

1959 – Gunsmoke (TV) – Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

Trivial Facts About Dennis Weaver

  • From 1973 to 1975, Dennis Weaver served as president of the Screen Actors Guild USA.
  • In 1986, the Mecca of American film rewards him with the famous “star” on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
  • Dennis Weaver continues to work tirelessly, often with the whole family, i.e. wife and children.
  • He died on the same date and at the same age as actor Don Knotts.
  • The last production in which he participated is Wildfire, in which he played Henry, Jean’s father owns Wildfire.
  • Weaver was a vegetarian and an active defender of the environment – his own house in Ridgeway consisted of recycled materials.


Be Sociable, Share!