Actor Robert Horton died, March 9, 2016, at the age of 91. Horton rose to TV fame in the role of Flint McCullough, on the long-running Wagon Train TV series. The western ran on NBC from 1957 to 1962, which is when Horton exited, to avoid being typecast. After NBC cancelled it, ABC picked up Wagon Train, where it ran through its eighth season, ending in 1965.
Despite his fear of typecasting, Horton headlined another western — ABC’s A Man Called Shenandoah TV series, playing the title character. That show ran for 34 episodes from September of 1965, to September 1966. He returned to a regular TV series in the 1980s, on the now-cancelled soap opera, As the World Turns. On AtWT, Horton played publishing mogul Whitney McColl.
His first TV role was a 1954 appearance on The Lone Ranger, as the character Charles DeWitt. His last was in a 1989 episode of Murder, She Wrote, entitled, “Seal of the Confessional,” in which Horton played Jack Hutchings. Between 1956 and 1960, he appeared on Alfred Hitchcock Presents, seven times.
The New York Times confirmed Mr. Horton’s death with his niece, Joan Evans. According to that report, the actor was hurt in a fall, last November. The NYT says he had recently been placed in hospice care.
He was born Meade Howard Horton Jr. in Los Angeles on July 29, 1924 and earned a Bachelor’s degree in theatre arts from UCLA. In addition to his niece, Horton leaves his wife, the former Marilynn Bradley, whom he married December 31, 1960.
His first (uncredited) film role was Jack in A Walk in the Sun (1945). His other big screen roles include Tom Herrera in Apache War Smoke (1952), Dr. Mitchell in Bright Road (1953), Ensign Neil Conovan in Men of the Fighting Lady (1954), and Dr. Michael Benning in The Man Is Armed (1956).
We invite you to share your memories of Mr. Horton and his career, in the comments.