James Drury, well renowned as the central figure in one the longest-running Westerns in television history, 'The Virginian,' has died. He was 85.
The actor’s assistant, Karen Lindsey, took to Facebook to break the tragic news. She wrote:
THE COWBOY took his last ride. It is with immense sadness that I let you all know that James Drury, our beloved Virginian and dear friend passed away this morning of natural causes, Monday, April 6, 2020.
Lindsey added, “He will be missed so much. It is beyond words. Memorial service to be determined later.”
Born on April 18, 1934, the Irish/American actor was raised between New York City and Salem, Oregon. He made his small-screen debut in a Western drama series 'Gunsmoke' in 1955. However, his biggest stardom came seven years later when the actor landed the titular character of The Virginian for 249 episodes over the course of nine seasons from 1962 to 1971.
In 1974, Drury played the role of Captain Spike Ryerson on ABC’s drama 'Firehouse.' As for the big screens, he’s featured in movies like 'The Tender Trap' (1955), 'Bernardine' (1957), 'Ride the High Country' (1962), and 'The Gambler Returns: The Luck of the Draw' (1991).
Watch: Tales of 'The Virginian'
As far as his personal life is concerned, James Drury was married thrice; Cristall Orton (1957–1964), Phyllis Mitchell (1968–1979), and Carl Ann Head Drury (1979–2019). He was the father of two kids, one of whom is an American American keyboardist, guitarist, and vocalist, Timothy Drury.