Doug McClure

Doug McClure

Doug McClure
McClure at 26 (1961)
Born Douglas Osborne McClure
(1935-05-11)May 11, 1935
Glendale, California, U.S.
Died February 5, 1995(1995-02-05) (aged 59)
Sherman Oaks, California, U.S.
Cause of death Lung cancer
Resting place Woodlawn Memorial Cemetery at Santa Monica, California
Alma mater University of California, Los Angeles
Occupation Actor
Years active 1956–1995
Spouse(s) Faye Brash (m. 1957–61) (divorced)
Barbara Luna (m. 1961–63) (divorced)
Helen Crane (m. 1965–68) (divorced)
Diane Soldani (m. 1970–79) (divorced)
Diane Furnberg (m. 1979–95) (his death)

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.


  • Background 1
  • Career 2
  • Death 3
  • Other information 4
  • Selected filmography 5
  • Other television roles 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


McClure was born in Glendale, California. His English mother, Clara Elsie (née Barker; 1907–1997), 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. Donald and Clara were parents to Donald Reed McClure, Jr. (1931–2003) and then Doug. The widow Clara would marry Frank Clapp in 1971.


McClure's acting career included such films as 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:

  1. as Frank "Flip" Flippen on NBC's western, Overland Trail (1960), with co-star William Bendix
  2. as Jed Sills on the Sebastian Cabot as Dr. Carl Hyatt
  3. as C.R. (Christopher Robin) Grover 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
  4. 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 western series, Mackenzie's Raiders, starring Richard Carlson and set in southwest Texas.[2]

McClure was in the third episode "Mr. Denton on Doomsday", of CBS's The Twilight Zone.

Then in 1962, he was cast as 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 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 three World War II adventures, The Longest Hundred Miles,The Birdmen and "State Of Division" Aka "Death Race". In the 1970s and 1980s, McClure appeared in commercials for Hamms Beer.[4]

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.

Doug McClure's Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Doug McClure's grave stone
William Bendix, Lynn Bari and McClure in Overland Trail (1960)
Sebastian Cabot, Carolyn Craig, and McClure in CBS's Checkmate (1962)


On February 5, 1995, McClure died at the age of 59 from lung cancer in Sherman Oaks, California. He is interred at Woodlawn Memorial Cemetery, in Santa Monica, California. McClure was married to his fifth wife at the time of his death, and was also survived by daughter Tané from his first marriage, and daughter Valerie from his fourth marriage. McClure was divorced four times, including twice while he was performing on The Virginian.

Other information

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 daughters would call him Troy McClure behind his back as a joke.[5] He also had a cameo role as a poker player in the 1994 movie remake of Maverick.

On the episode of Red Dwarf called Backwards, Rimmer and Kryten landed on Earth and when Rimmer asked Holly what time period it was, one of the things he asked was, "Do we expect to see a herd of flesh-eating dinosaurs feeding off the bones of Doug McClure."

Selected filmography

Other television roles


  1. ^ : "California Gold Rush in Reverse", 1957"Death Valley Days".  
  2. ^ Billy Hathorn, "Roy Bean, Temple Houston, Bill Longley, Ranald Mackenzie, Buffalo Bill, Jr., and the Texas Rangers: Depictions of West Texans in Series Television, 1955 to 1967", West Texas Historical Review, Vol. 89 (2013), p. 113
  3. ^ Shipman, David (7 Feb 1995). "OBITUARY: Doug McClure". The Independent. Retrieved 13 January 2013. 
  4. ^ Doug McClure Played Trampas and commercial Dick Kleiner syndicated column, Ocala Star-Banner, Oct 29, 1982.
  5. ^ The Simpsons, Season 2 DVD, Episode: "Homer vs. Lisa and the 8th Commandment"

External links

  • Doug McClure at the Internet Movie Database