‘Gunsmoke’: Hollywood Legend Buck Taylor Speaks on His Timeless Roping Skills

by Joe Rutland
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Buck Taylor has been on TV screens from his days on the classic TV show Gunsmoke and even hanging out on Yellowstone. Taylor is one of those actors who truly lives the cowboy lifestyle. It’s more than just a role for him. In fact, he’s been known to get out there and put his team roping skills to use.

According to The Team Roping Journal, Taylor has appeared at the Spicer Gripp Memorial Roping in Hereford, Texas. You could find him heeling for rodeo greats Speed Williams and Joe Beaver. Last year, he worked with World Champion tie-down roper Caleb Smidt. When it came to Smidt, Taylor of Gunsmoke said this about his run: “I missed. I got one leg out of four runs, and I was really mad. I told Caleb, I said, ‘Man, I caught one leg for you and it’s like me winning the NFR (National Finals Rodeo).’ And he said, ‘Mr. Taylor, I’m going to win it for you.’ And I’ll be damned if he didn’t win the calf roping at the NFR.”

Buck Taylor Of ‘Gunsmoke’ Sought Medical Advice For Shoulder Injury

Still, being a part of this meant a lot to Taylor yet he faced a moment of decision. It had to do with a shoulder injury that just wasn’t getting any better. He visited an orthopedic surgeon and Justin Sportsmedicine member in Dr. Tandy Freeman for a consultation. What was the decision? Let’s just say surgery was a no-go. While talking with Freeman, the doctor, Taylor said, offered some perspective about his situation. 

“He said, ‘You’re 83 and you get to run down an arena with a World Champion and you caught one. You ought to be screamin’ and yelling and thanking God,'” Taylor said. “I said, ‘Yes, but I’m going to get better.’ I want to win something. I want to win a buckle. I won them in my 60s and in my 70s, [and] now I want to win one in my 80s. And I’m going to. There ain’t no if or not. I’m going to.”

Actor, Cowboy Gets Help From Hall of Fame Cowboy Larry Guy

Taylor also happens to be a friend of All Cowboy & Arena Champions Hall of Fame cowboy Larry Guy and the Guy family. Well, Taylor and Larry Guy have been working on minimizing Buck’s shoulder issues. Taylor says that Larry Guy told him that when he roped with him, “I don’t want you to watch how I head because it ain’t the right way, but it’s the only I can do it. And you might have to adjust also.” National Finals Rodeo calf roper Tommy Guy even found a new rope horse for Taylor. That’s because Taylor had to retire his mare.

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