Western Star Will Hutchins Remembers ‘Cheyenne’ Lead Clint Walker

by Matthew Memrick
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Western star Will Hutchins, who played “Sugarfoot” in the 1960s, has great memories of his co-star and lead actor, Clint Walker.

The two were early buddies and had a lasting friendship. They starred together in the 1995-1962 series “Cheyenne.” Walker played lead actor Cheyenne Bodie and Hutchins played his Tom “Sugarfoot” Brewster character in one 1961 episode. 

Clint Walker, who had a 44-year career in entertainment, died in 2018 at age 90. He had notable roles in “The Dirty Dozen,” “The Ten Commandments,” and the 1998 film “Small Soldiers.”

Western Star Cheered Hutchins Up

The 91-year-old Hutchins remembered his friend’s kind words on a bad day. Hutchins told Western movie aficionado Rob Word that he “was feeling down, and I did a show the other day, and it stank.” 

Walker fired right back, and Hutchins still thinks about that moment. He considers Walker the “greatest friend and hero.” According to IMDb, Walker played a deputy sheriff in real life before coming to the show.

“I can’t believe that, Will,” the actor said. “You never did anything that I didn’t think was just fine.”

It was Walker’s workload that helped Hutchins get his job. Ward revealed that Walker couldn’t do 36 or 39 episodes of his show, so the Warner Brothers created “Sugarfoot” to meet a demand for Westerns. Walker and Hutchins reportedly alternated weeks and starred in those two shows as well as 1958’s “Bronco.” 

Walker even presented Hutchins with his 2002 Golden Boot Award. The discontinued award acknowledges actors and crew members who make considerable contributions to the Western genre in television and film work. The award ran from 1983 to 2007. 

Hutchins’s “Sugarfoot” show ran from 1957 to 1961 and consisted of 69 episodes.

Hutchins Met Studio Head Thanks to Walker

Hutchins remembered a 1961 studio picture with actors and Warner executive Jack Warner. He told Word about the defining moment.

(Original Caption) You are looking at about ten million dollars worth of talent–that’s the conservative estimate of the valuable actors and actresses flanking Jack L. Warner, President of Warner Brothers Pictures in this group photo. With Warner are some of the most promising personalities now making movies and TV films at the Warner lot. Left to right are: Donald May; Gary Vinson; Efrem Zimbalist, Jr.; Poncie; Ponce; Connie Stevens; Will Hutchins; Peter Brown; Clint Walker; Marguerita Sierra; Lee Patterson; Evan McCord; Dorothy Provine; Rex Reason; John Russell; Peggie Castle; William I. Orr; (Vice President in charge of Production); Chad Everett; Angie Dickinson; Anthony Eisley;Jack L. Warner; Jack Kelly; Natalie Wood; Andrew Duggan; Hugh Benson; (Orr’s Assistant); Richard Long; Diane McBain; Van Williams; Edward Byrnes; Sharon Hugueny; Ty Hardin; Robert Conrad; Troy Donahue;

That day, the actor felt a little bitter about Warner knowing everyone but him. He told Walker that he had worked for five years with Warner Brothers and felt like Jack Warner didn’t know him.

So, Walker set up the meeting. He brought his friend over to Warner.

Needless to say, Hutchins got a new part a short time later in the 1963 “Merrill’s Marauders.”

‘Cheyenne’ Helped Many Get Their Stars

According to IMDb, Walker’s show helped several Bonanza stars get their start. The show liked them so much they had them come on for two episodes. Michael Landon (1956, 1958), Dan Blocker (1957, 1958), and Lorne Greene (twice in 1960) shared some screen time with Walker. Another minor cast member, Ray Teal, starred in one episode with Landon before playing Sheriff Roy Coffee in 98 “Bonanza” episodes.  

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