Monday, July 5, 2010
Audie Leon Murphy
Audie Leon Murphy, was the most decorated United States soldier of World War II during his twenty-seven months in action. He received the Medal of Honor, the U.S. military highest award for valor, along with 32 additional U.S. and foreign medals and citations, including five from France and one from Belgium.
When Audie Murphy came back from fighting in the War, Variety Clubs was financing a film to be called Bad Boy to help promote the organization's work with troubled children, but the president of Allied Artists did not want to cast someone with not much acting experience in a major role.
By this time, Texas theater owners had decided that Audie Murphy was going to play the lead or they weren't financing the film. Their money talked and he was cast, turning in such a fine performance that the Hollywood recognized his talent. Soon, Universal Studios signed Murphy to his first seven-year contract. After a few box-office hits, the studio allowed Audie to choose his roles, as long as plenty of action was included in the films.
In the 25 years he spent in Hollywood, Audie Murphy made 44 feature films, 33 of them Westerns. He is best known for the book and then film, To Hell and Back. He also appeared in several television shows, including the lead in the short-lived 1961western detective series Whispering Smith, set in Denver, Colorado. For his contribution to the motion picture industry, Audie Murphy has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1601 Vine Street.
In addition to acting, Murphy also became successful as a country music songwriter. teaming up with such talented musicians and composers as Guy Mitchell, Jimmy Bryant, Scott Turner, Coy Ziegler, and Terri Eddleman. Murphy's songs were recorded and released by such performers as Dean Martin, Eddy Arnold, Charley Pride, Jimmy Bryant, Porter Waggoner, Jerry Wallace, Roy Clark, and Harry Nilsson. His two biggest hits were "Shutters and Boards" and "When the Wind Blows in Chicago".
Audie Murphy Fun Fact: He owned ranches in Texas, Tucson, Arizona and Menifee, California.
Gunsmoke, is a Western drama series created by director Norman MacDonnell and writer John Meston. The stories take place in and around Dodge City, Kansas, during the settlement of the American West.
To be continued..