NEW YORK • He was a deputy sheriff providing security at the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas when he got a suggestion to explore acting.
Clint Walker would later recall thinking: "If you make movies, you make some pretty good money - plus, the bullets aren't real."
On Monday, the actor, who roamed the West as a towering, solitary figure on Cheyenne (1955 to 1963), the first hour-long western on television, died at 90 of congestive heart failure.
He also appeared in The Dirty Dozen (1967) and other movies, but was best known for the TV series seen on ABC .
He was also a guest star on numerous TV shows, including a comic turn on The Lucy Show in 1966 as Lucille Ball's love interest.
But he had his share of bad times too. He came close to dying in a freak accident during a ski trip in 1973, when he stumbled and a ski pole pierced his heart. He survived and recovered quickly.
The following year, he returned to television in Kodiak, about an Alaska lawman, but audiences were cool to the show.
Walker is survived by his third wife Susan and a daughter.