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Gary Clarke (born Clarke L'Amoreaux,[1][2] August 16, 1933)[3] is an American actor best known for his role as Steve Hill in the NBC western television series The Virginian with James Drury and Doug McClure.Clarke was born in Los Angeles, California,[3] of French and Mexican heritage, and grew up in the predominantly Chicano neighborhood of East Los Angeles.[1] While in high school, he began pursuing the idea of an acting career, and after graduation won a role in a community theater play in San Gabriel, California. This led to work in a series of plays in Glendale, California.[4] During this time, Clarke was working as a machinist in San Gabriel, as well as a newspaper deliveryman.Clarke began his screen career with the 1958 film Dragstrip Riot, recalling that agent Byron Griffith, who had seen him perform in Glendale, arranged for an audition that eventually led to his filling the lead role. Clarke recalled:

I drove from San Gabriel to Hollywood and read for the part, and I got in as a member of the good gang. I went back to work the next day and my agent called me again and he said, 'Gary, they have just lost the lead in the movie. Can you get down here?' Yes! So I ... went home [from work] and changed and went down, and I read every day for five days. I didn't go back to work, I just kept calling in sick.[4]

He went on to work in other films, including How to Make a Monster,[1] and Missile to the Moon (both 1958), Date Bait (1960),[3] and Passion Street, U.S.A. (1964).[7] He has said he was a contract player at Universal Pictures.[5]

In the 1960-1961 season, he appeared as Dick Hamilton in the single-season NBC television series Michael Shayne, based on the fictional private detective character created by Brett Halliday, opposite Richard Denning as the title character.[3] Afterward, he appeared as Tad Kimball, a friend of the character Jess Harper, played by Robert Fuller, in the episode "The Fatal Step" of the NBC Western series Laramie.

Clarke played Steve Hill in the cast of the long-running TV Western series The Virginian, remaining on the show from 1962 to 1964. His last TV series as a cast-member was the 1967 ABC Western Hondo, playing Captain Richards.[3]

Clarke said in an interview that his friend and co-star Steve Ihnat and he wrote the screenplay for director Ted V. Mikels' film Strike Me Deadly (1963),[5] though the film's credits list only Ihnat and Mikels. Later that decade, Clarke under his birth name wrote several scripts for the NBC espionage sitcom Get Smart.[3]

In the 1980s and 1990s, he wrote and produced television public-service announcements including "Youth at Risk", narrated nonfiction short films including "Promoting Healthy Behavior", and appeared in TV series including Dynasty and The Young Riders, in which he had a four-episode recurring role. His films in the 2010s include The Paperboy (2012) and Parkland (2013).[8]

In 2014, the production company L’Amoreaux/Bartlett/Race/Thomas sought actors for an independent TV pilot, Bandits and Tadpoles, written by Bartlett and Thomas and directed by Clarke, about a young boy whose daydreams put him in the American Old West of the Owen Wister novel The Virginian.[9] It filmed June 26–30, 2014, in the Austin, Texas, area, under the title Billy and the Bandit, with a cast including James Drury and Roberta Shore, from Clarke's old TV series The Virginian; 11-year-old Jordan Elsass as Billy; Ava L'Amoreaux and Donny Boaz as his parents; and Buck Taylor as a ranch foreman.While a cast-member of Michael Shayne, Clarke released the single "Tomorrow May Never Come", backed with "One Way Ticket", for RCA Victor Records. While on The Virginian, he sang a cover of the theme song, backed with "One Summer in a Million", for Decca RecordsIn July 2003, Clarke and Drury, along with two other The Virginian costars, Roberta Shore and singer Randy Boone, were guests at the Western Film Fair in Charlotte, North Carolina.[citation needed]

Clarke was a teenager when he married his first wife, and the couple had three boys within three years.[4] Clarke's second wife was Petticoat Junction actress Pat Woodell, but they later divorced.[11]

Clarke also has a daughter, Ava L’Amoreaux.

As of at least 2011, Clarke resides in Austin, Texa
Gary Clarke (born Clarke L'Amoreaux,[1][2] August 16, 1933)[3] is an American actor best known for his role as Steve Hill in the NBC western television series The Virginian with James Drury and Doug McClure.Clarke was born in Los Angeles, California,[3] of French and Mexican heritage, and grew up in the predominantly Chicano neighborhood of East Los Angeles.[1] While in high school, he began pursuing the idea of an acting career, and after graduation won a role in a community theater play in San Gabriel, California. This led to work in a series of plays in Glendale, California.[4] During this time, Clarke was working as a machinist in San Gabriel, as well as a newspaper deliveryman.Clarke began his screen career with the 1958 film Dragstrip Riot, recalling that agent Byron Griffith, who had seen him perform in Glendale, arranged for an audition that eventually led to his filling the lead role. Clarke recalled: I drove from San Gabriel to Hollywood and read for the part, and I got in as a member of the good gang. I went back to work the next day and my agent called me again and he said, 'Gary, they have just lost the lead in the movie. Can you get down here?' Yes! So I ... went home [from work] and changed and went down, and I read every day for five days. I didn't go back to work, I just kept calling in sick.[4] He went on to work in other films, including How to Make a Monster,[1] and Missile to the Moon (both 1958), Date Bait (1960),[3] and Passion Street, U.S.A. (1964).[7] He has said he was a contract player at Universal Pictures.[5] In the 1960-1961 season, he appeared as Dick Hamilton in the single-season NBC television series Michael Shayne, based on the fictional private detective character created by Brett Halliday, opposite Richard Denning as the title character.[3] Afterward, he appeared as Tad Kimball, a friend of the character Jess Harper, played by Robert Fuller, in the episode "The Fatal Step" of the NBC Western series Laramie. Clarke played Steve Hill in the cast of the long-running TV Western series The Virginian, remaining on the show from 1962 to 1964. His last TV series as a cast-member was the 1967 ABC Western Hondo, playing Captain Richards.[3] Clarke said in an interview that his friend and co-star Steve Ihnat and he wrote the screenplay for director Ted V. Mikels' film Strike Me Deadly (1963),[5] though the film's credits list only Ihnat and Mikels. Later that decade, Clarke under his birth name wrote several scripts for the NBC espionage sitcom Get Smart.[3] In the 1980s and 1990s, he wrote and produced television public-service announcements including "Youth at Risk", narrated nonfiction short films including "Promoting Healthy Behavior", and appeared in TV series including Dynasty and The Young Riders, in which he had a four-episode recurring role. His films in the 2010s include The Paperboy (2012) and Parkland (2013).[8] In 2014, the production company L’Amoreaux/Bartlett/Race/Thomas sought actors for an independent TV pilot, Bandits and Tadpoles, written by Bartlett and Thomas and directed by Clarke, about a young boy whose daydreams put him in the American Old West of the Owen Wister novel The Virginian.[9] It filmed June 26–30, 2014, in the Austin, Texas, area, under the title Billy and the Bandit, with a cast including James Drury and Roberta Shore, from Clarke's old TV series The Virginian; 11-year-old Jordan Elsass as Billy; Ava L'Amoreaux and Donny Boaz as his parents; and Buck Taylor as a ranch foreman.While a cast-member of Michael Shayne, Clarke released the single "Tomorrow May Never Come", backed with "One Way Ticket", for RCA Victor Records. While on The Virginian, he sang a cover of the theme song, backed with "One Summer in a Million", for Decca RecordsIn July 2003, Clarke and Drury, along with two other The Virginian costars, Roberta Shore and singer Randy Boone, were guests at the Western Film Fair in Charlotte, North Carolina.[citation needed] Clarke was a teenager when he married his first wife, and the couple had three boys within three years.[4] Clarke's second wife was Petticoat Junction actress Pat Woodell, but they later divorced.[11] Clarke also has a daughter, Ava L’Amoreaux. As of at least 2011, Clarke resides in Austin, Texa read more read less

7 years ago #garyclark, #thevirginian