Paul Brinegar


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Paul Brinegar (December 19, 1917 – March 27, 1995) was an American character actor best known for his roles in three western series: The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp, Rawhide, and Lancer.

Brinegar's first credited appearance in a feature film was in Larceny (1948). From there, he launched a steady film career that slowed considerably in the late 1950s, after he began appearing on television but did not end until 1994, when Brinegar made his final screen appearance, as a stagecoach driver, in the 1994 film version of Maverick.

Brinegar appeared more than 100 times between 1946 and 1994 in western films, often specializing in playing "feisty, grizzled cowboy sidekicks". On television, from 1956 to 1958, he played James H. "Dog" Kelley, the mayor of Dodge City, Kansas, in the ABC/Desilu western series The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp starring Hugh O'Brian. Brinegar appeared in that series 33 times as Kelley and in one other episode in another role. In 1959 he played Ludwig, a bartender, in the episode "The Ringer" of the western series The Texan with Rory Calhoun. Brinegar, however, is best remembered as the cattle-drive cook George Washington Wishbone on the CBS series Rawhide from 1959 to 1966. Earlier he had played a similar role, one as the character Tom Jefferson Jeffrey, in the 1958 movie Cattle Empire upon which Rawhide was based.

Brinegar also made two guest appearances on CBS's Perry Mason. His first appearance on that series, prior to Rawhide, was in 1958. He performed as Tom Sackett in the first-season episode titled "The Case of the Sun Bather's Diary". His second appearance on Perry Mason was during the series' ninth and final season. He played Jason Rohan in the 1966 episode "The Case of the Unwelcome Well".

In the 1968-1970 CBS western series Lancer, Brinegar had the role of Jelly Hoskins; and in 1969 he appeared in the western film Charro! starring Elvis Presley. Then, in 1973, he played the barman in Clint Eastwood's film High Plains Drifter. From 1982 to 1983, returning to television, Brinegar portrayed a humorous cowboy-like character, Lamar Pettybone, during the first season of the ABC series Matt Houston. Later he reprised a revised version of his Rawhide Wishbone character for the 1991 TV movie The Gambler Returns: The Luck of the Draw, in which he delivers a brief monologue that includes about a dozen references to old television western series.

1958: Rivero - How to Make a Monster
1994: Jim 'Dog' Kelly - Wyatt Earp: Return to Tombstone
1957: Charlie Martin - Copper Sky
1983: Clint Eastwood / Dirty Harry - The Creature Wasn't Nice
1969: Opie Keetch - Charro!
1958: Tom Jefferson Jeffrey - Cattle Empire
1953: Clegg - Captain Scarface
1957: Willy Warner - The Vampire
1986: Pops - Annihilator
1954: Barber - Four Guns to the Border
1973: Lutie Naylor - High Plains Drifter
1954: Bandleader - Rails Into Laramie
1949: Western Union Clerk - Pinky
1956: Mailman (uncredited) - Fighting Trouble
1982: Bodie - The Wild Women of Chastity Gulch
1956: Vida (uncredited) - World Without End
1948: Mechanic - Larceny
1954: Hotel Desk Clerk - Dawn at Socorro
1951: Mr. Spangler - Insurance Investigator
1994: Stage Driver - Maverick
1949: Tailor - The Gal Who Took the West
1949: Reporter (uncredited) - Take One False Step

1977: Keith Lawton / Old Surfer - CHiPs
1979: Trapper John, M.D.
1982: Chuck - Knight Rider
1957: Jason Rohan - Perry Mason
1971: Cannon
1955: Mason - Alfred Hitchcock Presents
1968: Lancer
1982: Matt Houston
1959: Rawhide
1964: Daniel Boone
1951: Schlitz Playhouse of Stars
1955: The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp
1977: Code R
1955: Cheyenne
1957: Trackdown
1974: Little House on the Prairie
1951: Dragnet
1969: Medical Center
1972: Emergency!
1982: Capitol
1974: Harry O
1977: Lucan
1956: The Adventures of Jim Bowie
1967: The Guns of Will Sonnett
1957: Joe Slade - Whirlybirds
1951: Racket Squad
1956: State Trooper
1952: Cavalcade of America
1953: The Man Behind the Badge
1954: The Whistler
1977: Grizzly Adams
1966: The Hero
1953: Letter to Loretta
1990: John Peckham - They Came from Outer Space