Dennis Weaver

Dennis Weaver

  • Highest Rated: 96% Touch of Evil (1958)
  • Lowest Rated: 29% What's the Matter with Helen? (1971)
  • Birthday: Jun 4, 1924
  • Birthplace: Not Available
  • A track star at the University of Oklahoma, Dennis Weaver went on to serve as a Navy Pilot during World War II. After failing to make the 1948 U.S. decathalon Olympic team, Weaver accepted the invitation of his college chum Lonny Chapman to give the New York theatre world a try. He understudied Chapman as "Turk Fisher" in the Broadway production Come Back Little Sheba, eventually taking over the role in the national company. Deciding that acting was to his liking, Weaver enrolled at the Actors' Studio, supporting his family by selling vacuum cleaners, tricycles and ladies' hosiery. On the recommendation of his Actors' Studio classmate Shelley Winters, Weaver was signed to a contract at Universal studios in 1952, where he made his film debut in The Redhead From Wyoming (1952). Though his acting work increased steadily over the next three years, he still had to take odd jobs to make ends meet. He was making a delivery for the florist's job where he worked when he was informed that he'd won the role of deputy Chester Goode on the TV adult western Gunsmoke. So as not to be continually upstaged by his co-star James Arness (who, at 6'7", was five inches taller than the gangly Weaver), he adopted a limp for his character--a limp which, along with Chester's reedy signature line "Mis-ter Diillon" and the deputy's infamously bad coffee, brought Weaver fame, adulation and a 1959 Emmy Award. Though proud of his work on Gunsmoke--"I don't think any less seriously of Chester than I did about King Lear in college"--Weaver began feeling trapped by Chester sometime around the series' fifth season. Having already proven his versatility in his film work (notably his portrayal of the neurotic motel night clerk in Orson Welles' Touch of Evil [1958]), Weaver saw to it that the Gunsmoke producers permitted him to accept as many "outside" TV assignments as his schedule would allow. Twice during his run as Chester, Weaver quit the series to pursue other projects. He left Gunsmoke permanently in 1964, whereupon he was starred in the one-season "dramedy" series Kentucky Jones (1965). In 1967, he headlined a somewhat more successful weekly, Gentle Ben (1967-69) in which he and everyone else in the cast played second fiddle to a trained bear (commenting upon his relationship with his "co-star", Weaver replied "I liked him, but it was a cold relationship...Ben didn't know me from a bag of doughnuts.") The most successful of Weaver's post-Gunsmoke TV series was McCloud, in which, from 1970 to 1977, he played deputy marshal Sam McCloud, a New Mexico lawman transplanted to the Big Apple. In addition to his series work, Weaver has starred in several made-for-TV movies over the past 25 years, the most famous of which was the Steven Spielberg-directed nailbiter Duel (1971). Dennis Weaver is the father of actor Robby Weaver, who co-starred with his dad on the 1980 TV series Stone.

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

Movies

Rating

Title

Credit

Box
Office

Year

No Score Yet Escape from Wildcat Canyon Grandpa Flint 2004
No Score Yet Hopalong Cassidy: Public Hero #1 Actor 2001
50% High Noon Mart Howe 2000
No Score Yet The Virginian Sam Balaam 2000
No Score Yet Submerged Buck Stevens 2000
No Score Yet Stolen Women, Captured Hearts Capt. Farnsworth 1997
No Score Yet Two Bits and Pepper Sheriff Pratt 1996
No Score Yet Smithsonian's Great Battles of the Civil War, Vol. 5 Actor 1992
No Score Yet Relax with Dennis Weaver Actor 1990
No Score Yet The Return of Sam McCloud Sam McCloud Producer 1988
No Score Yet Disaster at Silo 7 Sheriff Harlen 1988
No Score Yet Reincarnation: Coming Back Actor 1988
No Score Yet Bluffing It Actor 1987
No Score Yet A Winner Never Quits Mr. Wyshner 1986
No Score Yet Going for the Gold: The Bill Johnson Story Actor 1985
No Score Yet Cocaine: One Man's Seduction Eddie Gant 1983
No Score Yet Don't Go to Sleep Phillip 1982
No Score Yet The Day the Loving Stopped Aaron Danner 1981
No Score Yet The Ordeal of Dr. Mudd Dr. Samuel A. Mudd 1980
No Score Yet Battered Actor 1978
No Score Yet Centennial R.J. Poteet 1978
No Score Yet Intimate Strangers Donald Halston - a wifebeater 1977
88% Duel David Mann 1972
29% What's the Matter with Helen? Lincoln Palmer 1971
No Score Yet A Man Called Sledge Erwin Ward 1971
No Score Yet McCloud: Who Killed Miss U.S.A.? (Portrait of a Dead Girl ) Actor 1970
No Score Yet Mission Batangas Chip Corbett 1968
No Score Yet Gentle Giant Tom Wedloe 1967
No Score Yet Way...Way Out Hoffman 1966
No Score Yet Duel at Diablo Willard Grange 1966
No Score Yet The Gallant Hours Lt. Cmdr. Andy Lowe 1960
96% Touch of Evil Motel Clerk 1958
No Score Yet Dragnet Capt. Lohrman 1956
No Score Yet Storm Fear Hank 1955
No Score Yet Chief Crazy Horse Maj. Carlisle 1955
No Score Yet Ten Wanted Men Sheriff Clyde Gibbons 1955
80% The Bridges at Toko-Ri Air Intelligence Officer 1954
No Score Yet Dangerous Mission Pruitt 1954
No Score Yet War Arrow Pino 1953
No Score Yet The Nebraskan Capt. DeWitt 1953
No Score Yet Law and Order Frank Durling 1953
No Score Yet It Happens Every Thursday President, Chamber of Commerce 1953
No Score Yet The Mississippi Gambler Julian 1953
No Score Yet The Redhead from Wyoming Matt Jessup 1953
No Score Yet The Lawless Breed Jim Clements 1953
No Score Yet The Golden Blade Rabble Rouser 1953
No Score Yet Column South Actor 1953
No Score Yet Horizons West Dandy Taylor 1952

TV

Rating

Title

Credit

Year

No Score Yet Wildfire
2005-2008
Henry Bergson
  • 2006
  • 2005
No Score Yet Touched by an Angel
1994-2003
Emmett
  • 2003
85% The Simpsons
1989
Voice
  • 2002
No Score Yet Magnum, P.I.
1980-1988
Lacy Fletcher
  • 1985
No Score Yet Gunsmoke
1955-1975
Director Chester Chester Goode Doc
  • 1975
  • 1974
  • 1973
  • 1972
  • 1971
  • 1970
  • 1969
  • 1968
  • 1967
  • 1966
  • 1965
  • 1964
  • 1963
  • 1962
  • 1961
  • 1960
  • 1959
  • 1958
  • 1957
  • 1956
  • 1955
No Score Yet The Flip Wilson Show
1970-1974
Guest
  • 1974
80% The Twilight Zone
1959-1964
Adam Grant
  • 1961
  • 1960
No Score Yet Alfred Hitchcock Presents
1955-1962
Charlie Cavender
  • 1960

QUOTES FROM Dennis Weaver CHARACTERS

David Mann
Okay.. Okay..! You want to play games?