Arthur Lee Hunnicutt (February 17, 1910 – September 26, 1979) was an American actor known for his portrayal of wise, grizzled, and old rural characters. He received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in The Big Sky (1952).
Hunnicutt in Stars in My Crown (1950)
Arthur Lee Hunnicutt
February 17, 1910
Gravelly, Arkansas, U.S.
|Died||September 26, 1979 (aged 69)|
Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Resting place||Coop Prairie Cemetery, Mansfield, Arkansas, U.S.|
|Other names||Arthur 'Arkansas' Hunnicutt|
Pebble Pauline Lile
(m. 1940; his death 1979)
Hunnicutt gained early acting experience in stock theater and entertained in traveling shows. An article in the September 22, 1940, issue of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported, "There isn't a decent sized medicine show traveling through Kentucky, Illinois, Georgia, Indiana or Mississippi, nor a stock company touring those states, which hasn't had the name of Arthur Hunnicutt on its programs." After eight years of such activity, in 1936 he enrolled in a drama school in Cleveland to study theatrical techniques for a year.
He moved to Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, where he joined up with a theatre company. Moving to New York City, he worked in the laundry at the Algonquin Hotel for 17 months before landing roles in Broadway productions. While touring as the lead actor in Tobacco Road, he developed the country character he would later be typecast as throughout his career. Hunnicutt often found himself cast as a character much older than himself.
Hunnicutt's first film was Wildcat (1942). He appeared in a number of films in the early 1940s before returning to the stage. In 1949 he moved back to Hollywood and resumed his film career. He played a long string of supporting role characters—sympathetic, wise rural types, as in The Red Badge of Courage (1951), The Lusty Men (1952),The Kettles in the Ozarks (1955), The Last Command (1955, as Davy Crockett), The Tall T (1957), Cat Ballou (1965, as Butch Cassidy), El Dorado (1966) and The Adventures of Bullwhip Griffin.
Throughout the '50s, '60s and '70s, Hunnicutt made nearly 40 guest appearances on American television programs. He made two memorable appearances on Perry Mason in 1963: he played orange grower Amos Kennesaw Mountain Keller in "The Case of the Golden Oranges," and prospector Sandy Bowen in "The Case of the Drowsy Mosquito." He also made guest appearances on Bonanza, Cheyenne, Gunsmoke, The Outer Limits, The Rifleman, Wanted: Dead or Alive, The Andy Griffith Show, The Wild Wild West, Adam-12, and The Twilight Zone. In one of his last movies, Moonrunners (1975)—the precursor to The Dukes of Hazzard—he played the original Uncle Jesse.
In his later years, Hunnicutt served as honorary mayor of Northridge, California. He developed tongue cancer.
On September 27, 1979, Hunnicutt died of cancer at the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital at age 69. He was buried in the Coop Prairie Cemetery in Mansfield, Arkansas.
|1942||Riding Through Nevada||Arkansas|
|1942||Silver Queen||Newspaper Publisher Brett|
|1942||Fall In||Luke Hatfield|
|1942||Pardon My Gun||Arkansas|
|1943||The Fighting Buckaroo||Arkansas|
|1943||Law of the Northwest||Arkansas|
|1943||Robin Hood of the Range||Arkansas|
|1943||Johnny Come Lately||Second Tramp|
|1943||Hail to the Rangers||Arkansas|
|1943||The Chance of a Lifetime||Elwood 'Tex' Stewart||Uncredited|
|1944||Riding West||Prof. Arkansas Higgins|
|1944||Abroad with Two Yanks||Arkie|
|1945||Murder, He Says||Townsman||Uncredited|
|1949||Lust for Gold||Ludi||Uncredited|
|1949||The Great Dan Patch||Chet Williams|
|1949||Pinky||Police Chief Anderson||Uncredited|
|1949||Border Incident||Clayton Nordell|
|1950||Stars in My Crown||Chloroform Wiggins|
|1950||A Ticket To Tomahawk||Sad Eyes|
|1950||Broken Arrow||Milt Duffield, Mail Superintendent|
|1950||Two Flags West||Sgt. Pickens|
|1951||Passage West||Pop Brennan|
|1951||The Red Badge of Courage||Bill Porter|
|1952||She Couldn't Say No||Odie Chalmers|
|1952||The Big Sky||Zeb Calloway / Narrator|
|1952||The Lusty Men||Booker Davis|
|1953||Split Second||Asa Tremaine|
|1953||Devil's Canyon||Frank Taggert|
|1953||The French Line||'Waco' Mosby|
|1954||Beautiful but Dangerous||Otey|
|1955||The Last Command||Davy Crockett|
|1956||The Kettles in the Ozarks||Sedgewick Kettle|
|1956||Cheyenne||Hoot Hollister||Episode: "Death Deals the Hand"|
|1957||The Tall T||Ed Rintoon|
|1958||Born Reckless||Cool Man|
|1960||The Rifleman||Nathaniel Cameron||Episode: "The Grasshopper"|
|1960||The Andy Griffith Show||Jedediah Wakefield||Episode: "A Feud Is a Feud"|
|1961||My Three Sons||George, The Pony Ride Cowboy||Episode: "The Horseless Saddle"|
|1961||Laramie||Earl Droody||Episode: "Wolf Cub"|
|1961||The Donna Reed Show||Old Man||Episode: "One of Those Days"|
|1962||The Twilight Zone||Hyder Simpson||Episode: "The Hunt"|
|1963||The Cardinal||Sheriff Dubrow|
|1963||Bonanza||Obie||Episode: "Any Friend of Walter's"|
|1964||A Tiger Walks||Frank Lewis|
|1964||The Outer Limits||Lamont||Episode: "Cry of Silence"|
|1965||Cat Ballou||Butch Cassidy|
|1965||Apache Uprising||Bill Gibson|
|1967||The Adventures of Bullwhip Griffin||The Referee|
|1967||The Wild Wild West||Doc Gavin||Episode: "The Night of the Colonel's Ghost"|
|1967||El Dorado||Bull Harris|
|1971||The Million Dollar Duck||Mr. Purdham|
|1971||Shoot Out||Homer Page (rancher)|
|1972||The Revengers||Free State|
|1974||Mrs. Sundance||Walt Putney|
|1974||Harry and Tonto||Wade Carlton|
|1974||The Spikes Gang||Kid White (aka Billy Blanco)|
|1975||Winterhawk||McClusky||(final film role)|
- Ware, Hames. "Arthur Lee Hunnicutt (1910–1979)". The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture. Archived from the original on 2 July 2017. Retrieved 2 July 2017.
- "Hunnicutt Has a Good Job". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. New York, Brooklyn. September 22, 1940. p. 46. Retrieved July 2, 2017 – via Newspapers.com.
- Bridges, Ken (March 5, 2017). "Actor, Arkansas Native Arthur Hunnicutt". El Dorado News-Times. Retrieved 2 July 2017.
- "("Arthur Hunnicutt" search results)". Oscars.org. Retrieved 2 July 2017.[permanent dead link]
- "Arthur Hunnicutt dies of cancer at 68". The San Bernardino County Sun. The San Bernardino County Sun. Associated Press. September 27, 1979. p. 8. Retrieved July 3, 2017 – via Newspapers.com.