Walter Clarence Taylor, Jr. (February 26, 1907 – October 3, 1994),[1] known professionally as Dub Taylor, was an American character actor who from the 1940s into the 1990s worked extensively in films and on television, often in Westerns but also in comedies. He is the father of actor and painter Buck Taylor.[1]

Dub Taylor
Dub Taylor in Rustlers Of The Badlands (1945) publicity still.jpg
Taylor in Rustlers of the Badlands (1945)
Walter Clarence Taylor Jr.

(1907-02-26)February 26, 1907
DiedOctober 3, 1994(1994-10-03) (aged 87)
Years active1938–1994
Florence Gertrude Heffernan
(m. 1930; died 1987)
Children2; including Buck Taylor

Early lifeEdit

Taylor was born February 26, 1907, in Richmond, Virginia, the middle child of five children of Minnie and Walter C. Taylor, Sr.[2] According to the federal census of 1920, he had two older sisters, Minnie Marg[aret] and Maud, a younger brother named George, and a little sister, Edna Fay.[2] The family moved to Augusta, Georgia, around 1912, when Walter was five years old, and lived there until he was 13. Taylor's mother was a Pennsylvania native; and his father, who worked in Augusta at that time as a cotton broker, was from North Carolina.[2] While in Georgia as a boy, Walter, Jr. got his lifelong nickname when his friends began calling him "W", then shortened it further to "Dub".[3]

Film workEdit

Tex Harding (left) and Taylor in the 1945 Western Rustlers of the Badlands

A vaudeville performer,[4] Taylor made his film debut in 1938 as the cheerful ex-football captain Ed Carmichael in Frank Capra's You Can't Take It with You. He secured the part because the role required an actor who could play tuned percussion. During the 1950s and early 1960s, he used his xylophone skills on several television shows, including the syndicated series Ranch Party.[5]

In 1939, he appeared in the film Taming of the West, where he originated the character of Cannonball, a role he played for the next 10 years in over 50 films. Cannonball was a comedic sidekick to Wild Bill Elliott in 13 features. He played the character in other westerns starring Charles Starrett, Russell Hayden, Tex Ritter and Jimmy Wakely. Taylor later dropped the Cannonball name because he felt it held him back from roles in films with larger budgets.[6]

He had bit parts in a number of classic motion pictures, including Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939), A Star Is Born (1954) and Them! (1954).

The 1954 film Dragnet had Taylor in an uncredited role, that of gangster Miller Starkie, who is killed in the opening scene. He had a small role in the 1958 Walt Disney film Tonka as a rustler of stray horses for sale. The same year, he performed in No Time for Sergeants as the representative of the draft board who summoned Will Stockdale (Andy Griffith) from his rural home in Georgia to the United States Air Force.[7]

He later joined Sam Peckinpah's stock company in 1965's Major Dundee, playing a professional horse thief. He also appeared in The Wild Bunch (1969) as a minister who gets his flock shot in the film's opening scene; in Junior Bonner (1972), The Getaway (1972), and Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid (1973) as an aging, eccentric outlaw friend of Billy's; and in Michael Cimino's crime film Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1974),[8] He also played Ivan Moss, father of Michael J. Pollard's character C. W. Moss, in Bonnie and Clyde (1967).

He portrayed an ill-tempered chuckwagon cook in the 1969 film The Undefeated, starring John Wayne and Rock Hudson, and appeared in Support Your Local Gunfighter (1971) as the drunken Doc Shultz.[9]

He appeared in Back to the Future Part III (1990) with veteran Western actors Pat Buttram and Harry Carey Jr. Taylor's last film role was in Maverick (1994), and although he had only a fleeting appearance as an unnamed "Room Clerk", his name appears in the film's opening credits.

Television workEdit

In the 1950s, he guest-starred three times on the syndicated series The Range Rider, starring Jock Mahoney and Dick Jones. He appeared in the 1955 episode "The Outlander" of Cheyenne, and on the syndicated series Death Valley Days playing the Colorado silver miner "Chicken Bill" Lovell.

In 1957, Taylor was cast alongside Alan Hale, Jr., in the syndicated Casey Jones TV series.[10] He played in the 1961 Perry Mason episode "The Case of the Grumbling Grandfather". Taylor was on The Lloyd Bridges Show (1962–1963), in the episodes "My Child Is Yet a Stranger" and "The Tyrees of Capital Hill". He was in The Andy Griffith Show, first as the preacher who marries Charlene Darling to Dud Wash, then as postmaster Talbert, and next as the brother-in-law of town handyman Emmett Clark.

Taylor performed on other sitcoms, including Hazel with Shirley Booth. His character, Mitch Brady, was owner of a local cab company and a frequent boyfriend of Hazel's.[11] He was cast in an episode of I Love Lucy, and on The Brian Keith Show, and in a fourth-season episode of The Cosby Show. He was on NBC's series Laredo and The High Chaparral.

Taylor played Houston Lamb in four episodes of Little House On The Prairie in seasons six and seven (1979 to 1981). He appeared on Hee Haw for six seasons, from 1985 to 1991,[12] where he was mostly seen as a regular in the Lulu's Truck Stop skit featuring Lulu Roman and Gailard Sartain. Taylor was in several episodes of Designing Women as a rustic enamored with the women from Sugarbaker's during a camping expedition.

Starting in the late 1970s, Taylor appeared in a series of Western-style commercials for Hubba Bubba bubble gum.[citation needed] In the radio versions of the commercials, his character was named "The Geezer".[citation needed]

In 1994, he appeared in a commercial for Pace Foods, performing as one of four participants in a fair's "Dip-Off" contest, where two other competitors and he use their "secret ingredient" of Pace Picante Sauce in their dips. When the fourth participant holds up a jar of "Mexican sauce" as a "secret ingredient", Taylor's character proclaims that it was "made in New York City!"[13]


Taylor died of a heart attack on October 3, 1994, in Los Angeles. He was cremated, and his ashes were scattered near Westlake Village, California.[citation needed]

Selected filmographyEdit



  • I Love Lucy (1955), season 5, episode 8, titled "Lucy Goes to the Rodeo", as Rattlesnake Jones
  • Casey Jones (1957-1958) as Wallie Sims, 32 episodes
  • Twilight Zone (1962) season 3, episode 23 titled "The Last Rites of Jeff Myrtlebank" as Mr. Peters
  • Dennis the Menace (1960), season 1, episode 22, titled "Dennis and the TV Set" as Opie
  • Hazel (1962-1963), as Mitch Brady, 4 episodes
  • The Andy Griffith Show (1963), season 3, episode 31 titled "Mountain Wedding" as The Preacher
  • My Favorite Martian (1964), season 1, episode 15, titled "Poor Litter Rich Cat",
  • Please Don't Eat the Daisies (1965), as Ed Hewley, 5 episodes
  • The Wild Wild West (1965), season 1, episode 5, "The Night of the Casual Killer", as Guard
  • The Monroes (1966-1967) as Cyrus, 2 episodes
  • The Wild Wild West (1967), season 3, episode 15, "The Night of the Running Death", as Pete
  • Bonanza (1967-1971), 6 episodes as Barlow / Simon / Otto / Luke Calhoun
  • Gunsmoke (1967-1970) as Farnum / Rev. Finney Cox / Noah Riker / Bartender / Cook / Sonny Starr
  • Partridge Family (1971), season 2, episode 6, “Whatever Happened To Moby Dick” as Flicker
  • Emergency! (1973) season 2, episode 16, "Syndrome" as an old man
  • Little House on the Prairie (1980), 4 episodes as Houston Lamb
  • Darkroom (1981), season 1, episode 2, titled "Uncle George"
  • The Cosby Show (1988), season 4, episode 16
  • Designing Women (1989), episode 'The Nightmare From HeeHaw', season 4, episode 4Andy Griffith


  1. ^ a b Dub Taylor, 87, Actor in Westerns, The New York Times, October 5, 1994, Section B, Page 12
  2. ^ a b c "The Fourteenth Census of the United States: 1920", enumeration date January 15, 1920, Augusta City, Richmond County, Georgia. Digital copy of original census page, FamilySearch. Retrieved August 4, 2017.
  3. ^ "Dub Taylor: Movie and TV Star". The Augusta Chronicle. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved February 6, 2007.
  4. ^ Dub Taylor; Character Actor, The Los Angeles Times, October 5, 1994
  5. ^ A video of "Cannonball Taylor" playing the xylophone on Ranch Party, ca. 1957; uploaded by GatorRock788, YouTube, a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc., Mountain View, California. Retrieved August 6, 2017.
  6. ^ Triplett, Gene, Hollywood's Old Codger, January 24, 1982 Oklahoman, Oklahoma, OK
  7. ^ No Time For Sergeants, cast and crew, American Film Institute (AFI), Los Angeles, California. Retrieved August 5, 2017.
  8. ^ Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, cast and crew, Turner Classic Movies (TCM), Turner Broadcasting System, subsidiary of Time Warner, New York, N.Y. Retrieved October 30, 2017.
  9. ^ "Dub Taylor: Complete Filmography", including identifications of Taylor's characters in his films, Turner Classic Movies (TCM), Turner Broadcasting System, a division of Time Warner, Inc., New York, New York. Retrieved August 6, 2017.
  10. ^ Summers, Neil and Crowley, Roger M., The Official TV Western Round-Up Book, Page 36, The Old West Shop Publishing, 2002
  11. ^ Terrace, Vincent, Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 Through 2007: F - L, Page 654, McFarland & Company, 2009
  12. ^ Brooks, Tim and Marsh, Earle, The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows 1946 - Present, Page 437, Ballentine, 1999
  13. ^ Pace Picante commercial (1994) on YouTube

External linksEdit