James Drury Poster

Quotes (16)

  • [referring to his title role on The Virginian (1962)] Nobody knows the name of my character. Not even me.
  • I was a brand-new contract player at MGM in 1954, and I was 20 years old, and the studio undertook to make a property called "Raintree County" [eventually made as Raintree County (1957)], with Montgomery Clift and Elizabeth Taylor. And I wanted the Montgomery Clift role much, and I told everybody about it that I wanted to play. I read the book, and I thought it was a wonderful role and I wanted to play. Obviously, nobody listened to me, Montgomery Clift played the role, and did a great job, but I always regretted that I didn't get a chance at that, because I like the property, the property gave me goosebumps when I read it, and I wanted to participate putting it on film. It was not to be and I had no regrets about it. I was very disappointed at the time that I couldn't make any headway, but that's the way life is.
  • Owen Wister designed the character in 1902 when he came out with the novel, without a name. So you automatically assumed 'The Virginian' has some secrets [he'd rather not divulge], and there's an aura [that an] actor who plays the part carries with him as he comes through the door.
  • [on the death of Doug McClure] He was very instrumental in the success of the show and probably the best friend I ever had, and we lost him. He died too young, he was only 59, but you think about him everyday.
  • [When asked if he knew Julie London through his best friend Robert Fuller] No, I had known Bobby Troup, her husband, very well, [we'd] done several shows together. But I never really knew Julie, except just to meet her. Bobby [Fuller] became their very lifelong friend . . . but I never spent any time on the road with her, [although] I think Bobby Fuller did. Bobby Troup and I did Perry Mason (1957) and we did several other shows before he ever started Emergency! (1972). It was a family affair on "Emergency!" except for Fuller, and he didn't really want to do a modern show, he wanted to do another western, but Jack Webb [the producer of "Emergency!"] talked him into it or insisted that he do it, and he was [eventually] very happy, because it was a great success and he had a wonderful time with Julie London and . . . Bobby Troup.
  • [on giving out acting advice] I think it's more of a question than listening to the other actors, because if you listen, they want to find out what you're going to do. By no means, trying to upstage anyone or anything like that, just listening to what they're saying and the eyes will come because of the anticipation, it's what you're going to respond.
  • [Of Robert Fuller] He's really a magnificent, gifted actor and a fine professional, and he was able to work with these people very effectively in all those different series that he did, and I had nothing but admiration for him; he's one of my best friends, so it's nice that we're still in contact and quite often.
  • [about the popularity of The Virginian (1962)]: It was the first 90-minute Western on TV, and that gave our writers an opportunity to explore detailed stories," he said. "It was like doing a movie every week. We also had a wonderful cast of continuing characters, and with the great writing, the finest actors in Hollywood wanted guest starring roles - George C. Scott, Bette Davis, Joan Crawford and Robert Redford come to mind. Every day I'd go off to the set excited about the wonderful actors I'd be working with.
  • [on his Texas residence]: Texas has been good to me. I've worked with many great horse trainers here and up through Oklahoma. I love it all - the dust, the sweat, the sunshine and the smell of the horses.
  • [Who spent most of his childhood in both New York and Oregon]: I was under care of my maternal grandfather who had come west with a wagon train when he was about 16. He told me about the Indians fights the wagon train was involved in and all the other different things that happened. So I had a real pipeline into the Old West.
  • [When he began as an unfamiliar actor]: I signed a contract with 20th century fox and did a series of films with them, was Love Me Tender with Elvis Presley. That was a great moment.
  • I started acting at age eight. I was forced to do a play in Manhattan and was cast as King Henry in a bible play. When people began clapping at the end of the play, I realized there was nothing I wanted more than to be on the stage.
  • [As to why it was impossible for himself to appear in each and every episode of The Virginian (1962)]: The majority of...episodes were shot in eight days. When we started out, they took about ten days. They decided they couldn't afford that much time because we aired the episodes every five days (excluding weekends). To keep up with the airing schedule, we had to run multiple units--as many as four or five different episodes filming at the same time. I would ride my horse or take the studio limousine back and forth between the sets to do my two line piece in one episode, ten pages of dialogue in another episode, do a cattle drive in another episode, a wild horse drive in another, and then a gunfight and a robbery in yet another episode. I had to keep everything straight and it was absolutely no problem and a joy to do. I would do it all over again tomorrow.
  • I was able to accomplish just about everything I set out to do as an actor.
  • [About his hometown]: Texas has been good to me. I've worked with many great horse trainers here and up through Oklahoma. I love it all - the dust, the sweat, the sunshine and the smell of the horses.
  • I've been riding horses since I was in diapers. My grandfather put me on his Belgian plow horse when I was just a toddler. The animal was so broad, my legs stuck straight out on both sides like I was doing the splits. It's one of my earliest memories.