Entertainment / Features

James Drury: Still ‘The Virginian’ after all these years

By Matthew Orso

Staff Writer

James Drury, one of the most iconic western actors of his generation, is still out there for all to see.

Drury is proud of his acting career and his roots in the tri-state area.  He was raised in New York for the first part of his life before moving to Oregon.  He attended New York University, where his father was a professor.

“I started acting at age eight,” said Drury in a phone interview with the Pioneer Times. “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.”

Drury is most known as playing the Virginian in the nine-year western, “The Virginian.”  He also starred in other shows, including Walker Texas Ranger and Firehouse.  Drury also starred in movies, including the 1956 film, Love me Tender.

“I signed a contract with 20th century fox and did a series of films with them,” said Drury.  One of them was Love me Tender with Elvis Presley.  That was a great moment.”

Drury will be headlining a Virginian reunion at the seventh annual “Cowboy Up for Vets” in Swanton, Ohio from April 22-24.  Proceeds from the event will go to the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society and Heroes in Action.  Drury is a former naval reserve officer and held the rank of Lieutenant Commander.

“It’s the largest reunion of the Virginian cast ever,” he said.  “It’s going to be a great event and it’s going to do a lot of good for our service men and women.”

Drury and his wife, Carl Ann currently reside in Texas, but he still travels across the country for western events, autograph shows and festivals.  After all these years in the business, Drury still can’t get away from the camera.

“I tell you,” said Drury, who was laughing on the phone.  “That camera can see through your eyes into your soul.”

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James Drury (courtesy of YouTube.com)

8 thoughts on “James Drury: Still ‘The Virginian’ after all these years

  1. I love The Virginian. Mr. Drury and the cast were wonderful. I still enjoy the stories so much. Good luck with Cowboy up for Vets. We appreciate the efforts to help the veterans.

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  2. I think Mr. Drury is the most brilliant of our western actors in this country. He is always wearing a smile when you see a picture of him. I wish he would come back to television or do some more movies as I will never get tired of watching this gentlemen act. Love The Virginian series. I wish he would have stayed to do the series a few more years but I imagine he wanted to work in other projects.

    Thank you Mr. Drury for all the wonderful years of making us smile and enjoy watching you.

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  3. I just love to watch the Virginia over and over. James Drury is the best cowboy in my book I wish some day I can meet him face to face and tell him that. He is great actor and performer

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  4. Mr. Drury is an outstanding example of the best of the Western genre. He is a wonderful guide for future generations of what it means to be a true American. The article was very good as well (but I’m prejudiced, it was written by my son.)

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  5. I watch the Virginian every chance I get. All the characters are great but Mr. Drury is still my favorite. Just his presence makes a scene better. He exudes strength and you believe he is who he says he is. As soon as he comes into a scene, I am transfixed. Great deep voice and smile.

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  6. The world we live in now can be so busy that we have almost lost the ability to just enjoy each other’s company and the simple things in life like sharing stories and relaxing on the front porch. Watching the Virginian series takes me to a better place and I love it! Thank you James Drury!

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  7. We want The Virginian back on our cable INSP,it has been on almost every night at 9:00 til12:00,but now it is not(September 24th 2017)How come??? WE love that show.The best actors!

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