Paul Brinegar was born and raised in New Mexico, but he left to become an actor in Hollywood. He began appearing in films in 1946 with an uncredited role in the western romance "Abilene Town". Two years later he received his first credit when he appeared as a mechanic in the 1948 film noir "Larceny". He went on from there to appear in scores of films, usually Westerns, eventually making a name for himself as the quintessential cowboy sidekick. In 1959, he took on his best known role, playing the grumpy cook, Wishbone, in Clint Eastwood's long-running western TV series, "Rawhide". He played that role until 1965. In 1973, he made one of his last major film appearances when he worked with Eastwood again, playing a barman in the film "High Plains Drifter". He later appeared on programs like the backwoods car-chase comedy "The Dukes of Hazzard", the medical drama "Trapper John, M.D.", and the private detective show "Matt Houston", where he played a recurring role, fittingly, as a comedic cowboy named Lamar Pettybone. In total Brinegar appeared in over 100 different film and TV roles throughout his almost 50-year career.