Slim Pickens

Actor, Rodeo clown
Favorite Hollywood cowboy of the 1950s through the 70s; perhaps best known as the B-52 pilot who, at the end of Stanley Kubrick's "Dr. Strangelove" (1964), "rides" a hydrogen bomb to destruction, Slim Pickens was a ... Read more »
Born: 06/28/1919 in Kingsberg, California, USA

Filmography

Actor (81)

Hee Haw! 1968 - 1995 (TV Show)

Actor

Sawyer and Finn 1982 - 1983 (TV Show)

Actor

B.J. and the Bear 1978 - 1981 (TV Show)

Actor

Charlie and the Great Balloon Race 1980 - 1981 (TV Show)

Actor

Pink Motel 1981 (Movie)

Roy (Actor)

The Howling 1981 (Movie)

Sam Newfield (Actor)

Honeysuckle Rose 1980 (Movie)

Garland (Actor)

Jake's Way 1979 - 1980 (TV Show)

Actor

Tom Horn 1980 (Movie)

Sam Creedmore (Actor)

Undercover With the KKK 1979 - 1980 (TV Show)

Actor

1941 1979 (Movie)

Hollis Wood (Actor)

Beyond the Poseidon Adventure 1979 (Movie)

Tex (Actor)

How the West Was Won 1976 - 1979 (TV Show)

Actor

Louis L'Amour's The Sacketts 1978 - 1979 (TV Show)

Actor

Spirit of the Wind 1978 (Movie)

Obie (Actor)

The Busters 1977 - 1978 (TV Show)

Actor

The Winged Colt 1977 - 1978 (TV Show)

Actor

Mr. Billion 1977 (Movie)

Duane Hawkins (Actor)

The Mary Tyler Moore Show 1970 - 1977 (TV Show)

Actor

The Swarm 1977 (Movie)

Jud Hawkins (Actor)

The Sweet Creek County War 1977 (Movie)

Jitters Pippin (Actor)

Wishbone Cutter 1977 (Movie)

(Actor)

Babe 1975 - 1976 (TV Show)

Actor

Banjo Hackett: Roamin' Free 1975 - 1976 (TV Show)

Actor

Hawmps 1976 (Movie)

Naman Tucker (Actor)

The White Buffalo 1976 (Movie)

Abel Pinkney (Actor)

White Line Fever 1976 (Movie)

Duane Haller (Actor)

Pony Express Rider 1975 (Movie)

(Actor)

Rancho Deluxe 1975 (Movie)

Henry Beige (Actor)

The Apple Dumpling Gang 1975 (Movie)

Frank Stilwell (Actor)

Blazing Saddles 1974 (Movie)

Taggart (Actor)

Bootleggers 1974 (Movie)

Grandpa Pruitt (Actor)

Poor Pretty Eddie 1974 (Movie)

(Actor)

Twice in a Lifetime 1973 - 1974 (TV Show)

Actor

Hitched 1972 - 1973 (TV Show)

Actor

Ginger in the Morning 1972 (Movie)

(Actor)

Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid 1972 (Movie)

Sheriff Baker (Actor)

J.C. 1971 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Getaway 1971 (Movie)

Truck Driver (Actor)

La Spina Dorsale del Diavola 1970 (Movie)

Tattinger (Actor)

The Ballad of Cable Hogue 1970 (Movie)

Ben Fairchild (Actor)

The Cowboys 1970 (Movie)

Saloon Operator (Actor)

The Honkers 1970 (Movie)

Clete (Actor)

Eighty Steps to Jonah 1969 (Movie)

Scott (Actor)

Skidoo 1968 (Movie)

Switchboard Operator (Actor)

Will Penny 1968 (Movie)

Ike Wallerstein (Actor)

The Flim-Flam Man 1967 (Movie)

Jarvis Bates (Actor)

Rough Night in Jericho 1966 (Movie)

Yarbrough (Actor)

Stagecoach 1966 (Movie)

Buck (Actor)

In Harm's Way 1965 (Movie)

CPO Culpepper (Actor)

Major Dundee 1965 (Movie)

Wiley (Actor)

Dr. Strangelove 1964 (Movie)

Major T J "King" Kong (Actor)

The Glory Guys 1964 (Movie)

Gregory (Actor)

Up From the Beach 1964 (Movie)

Artillery Colonel (Actor)

The Outlaws 1960 - 1962 (TV Show)

Actor

A Thunder of Drums 1961 (Movie)

Trooper Erschick (Actor)

One-Eyed Jacks 1960 (Movie)

Lon (Actor)

The Swamp Fox 1959 - 1960 (TV Show)

Actor

Escort West 1958 (Movie)

Wheeler (Actor)

The Saga of Andy Burnett 1957 - 1958 (TV Show)

Actor

The Sheepman 1958 (Movie)

Marshall (Actor)

Tonka 1958 (Movie)

Ace (Actor)

Gunsight Ridge 1956 (Movie)

Hank Moss (Actor)

The Great Locomotive Chase 1956 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Last Command 1955 (Movie)

Abe (Actor)

The Boy From Oklahoma 1953 (Movie)

Shorty (Actor)

Bristle Face (TV Show)

Actor

Filthy Rich (TV Show)

Actor

Nashville Grab (TV Show)

Actor

Rocky Mountain (Movie)

Plank (Actor)

Rolling Man (TV Show)

Actor

Swan Song (TV Show)

Actor

The Desperate Mission (TV Show)

Actor

The Devil and Miss Sarah (TV Show)

Actor

The Gun and the Pulpit (TV Show)

Actor

The Outcast (Movie)

Boone Polsen (Actor)

The Story of Will Rogers (Movie)

Dusty Donovan (Actor)

The Sun Shines Bright (Movie)

Mink Sterling (Actor)

This House Possessed (TV Show)

Actor

Biography

Favorite Hollywood cowboy of the 1950s through the 70s; perhaps best known as the B-52 pilot who, at the end of Stanley Kubrick's "Dr. Strangelove" (1964), "rides" a hydrogen bomb to destruction, Slim Pickens was a hoarse-voiced veteran of the rodeo circuit -- in fact he was said to have gotten his name when a sidebuster looked at him and said, "Slim pickins -- that's all you'll get in this rodeo". He was 13 when he joined the rodeo and he spent years as a rodeo clown and performer before he migrated to Hollywood in 1950. Pickens made his feature film debut in 1950 in an Errol Flynn western at Warner Bros., "Rocky Mountain". He was only a sidekick, but Pickens' exuberance shone through. He always seemed to be having a good time. He was serious about entertaining and a "pro," to be sure, but the audience took to his joie de vivre. John Ford saw it and cast Pickens in "The Sun Shines Bright" (1953), which Ford later said was his favorite film. The story of a kindly judge, Pickens played a role called "Mink Sterling" which may sound like a burlesque queen, but Pickens carried it off all-man and all smiles. He played dozens of sidekicks, scouts, and sometimes varmints chewing and spitting tobacco (or worse) in films of the 50s and 60s, among them "Old Overland Trail" (1953), "The Boy From Oklahoma" (1954), "Major Dundee" (1965) and the remake of "Stagecoach" (1966). His work as Major T.J. (King) Kong in "Dr. Strangelove" had been written for Peter Sellers, but after Pickens played in what would become a cult favorite of the intelligentsia, his critical acceptability rose, although he was never elevated to "prestige films". Still, Mel Brooks chose him to play Taggart, the prickly third lead of "Blazing Saddles" (1974). Whether a comically vicious outlaw in "The Apple Dumpling Gang" (1975), or Tex, the calculating survivor of the rotten "Beyond the Poseidon Adventure" (1979), Pickens seemed untouched by weak material, being one of those old-time performers who came to do their job.

He was also much on TV, beginning in 1956 with episodic work and on the Disney limited series "The Saga of Andy Burnett" (1957). Pickens was "the town character" on "The Outlaws" (NBC, 1961-1962), and returned to his rodeo roots with appearances on "The Wide Country" (NBC, 1962-1963). He was army scout to "Custer" on the 1967 ABC series about the famed western general's early years. After more than a decade away from regular series work, Pickens played the corrupt Sgt. Wiley on the first season of "B.J. and the Bear" (NBC, 1979).

He then returned to his country comedy roots doing two seasons on the syndicated "Hee Haw" from 1981-1983, simultaneously appearing on "The Nashville Palace" for NBC from 1981-1982. On the 1982 CBS sitcom "Filthy Rich," Pickens was seen on videotape, the dead patriarch of a unscrupulous gaggle of southerners. Each week (for the first episodes of the show) the tape was played and Pickens announced one more term of his will. Besides the regular series work, Pickens was a frequent guest star on other programs. He is memorable in a 1971 episode of "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" (CBS), in which he was the eccentric, faux bronco-riding former movie cowboy star owner of WJM. Pickens also appeared in numerous TV movies, beginning with "Sam Hill: Who Killed the Mysterious Mr. Foster" (NBC, 1971), and running through "The House Possessed" for ABC in 1981.

Relationships

Louis B Lindley

Father

Milestones

1983

Last TV appearance, "Sawyer and Finn"

1982

Was regular on sitcom "Filthy Rich" (CBS)

1982

Last film acting role "Pink Motel"

1979

Appeared on one season of "BJ and the Bear" (NBC)

1970

Made TV movie debut in "Sam Hill: Who Killed the Mysterious Mr. Foster?" (NBC)

1967

Was army scout to "Custer" (ABC)

1964

Had memorable role in "Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb"

1957

Appeared on "The Saga of Andy Burnett" (ABC)

1956

Had early TV work on episode of "Death Valley Days" (Syndicated)

1953

Directed by John Ford in "The Sun Shines Bright"

1950

Feature acting debut "Rocky Mountain"

1931

Started appearing in rodeo shows

Was regular on "The Wide Country" (NBC)

Was regular on "The Outlaws" (NBC)

Was a top rodeo clown before becoming a film actor ( date approximate)

Appeared on two seasons of "Hee Haw" (Syndicated)

Was regular on "The Nashville Palace" (NBC)

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