Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

Local News

July 14, 2013

'The Virginian' appearance draws fans

There was a cowboy shooting event at the Effingham County Sportsman’s Club near Lake Sara Saturday. But Brian and Diane Littrell didn’t drive 200 miles from the central Missouri village of Cuba for any shooting.

The Littrells drove to Effingham County to see actor James Drury, whose Virginian character was one of the most iconic figures in 1960s television.

“This was a once-in-a-lifetime chance to get to meet him (Drury),” Littrell said. “‘The Virginian’ was always one of my favorite programs, and he (Drury) is my favorite actor.”

Drury, who starred in all 249 episodes of the iconic series, spent several hours signing autographs and posing for photographs.

“I’m sure glad we got to work this out,” he said.

Drury, the son of a New York University professor, spent a lot of time growing up on his family’s Oregon ranch. But after attending NYU in the mid 1950s, he went to California with no intention of becoming a Western star.

“I had been trained as a classical actor, but when I got to California, they put a gun in my hand and said ‘Get on that horse and don’t get off.’” he said.

Drury said he had originally aspired to be a different kind of leading man.

“I went out to California with the aspiration of starring with Elizabeth Taylor, but they gave that role to Montgomery Clift,” he said.

Seven pictures and 12 lines later, Drury tested for the role for which he became famous — after losing 40 pounds at the behest of the studio.

“They told me on a Friday night that I had the role,” he recalled. “I had a weekend to prepare for a nine-year show.”

Drury said life on “The Virginian” set was hectic at times.

“We would often have multiple units on the lot,” he said. “There was one time we shot parts of five different (episodes) in one day.”

Text Only
Local News
  • Late-winter deer season extinct in area counties

    Hunters in Cumberland and Fayette counties may need to seek treatment for their late-winter deer fever.

    July 24, 2014

  • Late-winter deer season extinct in area counties TONY HUFFMANDaily NewsHunters in Cumberland and Fayette counties may need to seek treatment for their late-winter deer fever.Due to a strategic decrease in deer populations throughout the state, the late-winter, antlerless-only hunting season will be

    July 24, 2014

  • 7-23 crossroads walker.jpg Walking for life

    A group of nine Crossroads Walkers braved temperatures approaching 90 degrees Tuesday to walk from Greenville to Effingham as part of a cross-country walk designed to call attention to the pro-life movement..

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Concealed-Carry-Clothing-Suit-Jacket-400.jpg Concealed carry objections addressed

    In an effort to offer reasoning behind denials for concealed carry permits, Illinois State Police is assisting the Concealed Carry License Review Board in implementing additional measures to regulate the permit process.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Concealed carry objections addressed

    In an effort to offer reasoning behind denials for concealed carry permits, Illinois State Police is assisting the Concealed Carry License Review Board in implementing additional measures to regulate the permit process.

    July 22, 2014

  • Jay Miller faces more charges after alleged jailhouse attack

    An Altamont man already facing a minimum of 15 years in prison for contributing to the heroin overdose death of an Effingham woman in February could be facing even more prison time after allegedly attacking another inmate in the Effingham County Jail visitation room this past weekend.

    July 21, 2014

  • MIller, Jay C 021314.jpg Jay Miller attacks trial witness

    An Effingham County Jail inmate is facing additional charges after allegedly assaulting another inmate.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Vehicle overturns in accident on I-70

    An accident on Interstate 70 sent one driver over a guardrail and down an embankment near Altamont.

    July 20, 2014

  • Three drivers injured in Vandalia accident

    A four vehicle accident in Fayette County sent three drivers to hospitals.

    July 20, 2014

  • preview.jpg Bus delivering school supplies to children

    Through 19 years, two buses and thou­sands of dollars in donations, families in need have been able to do their school shopping for free through the Ramblin’ Rose School Bus.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

AP Video
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.