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
  • Two in hospital after chase with St. Elmo police

    Two indiviuals were sent to the hospital after a chase with a St. Elmo Police officer.

    April 18, 2014

  • tony- sigel 1 Sigel St. Michael breaks ground TONY HUFFMAN Daily News Want to Help? Donations are still being accepted for the addition. Donations may be mailed, dropped off at the parish offices, or placed in collection baskets. A donation wall in the renovated parish center will feature a "Giv

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Meth suspect sentenced to 54 months NEWTON -- A man accused of cooking methamphetamine in a vehicle with a child present was sentenced in Jasper County Court Thursday. Charles "Chase" L. Shroyer, 23, was sentenced to 54 months in prison after pleading guilty to possession of methamphet

    April 18, 2014

  • Low ridership drives fee up TONY HUFFMAN Daily News Low ridership drives fee up

    April 18, 2014

  • Easements still sought for project After an approval for work on a 21-mile water transmission line between Teutopolis and Newton at a meeting earlier this month, progress continued to trickle in at Wednesday night's Teutopolis Village Board meeting. The Village Board heard from Connor

    April 17, 2014

  • 2 in court on meth charges Jackson Adams Daily News Two individuals arrested on methamphetamine charges in Shumway appeared in Effingham County Circuit Court Tuesday. Tara L. Devoe, 18, of Shumway and Nathaniel S. Sparks, 23, of Beecher City both appeared with counsel before a

    April 16, 2014

  • Effingham eager to attract Pinnacle TONY HUFFMAN Daily News Pinnacle Foods is considering an expansion its operation into the former Fedders building. The project will bring up to 25 full-time jobs to the area. The City of Effingham is looking to make that expansion more appetizing wit

    April 16, 2014

  • Dieterich school meals to cost more Jackson Adams Daily News DIETERICH -- Parents can expect to see some higher costs at Dieterich schools in the next school year. Dieterich Superintendent Carrie Jackson said one of the more notable changes in fees will be noticeable in school breakfas

    April 16, 2014

  • Cathy-beach closed.jpg Beach conditions worry EWA

    Effingham Water Authority is putting the operator of Lake Sara beach on notice after health code violations have kept the beach closed for the past couple of years.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Soybeans favored over corn

    The United States Department of Agriculture is projecting that farmers nationwide will plant more acres of soybeans this year than ever before.

    April 15, 2014

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.