Sunday, June 19, 2016

The Cowboy is My Hero - Guy Madison

When most people think of famous Hollywood fathers they think of the men whose children followed in their profession ( e.g. John Wayne, Kirk Douglas, Robert Mitchum, Danny Thomas ) or actors who are famous for being family men ( Paul Newman, Fred MacMurray ). I think the best testament to a truly great father is what his children remember and love about their dad. For this Father's Day I would like to share a special tribute - a poem - that one daughter made for her father....Guy Madison. 

For those who are not familiar with Guy, he was a hugely popular actor from the early 1940s-mid-1950s, primarily as a heartthrob. When his film career declined he found success on television as Wild Bill Hickok, who, along with his faithful sidekick Jingles ( Andy Devine ) rid the Wild West of its bad guys and taught children lessons of righteous living in The Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok ( 1951 ). 

If it were not for a chance encounter with the assistant to Henry Willson ( a David O. Selznick executive ) during WWII, Guy would have been just another man, beloved in the minds of those who loved him, but unknown to the rest of the world. Guy Madison and his brothers had all served in branches of the armed forces during the war years and it was while Guy was on liberty ( from the Coast Guard ) one weekend in Hollywood that he was spotted and asked to appear in Selznick's Since You Went Away ( 1944 ). This brief part, in a very popular film, launched his screen career which lasted into the 1980s. 

The Cowboy is My Hero 

As a young man, he worked hard on the farm along side his Dad.
Watching his Dad break horses for a friend or neighbor.
Raining a Blue Ribbon Bull, riding those cutting horses, roping those calves.
Not realizing the blessing God had in store for this young buck-a-roo.

Yes, this cowboy is my Hero, and he was other people's, too.
He was the shining star, standing with the best of them.
All those handsome cowboy's, wearing their leathers, saving those damsels in distress.
But this cowboy saved lives before he rode onto the silver screen, bravely pulling distressed people from a deadly sea.

Serving his country, a Navy Lifeguard, like most cowboy's, getting the job done regardless of the dangers-
Yes, this cowboy is my "Hero", the Wild Bill Hickok, this bullwhiping trail blazer,
this untamable hunter, he knew the value of using his hands, to create his own bows and arrows, always precise, not too wide not too narrow.

Yes, this cowboy is MY Hero, I will always keep in my heart the good times spent with Dad, My only cowboy Hero.

Author: Bridget Madison ©

Bridget Madison is the eldest daughter of Guy Madison and Sheila Connolly. Be sure to check out Bridget's touching website to her father and to her son Spencer ( who died in Operation Iraqi Freedom ). 

www.guymadison.com

To read more about Guy Madison and his way of life, check out this 1954 Modern Screen magazine article entitled "Right Guy" written in part by Guy's best friend, Rory Calhoun. 

Happy Father's Day to all Daddy Heroes!

6 comments:

  1. Very nice fatherly tribute! I remember watching repeats of WILD BILL HICKOK when I was a wee lad in the 1960s.

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    1. I, myself, haven't seen the show so I'll have to check it out!

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  2. Oh, how I love this!! My favorite time period in history is the 1940's and Guy Madison is still one of my all time crushes. I fell in love with him in Since You Went Away. He was so handsome, nice and a good actor. I've been waiting for y'all to do a post on him and this was perfect. I'd love to read more about him in future blog posts.
    Thank you, again!

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    1. We'll just have to write more about Guy in that case! We also plan on doing more western themed posts in the future, so stay tuned. ;-)

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  3. I was just speaking the other day about how much this show meant to me as a kid - the lessons I learned from its stories. To read such a loving tribute is quite joyful.

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    1. If you read some of the entries in the guestbook on GuyMadison.com you'll see that there were a lot of people who fondly remember the show and its many lessons. I'm glad you enjoyed our post, CW!

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