Known for movies

Short Info

Net Worth$1.5 million
Date Of BirthApril 18, 1934
SpouseCarl Ann Head (m. 1979), Phyllis Mitchell (m. 1968–1979), Cristall Orton (m. 1957–1964)
MarkSmoky, gravelly voice.
FactFollowing bit parts in films in the late '50s, he became a "second lead" for Disney until winning the title role of The Virginian (1962).

James Drury is an American actor best known for his starring role as The Virginian in the television series of the same name.

Drury was born in New York City, the son of a stage actress and a director. He was raised in Los Angeles and began his acting career in the 1950s, appearing in such television series as The Lone Ranger, The Adventures of Superman, and Gunsmoke.

In 1962, Drury was cast as the title character in The Virginian, a Western television series that aired on NBC for nine seasons. The show was a ratings success and made Drury a household name.

After The Virginian ended its run in 1971, Drury appeared in a number of made-for-television movies and guest-starred on such popular television series as Hawaii Five-O, The Love Boat, and Fantasy Island.

In the 1980s, Drury starred in the short-lived television series The New Maverick and had a recurring role on Dynasty. In recent years, he has appeared in a number of independent films.

Drury has been married three times and has four children. He currently resides in Los Angeles, California.

James Drury is an American actor with a net worth of $5 million. James Drury was born on April 18, 1934 in New York City, New York. His parents were both in the entertainment industry. His mother was a stage actress and his father was a director. James Drury was raised in Los Angeles, California. He attended high school in Los Angeles and then went on to study at Stanford University. After college, he served in the United States Army for two years.

General Info

Full NameJames Drury
Net Worth$1.5 million
Date Of BirthApril 18, 1934
Height1.83 m
ProfessionActor, Businessperson
EducationNew York University


SpouseCarl Ann Head (m. 1979), Phyllis Mitchell (m. 1968–1979), Cristall Orton (m. 1957–1964)
ChildrenTimothy Drury
ParentsJames Drury, Sr.


MoviesRide the High Country, Pollyanna, Love Me Tender, Forbidden Planet, Ten Who Dared, The Young Warriors, The Last Wagon, The Gambler Returns: The Luck of the Draw, Toby Tyler, Good Day for a Hanging, The Bull of the West, When the West Was Fun: A Western Reunion, The Meanest Men in the West, Backtrack...
TV ShowsFirehouse, The Virginian

Social profile links


#Marks / Signs
1Smoky, gravelly voice.
2His Virginian character.


1I've been riding horses since I was in diapers. My grandfather put me on his Belgian plow horse when I was just a toddler. The animal was so broad, my legs stuck straight out on both sides like I was doing the splits. It's one of my earliest memories.
2[About his hometown]: Texas has been good to me. I've worked with many great horse trainers here and up through Oklahoma. I love it all - the dust, the sweat, the sunshine and the smell of the horses.
3I was able to accomplish just about everything I set out to do as an actor.
4[As to why it was impossible for himself to appear in each and every episode of The Virginian (1962)]: The majority of...episodes were shot in eight days. When we started out, they took about ten days. They decided they couldn't afford that much time because we aired the episodes every five days (excluding weekends). To keep up with the airing schedule, we had to run multiple units--as many as four or five different episodes filming at the same time. I would ride my horse or take the studio limousine back and forth between the sets to do my two line piece in one episode, ten pages of dialogue in another episode, do a cattle drive in another episode, a wild horse drive in another, and then a gunfight and a robbery in yet another episode. I had to keep everything straight and it was absolutely no problem and a joy to do. I would do it all over again tomorrow.
5I started acting at age eight. I was forced to do a play in Manhattan and was cast as King Henry in a bible play. When people began clapping at the end of the play, I realized there was nothing I wanted more than to be on the stage.
6[When he began as an unfamiliar actor]: I signed a contract with 20th century fox and did a series of films with them, was Love Me Tender with Elvis Presley. That was a great moment.
7[Who spent most of his childhood in both New York and Oregon]: I was under care of my maternal grandfather who had come west with a wagon train when he was about 16. He told me about the Indians fights the wagon train was involved in and all the other different things that happened. So I had a real pipeline into the Old West.
8[on his Texas residence]: Texas has been good to me. I've worked with many great horse trainers here and up through Oklahoma. I love it all - the dust, the sweat, the sunshine and the smell of the horses.
9[about the popularity of The Virginian (1962)]: It was the first 90-minute Western on TV, and that gave our writers an opportunity to explore detailed stories," he said. "It was like doing a movie every week. We also had a wonderful cast of continuing characters, and with the great writing, the finest actors in Hollywood wanted guest starring roles - George C. Scott, Bette Davis, Joan Crawford and Robert Redford come to mind. Every day I'd go off to the set excited about the wonderful actors I'd be working with.
10[Of Robert Fuller] He's really a magnificent, gifted actor and a fine professional, and he was able to work with these people very effectively in all those different series that he did, and I had nothing but admiration for him; he's one of my best friends, so it's nice that we're still in contact and quite often.
11[on giving out acting advice] I think it's more of a question than listening to the other actors, because if you listen, they want to find out what you're going to do. By no means, trying to upstage anyone or anything like that, just listening to what they're saying and the eyes will come because of the anticipation, it's what you're going to respond.
12[When asked if he knew Julie London through his best friend Robert Fuller] No, I had known Bobby Troup, her husband, very well, [we'd] done several shows together. But I never really knew Julie, except just to meet her. Bobby [Fuller] became their very lifelong friend . . . but I never spent any time on the road with her, [although] I think Bobby Fuller did. Bobby Troup and I did Perry Mason (1957) and we did several other shows before he ever started Emergency! (1972). It was a family affair on "Emergency!" except for Fuller, and he didn't really want to do a modern show, he wanted to do another western, but Jack Webb [the producer of "Emergency!"] talked him into it or insisted that he do it, and he was [eventually] very happy, because it was a great success and he had a wonderful time with Julie London and . . . Bobby Troup.
13[on the death of Doug McClure] He was very instrumental in the success of the show and probably the best friend I ever had, and we lost him. He died too young, he was only 59, but you think about him everyday.
14Owen Wister designed the character in 1902 when he came out with the novel, without a name. So you automatically assumed 'The Virginian' has some secrets [he'd rather not divulge], and there's an aura [that an] actor who plays the part carries with him as he comes through the door.
15I was a brand-new contract player at MGM in 1954, and I was 20 years old, and the studio undertook to make a property called "Raintree County" [eventually made as Raintree County (1957)], with Montgomery Clift and Elizabeth Taylor. And I wanted the Montgomery Clift role much, and I told everybody about it that I wanted to play. I read the book, and I thought it was a wonderful role and I wanted to play. Obviously, nobody listened to me, Montgomery Clift played the role, and did a great job, but I always regretted that I didn't get a chance at that, because I like the property, the property gave me goosebumps when I read it, and I wanted to participate putting it on film. It was not to be and I had no regrets about it. I was very disappointed at the time that I couldn't make any headway, but that's the way life is.
16[referring to his title role on The Virginian (1962)] Nobody knows the name of my character. Not even me.


1Friends with: Robert Fuller, John Smith, Doug McClure, Adam West, Alan Hale Jr., Michael Landon, James Arness, Clu Gulager, James Best, Denver Pyle, Chuck Norris, Bobby Troup, Beverly Garland, Clint Walker, Andy Griffith, Larry Hagman, Pernell Roberts, Dan Blocker, Lorne Greene, Don Collier, Barbara Stanwyck, Linda Evans, Lee Majors, Brian Keith, Peter Mark Richman, Claude Akins, Hugh O'Brian, Chuck Courtney, Robert Horton, Alex Cord, Abby Dalton, Ruta Lee, Chuck Connors, Robert Crawford Jr. and his brother Johnny Crawford, Yul Brynner, James Gregory, Raymond Burr, Joel McCrea, John McIntire, Terry Wilson, Denny Miller, Bernie Kopell, Dan Haggerty, Roberta Shore, Julie Adams, L.Q. Jones and Robert Conrad.
2Credits Lee J. Cobb as his favorite acting mentor/best friend.
3He is widely known to be a social butterfly.
4He is a staunch Republican.
5Surrogate son of Lee J. Cobb.
6His acting mentor was the late Lee J. Cobb.
7Went to college with Bernie Kopell.
8Has been riding horses since birth.
9Since 1976 he has resided in Houston, TX.
10Despite staying on The Virginian (1962) for the entire run, it was impossible for both Drury and Doug McClure to appear in all 249 episodes, because it was a 90-minute show.
11Met Robert Horton and Robert Fuller when the three were under contract at MGM in 1954.
12His idols when he was very young were Randolph Scott, Joel McCrea and Jane Wyman.
13Guest-starred on the first three episodes of Walker, Texas Ranger (1993).
14He was a guest at the 2012 Memphis Film Festival's "A Gathering of Guns 4: A TV Western Reunion" at the Whispering Woods Hotel and Conference Center in Olive Branch, Mississippi.
15Best known by the public for his starring role as the title character in The Virginian (1962).
16The son of a New York University professor of marketing, he was born in New York City but later grew up on a ranch in Oregon where he developed an affinity for horses and the outdoor life.
17In 1997 and 2003 he was a guest at the Western Film Fair in Charlotte, NC. At the 2003 show he was reunited with The Virginian (1962) cast members Gary Clarke, Randy Boone, and Roberta Shore.
18Son Timothy Drury is a keyboardist, guitarist and vocalist who has played with The Eagles and is a member of the British group Whitesnake.
19Settled in Houston in the mid-1970s and has been in and out of the oil and natural gas business since.
20Recorded a series of novels by acclaimed western author Kirby Jonas for a books-on-tape company called Books in Motion.
21Trained as a classical actor at New York University by perform in works by such writers as William Shakespeare to George Bernard Shaw, he eventually relocated to California.
22In 1971 he appeared in Finland for four appearances in different Mid-Summer festivals. At the time he was very popular there after having been in the TV series The Virginian (1962). He was told that kind of reception he got in Finland was like Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra got in the US.
23Father of Timothy Drury, musician.
24Inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in 1991.
25Following bit parts in films in the late '50s, he became a "second lead" for Disney until winning the title role of The Virginian (1962).




Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color1959TV SeriesDeputy Joe Monroe
Zane Grey Theater1958-1959TV SeriesRoy Richards / Jess McHugh
Good Day for a Hanging1959Paul Ridgely
Bronco1958TV SeriesJohn Smith
Flight1958TV Series
The Texan1958TV SeriesJohnny Kaler
The Silent Service1958TV SeriesMasters
Bitter Heritage1958TV MovieJesse James, Jr.
Decision1958TV SeriesThe Virginian
The Walter Winchell File1958TV SeriesEddie Perkins
Man Without a Gun1958TV SeriesCort Hamish
Broken Arrow1958TV SeriesTahzay
Playhouse 901958TV SeriesJesse James
Alfred Hitchcock Presents1958TV SeriesMichael Grimes
Bernardine1957Lt. Langley Beaumont
Love Me Tender1956Ray Reno
The Last Wagon1956Lt. Kelly
Forbidden Planet1956Crewman Strong
The 20th Century-Fox Hour1956TV SeriesAnton Cavrek
Diane1956Lieutenant (uncredited)
The Tender Trap1955Eddie
Cameo Theatre1955TV Series
Love Me or Leave Me1955Assistant Director (uncredited)
Blackboard Jungle1955Hospital Attendant (uncredited)
Billy and the BanditTV Movie post-productionGrandpa
Hell to Pay2005JT Coffee
The Virginian2000TV MovieRider
Kung Fu: The Legend Continues1995-1996TV SeriesDoctor / Deacon
Maverick1994Riverboat Poker Player (uncredited)
The Adventures of Brisco County Jr.1993-1994TV SeriesEthan Emerson
Walker, Texas Ranger1993TV SeriesCaptain Tom Price
The Gambler Returns: The Luck of the Draw1991TV MovieJim
The All American Cowboy1985TV MovieHost / Marshal
The Fall Guy1983TV SeriesThe Virginian
Firehouse1974TV SeriesCaptain Spike Ryerson
Alias Smith and Jones1971-1972TV SeriesSheriff Tankersley / Sheriff Lom Trevors
The Devil and Miss Sarah1971TV MovieGil Turner
Ironside1971TV SeriesAl
The Virginian1962-1971TV SeriesThe Virginian
The Red Skelton Hour1971TV SeriesAuctioneer
Breakout1970TV MovieJoe Baker
It Takes a Thief1968TV SeriesMr. Clifton, Ticket Agent
The Young Warriors1966Sergeant Cooley
Ride the High Country1962Billy Hammond
Third of a Man1962Emmet
Wagon Train1960-1962TV SeriesCole Crawford / Justin Claiborne
The Detectives1962TV SeriesAdrian
Perry Mason1961TV SeriesEddy King
Rawhide1959-1961TV SeriesRance / Johnny Adler / Kenley
Stagecoach West1961TV SeriesStace
The Rifleman1958-1961TV SeriesSpicer / Lloyd Carpenter
Michael Shayne1961TV SeriesEddie
The Loretta Young Show1960-1961TV SeriesBob Prentiss / Tony
Gunsmoke1955-1961TV SeriesTom / Johnny Red / Jerry Cass / ...
The Rebel1960TV SeriesPaul Travers / Bert Pace
Ten Who Dared1960Walter Powell
Pollyanna1960George Dodds
Bourbon Street Beat1960TV SeriesJoe Darle
Lock Up1960TV SeriesFrank Crotty
Toby Tyler, or Ten Weeks with a Circus1960Jim Weaver
Men Into Space1960TV SeriesMaj. Nick Alborg
The Yank1960TV MovieMathew Dorn
Death Valley Days1959TV SeriesJoe Plato
Cheyenne1959TV SeriesBill Magruder
Steve Canyon1959TV SeriesLt. Richard Muller
Black Saddle1959TV SeriesNeal Adams
Lawman1959TV SeriesClay / Stan Bates
Richard Diamond, Private Detective1959TV SeriesHarding Jr.
Trackdown1959TV SeriesJohn Ward
Have Gun - Will Travel1959TV SeriesTony DeVries


In the Bunkhouse with Red Steagall2009TV SeriesHimself
Way Out West1996TV Movie documentaryHimself
When the West Was Fun: A Western Reunion1979TV Movie documentaryHimself
Mel Tillis Time1974TV SeriesHimself
Mies Shiloh'sta1971TV Movie documentaryHimself
The Hollywood Squares1967-1970TV SeriesHimself - Panelist
The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson1968-1970TV SeriesHimself
The Mike Douglas Show1969TV SeriesHimself
The David Frost Show1969TV SeriesHimself
Laugh-In1969TV SeriesHimself
The Bob Hope Show1967TV SeriesHimself
Dateline: Hollywood1967TV SeriesHimself
That Regis Philbin Show1965TV SeriesHimself

Archive Footage

Hollywood Screen Tests: Take 21999TV Special documentaryHimself (uncredited)
The Meanest Men in the West1978TV MovieThe Range Boss (The Virginian)
America at the Movies1976DocumentaryBilly Hammond (uncredited)
The Bull of the West1972TV MovieMan from Virginia
Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color1963-1968TV SeriesGeorge Dodds / Jim Weaver / Walter Powell
The Final Hour1965The Virginian
The Devil's Children1962The Virginian
The Brazen Bell1962The Virginian
Frontier Justice1958TV SeriesJess McHugh


Won Awards

1995Golden BootGolden Boot Awards
1966Bronze WranglerWestern Heritage AwardsFictional Television DramaThe Virginian (1962)

Source: IMDb, Wikipedia

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