Dennis Weaver was one of my favorite actors. I loved him in McCloud and Gentle Ben. He was a real masculine figure whose personality commanded respect from others.
One of my favorite roles he played was David Mann in the 90 minute Steven Spielberg movie Duel. The first time I saw this thriller it couldn't sleep for nights. What's so scary about a big truck chasing a guy in a car? When you are Dennis Weaver, you have the ability to portray a terrified man who overcomes his fear to face a life threatening menace. In the process, suspense builds until the final minute of the movie.
TV has been enriched by this wonderful actor. He will be missed.
I loved watching this man play in Wildfire for the time he did. Thats all I saw him in but still he was so funny I mean you could tell he didnt like Ken davis cause' he was always smarting of to him. and if you didnt like him either than [ Ken that is ] than his comments were extremly funny. I was so sad when I found out he died and it sad how they had to write him out of Wildfire I mean he went on Vacation and didnt come back I mean how sad is that?!
I was in love with him as avery young girl, I met him at a High School reunion as he graduated with my great uncle, Mc Cloud was on theair at the time, and he always came home.. a great genuine person he will be missed, a talent from the 60's to the day he died..
Did most of you know that Mr. Weaver was an Olympic-level track-and-field star in college? In fact, I think he missed qualifying for the Decathlon in the 1948 Olympics by only ten points. There was a rumor that James Arness wanted Weaver to walk with a limp as Chester so as not to show him up. In reality, the writers just gave Chester the limp to keep him out of the action since Matt Dillon was the star of the show. After all, Festus (Ken Curtis) didn't have a limp, but was just as effective and allowed Matt to shine as well.
Dennis Weaver is an excellent actor. There was Gunsmoke where he limped and hemmed and hawwed his goofy but lovable way through the scenes, he consistently emoted with the best of 'em. I enjoyed his performance in Duel, the movie with the crazy truck stalker. ( I still believe this movie was inspired by a Rockford Files episode, or vice versa.)
Why did Chester limp? Perhaps it was a Freudian reference to Matt's inability to exhibit sexual interest in Kitty. Thus the straight and stiff leg of his comic sidekick.(LIMP-get it?)Or maybe he fell in a hole.
Another thing I like about Dennis Weaver is that, to my knowledge, he never denigrated his role as Chester on Gunsmoke. ( I'll never forget Jethro when asked by Johnny Carson on the Tonight show what he thought of that classic role. He replied "how would you like to get hit over the head with a frying pan every week?" I would have liked to have whacked him with one then!)Ironic that he was then a Hollywood PRODUCER, a role he played hilariously on the Beverly Hillbillies.
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