Victor French's only headlining role was in the ABC sitcom Carter Country. To promote the show, French actually visited Plains, Georgia (the home of then-President Jimmy Carter) in 1977.
When asked which character on Little House on the Prairie was most like their real-life persona, Lucy Lee Flippin (who played Eliza Jane Wilder) has said it was Victor French, saying, "he was really a Teddy Bear."
After playing villains and criminals for much of his career, by the 1980s Victor French deliberately declined any roles that involved his character showing cruelty.
The lung cancer that killed Victor French at the age of 54 was probably caused by a long-term smoking habit (something he shared in common with his frequent television co-star Michael Landon). French has no grave, he was cremated and the ashes were scattered in the Pacific Ocean.
French's performance in the Elvis Presley movie Charro! was generally considered far superior to Presley's. For example, a September 1969 New York Times review states that Victor French's portrayal of the villain "follows in the interesting recent tradition of mature sober-sided outlaws" and that the movie "really belongs" to his character.
Victor French played 19 separate characters on Gunsmoke, the most in the long-running western drama's history.
French was always interested in boxing and was active in promoting and staging boxing matches in Southern California.
Little House on the Prairie star Melissa Gilbert has said of her co-star, "I loved Victor French dearly. I have so many fond memories of him. I am glad there are reruns on where I can see us together."
French obtained some background in performance arts by taking classes in theater at California State University/Los Angeles and Los Angeles Valley College.
Victor French's long-lasting friendship with Michael Landon began when he guest-starred on Bonanza. Landon used his considerable influence to bring him onto the TV movie and series Little House on the Prairie (interrupted when French left to star on the short-lived comedy Carter Country). Their partnership continued during Highway to Heaven, a series that ended after French's death from lung cancer.
Some sources indicate that there was some friction between the two when French left Little House on the Prairie. Still, Landon welcomed him back to the series and French was paid top scale after his return.
French had a long-term relationship with actress Julie Cobb, marrying and divorcing after two years of marriage in 1978. The couple had three children (Tracy, Kelly, and Victor).
Victor French had a life-long interest in western history and movies that he learned from his father and was a collector of souvenirs. Among many items, he owned pairs of boots once worn by Tom Mix and Roy Rogers.
In honor of his many roles in television westerns, French is a member of the "Hall of Great Performers" at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City.
Victor French's father (Ted French) was an actor and Hollywood stuntman and his grandfather Charles had a long acting career as well.
French became very interested in directing. He took on the job for episodes of Little House on the Prairie and directed every third episode of Highway to Heaven. He had directing credits for other 70s and 80s television shows as well. Among his theatrical efforts, he won a Critics Circle award for directing a Los Angeles production of Twelve Angry Men.
Victor French: (speaking on the role Michael Landon played in his career) Landon rescued me from playing killers, rapists, and every kind of villain known to man.