Wayde Preston, born William Erksine Strange on September 10, 1929, was among the early pioneers who fled Hollywood for Europe to make what were called "spaghetti westerns". In the late 1940's, after attending the University of Wyoming, Wayde became a professional musician, playing string bass in several popular bands. However, as it called others, the Korean War beckoned, making him an Artillery Officer. After the war, Preston, who was a man of many talents, worked as a national park Ranger, a rodeo rider, and a pilot for TWA.
After an uncredited bit part in a Cheyenne episode, Preston landed the lead role in Colt .45. However, like James Garner and Clint Walker, he was unhappy with Warner Brothers, wanting more money, less hours and better working conditions - and so he left, or was let go, depending on your point of view. He also worked briefly on Sugerfoot and Maverick (as Waco Williams in that series highest rated episode ever). But then, other than one episode of Bonanza, work dried up. So, in 1967, he began a five year exile making westerns in Europe - most notably, A Man Called Sledge, with James Garner. Soon, however, cancer began stalking him and Wayde worked sparingly thereafter, finally succumbing, after a 20 year battle, on Feb 6, 1992.