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DOUG MCCLURE, COWBOY STAR OF TV SHOWS, DIES

DOUG MCCLURE, COWBOY STAR OF TV SHOWS, DIES

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Doug McClure, the blond, boyish cowboy star of the television shows "The Virginian," "The Overland Trail" and "The Men From Shiloh," died of cancer Sunday night. He was 59.

McClure died in his suburban Sherman Oaks home with family and friends by his side, said his friend and colleague, Dennis Morga.

After struggling a year with lung cancer, McClure appeared last Dec. 16 on Hollywood Boulevard for installation of his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Getting the star helped him feel better, he told well-wishers, who included his "Virginian" co-star, James Drury.

"It gave me the incentive to get well, and I am well," he declared.

McClure continued acting in an episode of TV's "Kung Fu" in Toronto and with a theatrical film called "One West Waikiki," shot in Hawaii.

But on Jan. 8, he collapsed from an apparent stroke on the "Waikiki" set and was flown to Los Angeles for hospitalization.

Doctors discovered the cancer had spread to his liver and bones, Morga said.

McClure's career took off in 1960 when he was cast as William Bendix's sidekick in the NBC series "The Overland Trail." The show lasted only half a season, and he immediately started on "Checkmate," a private-eye series set in San Francisco.

In 1962, the actor joined the cast of "The Virginian," an ambitious, big-budget NBC project that was the first filmed series with 90-minute episodes.

McClure played the role of Trampas, the villain in the Owen Wister novel and the three movie versions. Trampas was rehabilitated in the series as a happy-go-lucky young cowpoke.

After eight successful years of "The Virginian," NBC introduced a spinoff, "The Men From Shiloh." It lasted one season. In 1972-73, McClure appeared in a high-tech spy series, "Search."

In addition to his wife, Diane, McClure is survived by two children from previous marriages, Tane and Valerie; his mother, Clara Clapp; and a brother, Reed.

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