Sunday, December 6, 2009
RIP Warren Vanders
Warren Vanderschuit, 79, a character actor who appeared in the John Wayne film "Rooster Cogburn" and dozens of TV westerns and who had an impressive athletic career as a young man in Los Angeles, died November 27 at Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena after battling lung cancer, his family said. Using the stage name Warren Vanders and often playing villains, he had numerous roles in TV westerns, including "Empire" (as Chuck Davis), "The Big Valley," "Bonanza," "Daniel Boone," "Alias Smith and Jones," "Gunsmoke," "Kung Fu," "Nevada Smith" and "How the West Was Won," as well as the big-screen western "Hot Lead and Cold Feet" and others.
Born Warren John Vanderschuit in San Fernando, California on May 23, 1930, he served in the Navy during the Korean War and boxed for Navy teams. After the war he continued boxing in the Golden Gloves program, capturing the 1954 Southern California light-heavyweight title in a tournament at the Hollywood Legion Stadium sponsored by The Times.
He also was a standout quarterback for what was then Pepperdine College from 1954 to 1956. Meanwhile, he was studying drama, and when injuries ended his football prospects he turned to acting in film, TV and on stage, as well as to teaching in local schools.
Vanders made one Euro-Western "The Price of Power" with Giuliano Gemma playing the part of Arthur McDonald