He was born Arthur Lee Hunnicutt on February 17, 1910, Gravelly, Arkansas. He attended Arkansas State Teachers College during the depression but had to drop out when his funds were depleted. Acting in college plays he took up acting and joined a theatre group in Massachusetts, then migrated to New York to work on Broadway. He made his first film in “Wildcat” (1942) starring Richard Arlen. By now he had perfected his Arkansas drawl and would put it to good use in the next 45 years on the screen. He added a beard and girzzled look to his persona. He was nominated for an Academy Award in 1952's “Big Sky” directed by Howard Hawks for his portrayal of Zeb Calloway.
From that point, Hunnicutt was in constant demand. He played Davy Crockett in The Last Command (1955), an elderly Butch Cassidy in Cat Ballou (1965), and a sidekick to John Wayne in El Dorado (1966). Hunnicutt also played television roles, such as the patriarch of a feuding mountain family on The Andy Griffith Show. He had other memorable roles on a variety of television series, including Gunsmoke, The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, and Perry Mason. Hunnicutt appeared in one Eurowestern as Kid White in 1974's “The Spikes Gang” starring Lee Marvin. Hunnicutt died of mouth cancer on September 27, 1979 at the Motion Picture Home in Woodland Hills, California. Today we celebrate what would have been Arthur Hunnicutt's 100th birthday.