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


  1. The Best Grandpa of All Time. He truly lived a full life...I love him dearly and miss him...

  2. An amazing teacher and human being... He taught me more than just being a better actor... but also being a better person. I'll miss you Warren and thank you for embracing me with your talents and knowledge for no other reason but to share your gifts my friend...
    I will miss those wonderful acting classes at your home!
    God Bless You...

  3. About 1960 he taught a night class for acting at El Monte High School. I hitch-hiked from Monrovia once a week to attend that class, a 16 year-old wanta be. A year or two later he was in Empire then I lost track of him. About 1968 I saw him in "Rough Night in Jerico" with Dean Martin. He left an impresion on me, changed my life. Grant Johnston

  4. I have very fond memories of Warren Vanders, He taught Drama at Montebello High School in 1958-59. I was one of his students & learned a great deal from him. I also use to babysit for his kids when he & his then wife went out. Later on as I was pursing my career in acting I attended scene study classes that he was teaching. He was a very good teacher & a great friend. I attended his memorial services in 2009. He is sorely missed. Phyllis Harlow