Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Remembering Wayde Preston

Wayde Preston was born William Erskine Strange on September 10, 1929 in Denver, Colorado. Preston was reared in Laramie in southern Wyoming by his educator parents, John and Bernice Strange. He had two younger sisters, Joan and Mary. In 1947, Preston graduated from Laramie High School, where he was active in football, track, the school band, and the Reserve Officer Training Corps. He attended the University of Wyoming in Laramie, where he studied pharmacy. He became an accomplished musician and played in many bands during the late 1940s. In 1950, Preston was drafted into the United States Army. After military service, Preston for a time was a park ranger at Grand Teton National Park in northwestern Wyoming, and he rode the rodeo circuit before he got his break as an actor.
 
From 1957 to 1960 as Christopher Colt he was cast in the lead role in sixty-seven episodes of the ABC/Warner Brothers western television series, ‘Colt .45’. He is also known for his appearance in the title role of an acclaimed 1959 episode entitled "The Saga of Waco Williams" of another ABC/WB western series, ‘Maverick’.
 
Preston played some twenty roles in television and films between 1957 and 1991. Following his departure from ‘Colt .45’, he went to Europe, where he appeared in numerous spaghetti westerns, including Vic Morrow's “A Man Called Sledge” opposite James Garner as well as the 1968 film Anzio about the World War II “Battle of Anzio”. Preston played the role of Logan in another 1968 film, “Wrath of God”; he was then cast in 1969 as Marshal Johnny Silver in “Death Knows No Time”. In all Wayde appeared in nine Euro-westerns.
 
Preston later appeared on episodes of NBC's ‘Bonanza’ and ABC's ‘Starsky and Hutch’. His last screen appearance was a supporting role in the 1990 film version of ‘Captain America’.
 
Wayde died of colon cancer on February 6, 1992 in Lovelock, Nevada.
 
Today we remember Wayde Preston on what would have been his 85th birthday.

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