On the net since 1997

Gunsmoke Store



"Say, ain't you that ol' boy who used to be on Gunsmoke?" It's been nearly 25 years since TV's legendary Western ended a 20-season network run. Yet Taylor, who played gunsmith Newly O'Brien for eight years (1967-75), is still regularly recognized.

"My favorite is when people say, 'You look kind of like Newly on Gunsmoke.' And I'll go, 'Yeah, that was me.' And they say, 'Nah, you ain't him. But you do look like him.'"

Taylor, a still-working character actor whose recent films include Tombstone, Gettysburg and Wild Wild West, doesn't mind the nostalgia he inspires. In fact, he banks on it. If not for Gunsmoke fans, after all, he might not have succeeded 10 years ago when he launched a career as a professional artist.

Taylor paints Western scenes. His work is shown nationwide and he is the official poster artist for the Fort Worth Stock Show. But in the beginning, ties to Gunsmoke were what kept him afloat. "It was sort of looked upon as a novelty at that time: Own a painting by Newly O'Brien. Now I have serious art collectors."

Taylor, son of character actor Dub Taylor, turned down the part of Danny "Dano" Williams on Hawaii Five-O to do Gunsmoke. He says he has never regretted that decision.

In fact, Taylor thought so highly of Gunsmoke star James Arness, who played Marshall Matt Dillon, that he named his second son Matthew. (Firstborn Adam died five years ago.)

Taylor, now 61, and wife Goldie, a rodeo star who works as a flight attendant, live on a 100-acre ranch north of Fort Worth, Texas. They met four years ago at a quarter-horse show, where his paintings were being shown, and married after a three-month courtship. "She's been a great influence on my life," he says. "This is just the best time of my life."