Hugh O’Brian, who starred on ABC’s 1955-1961 Western The Life And Legend Of Wyatt Earp, died today at age 91 at his home in Beverly Hills. The news was reported on O’Brian’s website for HOBY, the organization he created to develop young leaders.
O’Brian, a Marine Corps instructor during World War II, started his career on the stage, leading to a deal at Universal Studios. Then came film and TV roles including Broken Lance and There’s No Business Like Show Business. In 1955, he landed the lead in The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp. It aired 229 episodes after premiering on September 6, 1955 — four days before Gunsmoke premiered. After the Wyatt Earp run ended, he guested on several TV series including Fantasy Island, The Love Boat and Charlie’s Angels.
On the big screen, his credits included 1976’s The Shootist, John Wayne’s final film; 1988’s Twins with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito; and a cameo in 1994’s Wyatt Earp: Return To Tombstone.
In the mid-1950s, O’Brian took a trip to Africa with Nobel Peace Prize winner Albert Schweitzer, and in 1958 founded the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership, a non-profit rooted with the aim to inspire a global community of youth and volunteers to a life dedicated to leadership, service, and innovation. To date HOBY as more than 470,000 alumni.