In the sixth part of the series, actor and Western Legends Roundup 2015 star Bruce Boxleitner reveals the sometimes harrowing and sometimes embarrassing events of learning how to ride a horse for his signature role as Luke Macahan.
His mentors were Rose and Dick Lundeen, who had worked with the Gunsmoke productions for quite a few years. They taught Bruce everything, from grooming to galloping, and made sure he was comfortable in the saddle for his debut in How The West Was Won. They told him that if the horse came back by itself, and if it was too late in the day to go look for him, he’d have a long walk back.
Bruce stuck with it and learned from the best wranglers and stunt men and women on the set.
While relating his experience, Bruce invites his “sister”, “Laura Macahan” from the show, played by Kitty Ogilvy (a.k.a. Kathryn Holcomb), to provide additional commentary. It just so happens that Bruce and Kitty had developed an offscreen relationship during How The West Was Won shooting and, being completely unrelated to each other in real life, they got married and had two children.
While Kitty and Bruce were waiting to find out whether they’d been “picked up” for their respective roles, they participated in a 48 hour Western movie-watching marathon at FilmEx. They didn’t want to come out of that marathon until they heard they’d gotten the job. They took it as a good omen when they heard that they did get the parts.
Bruce’s favorite “bucket list” horseback ride was with “Whisky” Sam Gross and “Windy” Bill Behrens when they took a 10 hour ride with a Navajo guide through Monument Valley.