When speaking about traditional TV Westerns, most individuals name-drop Bonanza or Gunsmoke. However for a sure technology, NBC’s The Virginian is simply as memorable.
Like most long-running sequence, the present — which spanned 9 seasons for a complete of 249 episodes — went via a few tough patches. The departure of primary character Betsy Garth to start with of Season four almost sunk the drama, however The Virginian managed to outlive the upheaval.
What occurred to Betsy on ‘The Virginian’?
Within the 1965 episode “The Awakening,” Choose Garth’s solely daughter weds former minister David Henderson and strikes to Pennsylvania to start out a brand new life along with her husband. The storyline mirrored actress Roberta Shore’s personal resolution to interrupt her seven-year contract with the present to be able to concentrate on her real-life marriage.
“I moved from Los Angeles to Salt Lake Metropolis and by no means needed to return again,” the religious Mormon defined in a 2016 interview. “I had a few kids and I’ve 5 grandchildren. Having grandchildren and youngsters is the perfect a part of my life.”
By the point she stop Hollywood on the age of 22, Roberta had a prolonged and spectacular resume. She secured a spot at Walt Disney Productions regardless of unsuccessfully auditioning for The Mickey Mouse Membership. “I am solely five-three-and-a-half however I used to be too tall,” she stated of the coveted gig.
“However then I did numerous Disney movies and voices on cartoons, I did recordings, I toured — however I used to be by no means beneath contract. So I used to be by no means a Mouseketeer however I did numerous work with them.”
For example, you may hear Roberta yodeling on “It is a Small World” at Disney Parks, and she or he performed Annette Funicello’s romantic rival in 1959’s The Shaggy Canine.
Although she fortunately selected love over her profession, the 77-year-old beforehand admitted, “I did remorse giving up music. Music was my old flame. I began out as a singer, and I did numerous singing again then.”
She briefly returned to appearing to star within the 1974 LDS Church brief “Cipher within the Snow,” which was produced by Brigham Younger College Movement Image Studio.
Roberta Shore has fond reminiscences of ‘The Virginian’ set.
The brunette magnificence was employed to play Betsy after her different TV job, The Bob Cummings Present, bought canceled. “[The sitcom] was horrible and solely lasted about two weeks,” Roberta recalled. “From there, [Universal Studios] put me in The Virginian.”
The California native adored her on-screen father, Lee J. Cobb, who had two Academy Award nominations beneath his belt by the point the Western started airing. “I cherished him. He was my favourite,” Roberta stated of the actor, who performed Choose Garth for 4 seasons.
“He was skilled, variety, and witty. He may simply take a look at me and make me chuckle. I actually cherished him as a father picture.”
Roberta additionally raved about working with a younger Robert Redford on the 1963 episode “The Evil That Males Do.” “He was proper out of Broadway and I believe it was one of many first TV reveals he had accomplished,” she shared. “He was simply very nice.”