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Slim Pickens

Slim Pickens

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  • "He rides into the frame and you just smile"

    • Amy Lumet
    • 2019-05-01

    I recently discovered the restored version of "One-Eyed Jacks" (1961), a Western beautifully directed by Marlon Brando. Mr Pickens stands out among an incredible ensemble of actors including Brando, Karl Malden, Ben Johnson, and Katy Jurado. Since then, I've been thinking about the indelible and positive contributions of this legendary actor and authentic Rodeo Clown, Bullfighter, and Bronco Rider to our Culture: 35-plus years after his death, everything I hear about Pickens/Lindley legacy --not just the body of work, but the family life and friendships-- of this talented actor and authentic cowboy underscores the fact we lost an American Treasure far too soon. From the moment he was introduced to non-Rodeo audiences in William Keighley's "Rocky Mountain" (1950), he stole every film or tv show in which he appeared. Even today's audiences eagerly await his next scene in the moments when he is off-camera. Lovers of film and theater know how rare this intangible charisma is, and directors know it more than anyone. The legendary Sam Peckinpah cast Pickens in nearly every film he made. From William Whitney to John Ford to Marlon Brando to Mel Brooks, directors loved him. My own late father, Sidney Lumet, who never had the opportunity to work with Pickens, was a huge fan, commenting more than once, "He rides into the frame and you just smile". A former actor himself, my father also described Pickens' ability to draw the eye in a positive way "...he was always naturally busy in his scenes -- he was 'genuinely in and of the story ...He was sensitive to his own presence, was always doing something small to enrich the story - even when the action may have involved another character". Pickens remains one of the most expressive, authentic, and versatile character actors of any genre, and fond stories of the wit and kindness of this devoted father, husband, and outdoorsman abound. Thanks to TCM, we can see his work in 100 screen appearances! AL

  • A Voice to Remember!

    • Connie
    • 2010-07-10

    I can only say good things about Slim Pickens. I grew up in a movie theatre from 1953 - 1971 &, as an avid movie watcher, I loved everyone of Slim's movies. Even if the movie itself wasn't good, I always perked up when I heard Slim's voice. I couldn't help but love the man. He always played his parts well! Two of my favorites is the Stage-driver in Stagecoach, & the railway boss in Blazing Saddles. Connie

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