Another childhood hero has passed.
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Hugh O’Brian, who shot to fame as Sheriff Wyatt Earp in what was hailed as television’s first adult Western, has died. He was 91.
A representative from HOBY, a philanthropic organization O’Brian founded, says he died at home Monday morning in Beverly Hills.
Until “The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp” debuted in September 1955, most TV Westerns - “The Lone Ranger,” '‘Hopalong Cassidy," the singing cowboys’ series - were aimed at adolescent boys.
“Wyatt Earp,” on the other hand, was based on a real-life Western hero, and some of its stories were authentic. (The real Earp, who lived from 1848 to 1929, is most famous for his participation in the 1881 “Shootout at the O.K. Corral” in Tombstone, Arizona.)
Critics quickly praised it, and it made O’Brian a star.