Guy Madison (Robert Ozell Mosley)

Guy Madison

Guy Madison

Mr. Madison, who changed his name from Robert Moseley when he became an actor, was born in Pumpkin Center, Calif., and reared in nearby Bakersfield. His father was a machinist on the Santa Fe Railroad. He attended Bakersfield Junior College for two years, majoring in animal husbandry, and worked briefly as a telephone lineman. After joining the Coast Guard in 1942, he served as a lifeguard at the North Island Base in San Diego.

While in Hollywood on a pass in 1944, he was spotted by a talent scout and brought to the offices of David O. Selznick at Paramount. Selznick, seeing major heartthrob material in the blond, boyishly handsome sailor, had him written into the film “Since You Went Away,” which was in production and, almost as an afterthought, ordered up some screen tests. In the film, Mr. Madison appeared as a lonely sailor in a three-minute bowling-alley sequence with Jennifer Jones and Robert Walker. To conceal his new career from the military, he changed his name.

An avalanche of fan mail followed, and after being discharged from the service, Mr. Madison was cast in starring roles with Dorothy McGuire in “Till the End of Time” (1946) and Shirley Temple in “Honeymoon” (1947). Good looks could not disguise a wooden acting style, however, and his career evaporated by the end of the 1940’s.

His fortunes revived when he won the part of Hickok on “The Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok,” which ran on television from 1951 to 1958 and on radio from 1951 to 1956. Andy Devine played his trusty sidekick, Jingles. Mr. Madison’s popularity as Hickok led to a starring role in the 3-D film “The Charge at Feather River” (1953), whose success gave him a new lease on life in Hollywood as a tight-lipped action hero, usually in Westerns.

His films included “The Command” (1954), “Five Against the House” (1955), “The Beast of Hollow Mountain” (1956), “On the Threshold of Space” (1956), “The Hard Man” (1957) and “Bullwhip” (1958).

During the 1960’s, Mr. Madison worked in Europe, making costume dramas and spaghetti Westerns. In 1976 he appeared in “Won Ton Ton, the Dog That Saved Hollywood,” and in 1988 he was cast in a television remake of “Red River.”

His two marriages, to the actresses Gail Russell and Sheilah Connolly, ended in divorce.

He is survived by a sister, Rosemary Anderson, of Sacramento; two brothers, Wayne of Sherman Oaks, Calif., and Harold of Mount Shasta, Calif.; three daughters, Bridget, Erin and Dolly; and a son, Robert.

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  • January, 19, 1922
  • Bakersfield, California


  • February, 06, 1996
  • Palm Springs, California

Cause of Death

  • emphysema


  • Forest Lawn Memorial Parks and Mortuaries
  • Cathedral City, California

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