Paul Brinegar, American Character Actor, Rawhide Star

Posted on Apr 01, 2012 under ARCHIVES | 2 Comments


Left to Right Brinegar – Eastwood – Fleming: Rawhide

Paul Brinegar was born December 19, 1917 in New Mexico. He appeared in over 100 films and television shows throughout his career. Probably best know for his portrayal of George Washington Wishbone “Wishbone” on the ever popular television western Rawhide, starring Eric Fleming and co-staring Clint Eastwood.

Paul Brinegar specialized in grizzly, feisty, likable characters and humorous sidekicks. He headed to California and made his film debut in Larceny (1948). He worked steadily for many years until a slowdown hit him in the 1950s. Things picked up and he continued working through the 1990s. His final screen appearance was in the 1994 version of Maverick as the stagecoach driver.

In 1958, he portrayed Tom Jefferson Jeffrey in the movie Cattle Empire, which Rawhide was based on.

He appeared 21 time, from 1956 to 1958, playing Major Jim “Dog” Kelly in the TV Western The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp, starring Hugh O’Brian.

In 1959 he played Ludwig, the bartender, in the movie western The Texan, starring Rory Calhoun.

Ten years later, he appeared in the movie western Charro!, starring Elvis Presley.

From 1968 to 1970, Paul played Jelly Hoskins, on Lancer, whose character was loosely based on Wishbone. Well known veteran actor Andrew Duggan, James Stacy and Wayne Maunder also co-starred.

Paul starred mostly in westerns but was also very active in many other television shows, including but not limited to:

Alfred Hitchcock Presents “Premonition (1955)
Noah’s Ark “The Guide” (1957)
Perry Mason “The Case of the Sun Bather’s Diary” (1958)
Peter Gunn “Short a Motive” (1961)
Daniel Boone “Take the Southbound Stage” (1967)

Paul was a wonderful character actor who was known by so many television viewers for years. His endearing characters have given us wonderful humor and delightful character personalities. He was a consummate actor who spent his career constantly working. I enjoyed all his performance so very much.

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2 Responses to “Paul Brinegar, American Character Actor, Rawhide Star”

  1. Dan Iovacchini Says:

    Thank you Ellen, I’ve recently renewed my love of Westerns watching Rawhide Faithfully. I knew I recognized Paul Brinegar from other Movies/Shows but only recently surfed over a movie that listed him as a lead and sadly Missed it I guess even tho it was earmarked…I have 6 kids and they’ll exit out a reminder of a western unless Clints in it or John Wayne…lol. The kids love THEM. Bit Sheb Wooley I’ve seen in many films& shows so I started looking up their History’s..& the 8th season of Rawhide airing now has no Gil Favor so peeked in curiosity I figured I’d start with Wishbone…& it brought me here..So thank you very much for the page it’s nice especially to see a cute young lady with an interest in the older Westerns & clearly classic films So again thank you I’ve been loving all the classic channels if there’s anything you can tell me about filmography’s for the supporting actors it’d be great I’m very glad I found you…Danny I

  2. Rosemary Roy Says:

    I enjoyed watching him on Rawhide. He added a lot to the show.

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