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Don Collier (1928–2021), actor known for “The High Chaparral,” “Outlaws”

by Linnea Crowther

Don Collier was an actor known for roles in Westerns, including “The High Chaparral” and “Outlaws.”

Acting career

After serving in the U.S. Navy and the Merchant Marine, Collier began his acting career with work as an extra. His real-life experience working as a ranch hand proved to come in handy, netting him roles in Westerns. This began to pay off in 1960, when Collier got his break with a role on TV’s “Outlaws,” playing Deputy Will Foreman. He moved on to play ranch foreman Sam Butler on “The High Chaparral,” remaining with the show throughout its four-season run. Collier had a recurring role on “The Young Riders” and made notable appearances on other shows including “Bonanza,” “Gunsmoke,” “The Waltons,” and “Little House on the Prairie.” He also acted in movies, appearing with John Wayne in “El Dorado,” “The War Wagon,” and “Undefeated” as well as taking roles in “Seven Ways from Sundown” and “Tombstone.” In commercials for Hubba Bubba bubble gum, Collier appeared as the “Gum Fighter,” who said, “Big bubbles, no trouble!”

Collier on filming “The High Chaparral” in the Arizona heat

“There’s a remedy for that heat. It happens every Friday and it’s called payday. If the heat wasn’t tolerable, you could quit. So, even if it was 120 degrees, we smiled and kept going.” —from a 2016 interview for Classic Film &TV Cafe


Tributes to Don Collier

Full obituary: The Hollywood Reporter

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