The Legend of Wyatt Earp / Hugh O’Brian
“I believe every person is created as the steward of his or her own destiny with great power for a specific purpose: To share with others, through service, a reverence for life in a spirit of love.” – Hugh O’Brian
Hugh Charles Krampe (April 19, 1925 – September 5, 2016)
Not Your Average Cowboy
- By the time he graduated from high school, he had lettered in football, basketball, wrestling and track. Originally pursuing law, he dropped out of the University of Cincinnati in 1942 (age 19) and enlisted in the Marine Corps. Was one of the youngest drill instructors in the Marine Corps’ history, and during his four years of service won a coveted Fleet appointment to the Naval Academy, which he declined. Upon his discharge he ended up in Los Angeles. Hugh joined a little theater group and a Santa Barbara stock company.
- 1954, he left Universal to freelance but did not fare any better until offered the starring role in The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp (1955) on TV, a year later. During his six-year run on the western classic, he managed to show off his singing talents on variety shows and appeared on Broadway.
- Founded Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Foundation (HOBY), in 1958 a non-profit youth leadership development program for high school scholars, after spending considerable time with Dr. Albert Schweitzer and his clinic in Africa. O’Brian dedicated much of his life to HOBY, which sponsers 10,000 high school sophomores annually through its over 70 leadership programs in all 50 states and 20 countries. Since its inception, over 435,000 young people have participated in HOBY-related programs.
- Recorded an album of popular songs and sang on the The Nat King Cole Show, Ed Sullivan, Dinah Shore and Jackie Gleason variety shows.
- One of the first celebrities to frontline tours of Vietnam at the request of the State Department, Hugh once staged and directed a company of “Guys and Dolls” which toured Vietnam, Thailand and Japan for the troops.
- Inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in 1992.
- Developed The Hugh O’Brian Acting Awards Competition in 1964 at the University of California, Los Angeles with cash awards going to acting talents.
- In 1972, was awarded one of the nation’s highest honors, the Freedom Through Knowledge Award, sponsored by the National Space Club in association with NASA.
- In 1974, he was awarded the George Washington Honor Medal, highest award of the Freedom Foundation at Valley Forge, as well as the Globe and Anchor Award from the Marine Corps.
- Was a successful investor over the years with dividends paying well in stocks and bonds, real estate, bowling alleys, a building equipment firm, a theatre-in-the-round, an oil syndicate and his own television production company.
1953 Won The Man from the Alamo – Golden Globe for Most Promising Newcomer
Hugh OBrian – Not your average Cowboy Part 2