Guy Madison was a 1940s matinee idol who found his niche in westerns and was best remembered for his long-running 1950s television series "The Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok."
From 1951 to 1958, Madison portrayed the handsome Marshal James Butler Hickok in a precursor to other popular series about historic frontier figures such as Daniel Boone, Davy Crockett and Kit Carson. The real Wild Bill Hickok, a Pony Express rider, Army scout and marshal of Abilene, Texas, in the 1800s, was reputedly far less good looking.
To make sure audiences realized the toughness beyond the pretty face, Hickok's introduction in the shows was always enhanced by the rasping refrain of Jingles, his comedic sidekick portrayed by the late Andy Devine: "That's Wild Bill Hickok, mister! The bravest, strongest, fightingest U.S. marshal in the whole West!"
Although Madison was initially considered a bobby-soxers' heartthrob, his rising star threatened to sink quickly until he fell into westerns. The first was "Texas, Brooklyn and Heaven" opposite Diana Lynn in 1948, followed by "Massacre River" with Calhoun in second billing in 1949.
As the oaters lost favor in the late 1950s, Madison tried producing pictures and then moved to Italy, where he continued acting in "spaghetti westerns" through the 1960s.
In recent years, he joined other celluloid cowboys at public events such as the opening of the Gene Autry Western Heritage Museum and in cameo roles, including a 1988 television remake of "Red River."