Western Celebrities


The STARS Will Shine at the 2011 Palm Springs WestFest & Western Design Expo.

 TV Cowboys & award-winning actors abound at this years event:
Michael Dante, Don Collier, Bo Hopkins, Martin Kove, Ed Faulkner, Ty Hardin and Dan Haggerty (TV's Grizzly Adams) are but a few of the stars you'll see at this year's event.  Johnny Crawford (Mark McCain of The Rifleman) will be on hand, along with Chuck Connor's real-life son, Jeff Connors, who will be displaying one of his famous father's rifles. Also on hand to greet their family of fans will be Cindy Mitchum, daughter of John Mitchum and niece of Robert Mitchum; and Julie Ann Ream, representing 3 famous Western actors: her grandfather 'Cactus Mack' and relatives Glenn Strange and Rex Allen.

The Design Expo will also feature celebrity authors William Smith with his latest book "The Poetic Works of William Smith" and Roy and Dale's daughter Cheryl Rogers-Barnett will tell us what it was like growing up as a 'Cowboy Princess.'
Actor and artists Andrew Prine, Richard Herd and Peter Sherayko will be displaying their latest creations.

Aside from taking home autographs, pictures, books and art from this years list of stars, there are two stages of entertainment on-going at the weekend's event.

Mojave Theatre Schedule for Thursday, March 24

Beginning at High Noon inside the Renaissance Hotel in the theatre next to Western Design Expo:

Gunspinning talents of Tombstone Tony Redburn

Tony Redburn as lookalike Billy The Kid

Vintage Western Wear Show
Visit with Julee Brady & the gals of the Cowgirl Historical Foundation as they model Vintage outfits from designers such as Nudie, Turk and Manuel; and tell the tales & history of their famous outfits! A must see for the fashionista!
12:30   "Remembering Roy Rogers"  100 Years of a Legend
Share in the celebration of memories and enjoy the stories of family life as Roy's daughter Cheryl Rogers- Barnett gives a glimpse into the life of her famous father, and what is was like growing up in her famous family.
1 PM   Bob Boze Bell
For an historically correct look at the Old West, no one writes or draws it better than the publisher of True West Magazine, Bob Boze Bell. This will be an informative and enjoyable 45 minute talk laying waste to many of the cowboy myths we all grew up on..
2 PM      Memories of  'GUNSMOKE'
Join authors, actors, screenwriters and directorsof this beloved show as they discusss the  popularity and continued love of TV's longest running Western.
3 PM     Visit with The Legends
Take a journey into the lives & careers of some of your favorite film and television Cowboy Stars of the past and present. See and hear where their paths have taken them, and what it is that they're doing now.
4 PM    Old Friends, Why I Love Them
Listen as some of your favorite Western Celebrities  perform 'Cowboy Poetry' readings  straight from the works of John Mitchums'; 'America, Why I Love Her'. A 'Must see' for lovers of Cowboy Poetry poetry....
4:30   Remembering JOHN WAYNE
Film and television star Ed Faulkner shares his memories of working with one of the world's favorite cowboys, 'The Duke'

Then come outside to the Rancho Deluxe Lounge & join us for a Celebrity 'Meet & Greet' with Michael Martin Murphey before his 6pm concert begins!

The seminars move outdoors on Friday thru Sunday to the patio area known as:

Friday Rancho Deluxe Lounge

HIGH NOON      Bob Boze Bell
For an historically correct look at the Old West, no one writes or draws it better than the publisher of True West Magazine, Bob Boze Bell. This will be an informative and enjoyable 45 minute talk laying waste to many of the cowboy myths we all grew up on..

2 PM  'Women in History'
A visit with Shirley Morris creator of the documentery "Oh, You Cowgirl!" An honest to goodness cowgirl tale. For the first time in history this true story unravels the mystery of one of the greatest cowgirl rodeo stars of her time, Prairie Rose Henderson. It tells the story of the impact  women had in history and their contribution to our western heritage has been overlooked for nearly one hundred years. Learn a bit about Shirley and listen as she reads her poem "A Cowgirl's Dream" and invites you to the screening of her film.

4 PM  Family Memories
Share in the memories as the children (& maybe even some spouses!) of some of your favorite film & television stars share stories of their famous families.

Also… Celebrity ‘One on One Interview, Juni Fisher, Gary Allegretto, Naomi Bristow, JD Thornbury and more…

Saturday Rancho Deluxe Lounge


“Palm Springs West Fest’s Top Ten Westerns of All Time”
SATURDAY ONLY Rancho Deluxe Lounge @ HIGH NOON
David F. Matuszak, author of the Centennial Edition of The Cowboy’s Trail Guide to Westerns, will host an open discussion regarding the best Western movies of all time. Matuszak will lead a discussion regarding the essential elements of America’s only true art form—Western filmmaking. Discuss how the Western bridges the gap between the myth of the West and the spirit of the West. Explore the contributions that Westerns have made to American culture. Join in the writing of West Fest’s history by voting for your favorites. Participate in the discussion or sit back and enjoy the conversation of both working and armchair cowboys alike as they select the “West Fest’s Top 10 Westerns.”

2 PM 'The Art of Creating a Western'
Join artist, author, actor and the hit film 'Tombstone's' Texas Jack Vermillion, Paul Sherayko as he shares the ins and outs of shooting a western today.

3 PM Harmonica Workshop with Gary Allegretto

4 PM  Visit with The Legends
Take a journey into the lives & careers of some of your favorite film and television Cowboy Stars of the past and present. See and  hear where their paths have taken them, and what it is that they're doing now.

Also….Celebrity ‘One on One’ Interviews, Juni Fisher, Gary Allegretto, Naomi Bristow, JD Thornbury and more…

Sunday Rancho Deluxe Lounge

Noon     Memories of  'GUNSMOKE'
Join authors, actors, screenwriters and directorsof this beloved show as they discusss the  popularity and continued love of TV's longest running Western.

2 PM  'Women in History'
A visit with women pioneering the western cause, and dedicated to preserving Western History in today's world; saluting the month of March & "Women in History ' month.
Bring along your guitar, and tune up your vocal chords for a WESTFEST ‘Open Mic’ day on the Rancho Deluxe Lounge Stage!

Also….Celebrity ‘One on One’ Interviews Juni Fisher, Gary Allegretto, singer Naomi Bristow, buackaroo roper JD Thornbury, Cowboy Balladeer Mike Tcherkasskey and more… 

Currently slated to appear:

Michael Dante, Don Collier, Jeff Connors, Dan Haggerty, Ed Faulkner and more...

Celebrity Artists:

Richard Herd

Celebrity Authors:

William Smith, Cheryl Rogers- Barnett, Bob Boze Bell


'GUNSMOKE'  with: Beckey Bergoyne,  Paul Savage, and more...

'Women in History' Guests TBA and more.... 




Dan Haggerty is Grizzly Adams

Actor Dan Haggerty is undoubtedly best known as the bearded outdoorsman in the independent film 'The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams.'  The picture was a surprise hit and spun off into a popular TV series that made Haggerty a household name. He also starred in the 1989 film "Spirit of the Eagle', as well as  'Americana', "Easy Rider' and 'Big Stan. You can next see Dan is his current film 'Timberwolf''



An actor and singer since the time he could walk, in 1955, Johnny Crawford was one of the original Mousketeers on THE MICKEY MOUSE CLUB.  Two years later, he was nominated for an Emmy as young Mark McCain, the son of a single parent played by Chuck Connors, on the western TV classic, THE RIFLEMAN.

Other TV and movie roles in such films as BLACK BEAUTY, BIG JAKE, THE ADVENTURES OF WILLIAM TELL, VILLAGE OF THE GIANTS, BONANZA and MR. ED, THE GAMBLER II and THE GAMBLER IV, followed.  In 1970, he starred in the Academy Award-winning short film, “The Resurrection of Broncho Billy,” directed by John Carpenter.

Johnny had several hit records on the Pop Charts in the 1960’s, including “Cindy’s Birthday” and “Your Nose is Gonna Grow.”  Since the early ‘70’s, his love affair with  music of the late ‘20s and ‘30s has consumed most of his time.  He spent a few years in New York singing songs of that period with Vince Giordiano’s Nighthawks, and then created his own sensational band in Los Angeles in 1991. He can be seen at various nightclubs around LA including the Atlas Bar & Grill.




Jeff Connors


Jeff is one of four sons born to actor Chuck Connors, and at 6’ 2” is the smallest of the lot!
Chuck starred in many television series and movies during his career; but is
undoubtedly best remembered for ‘The Rifleman’ the Four Star Production series
which aired on ABC for 5 years.
An accomplished singer/songwriter, he grew up in Woodland Hills, CA. and
currently resides in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Jeff is a self taught musician and began playing music when he was 22 years old.
Waylon, Vern Gosdin, Merle Haggard, Hank, Jr., and David Allan Coe were some of
Jeff’s first mentors. Jeff has performed with such artists as guitarist Russ Freeman
(of The Rippingtons), pedal steel artists Boo Bernstein & John Bidozio (who
played for Dolly Parton), Rance Wasson, Dwight Yoakum, bassist Hutch Hutchison
and Jack Daniels of ‘Highway 101’. Cary Park of ‘Boy Howdy’, drummer David Rush
and Howard Yearwood are among the other many artists with whom Jeff has
shared a stage, and calls friends.
Jeff has very fond personal memories of his famous father, and enjoyed working
with him professionally, as well. He guest starred in The Rifleman as a child, and
worked with his Dad again in the film The Mad Bomber. Jeff says growing up with
name Connors has always been a good thing,and he is proud of his father’s
legacy. He recently performed at the Western Legends Awards, and can often be
seen making personal appearances on behalf of his famous father to huge crowds
all through the U.S.
You can pick up a copy of Jeff’s new CD featuring his latest song ‘Teach Me’ at this
year’s event.


Don Collier

 Don has made over seventy credited movie and television appearances. He has performed with John Wayne, Robert Mitchum, Anthony Quinn, Dean Martin, Tom Selleck, James Arness and even Elvis.

In 1959 Don won the leading role of U.S. Deputy Marshal Will Foreman in the NBC series, Outlaws. He kept busy appearing on many other western TV shows, such as Bonanza, Gunsmoke, Wagon Train, Branded, Death Valley Days. In 1968 he was cast as  foreman Sam Butler in the ranch The High Chaparral. From 1989 to 1992 Don played the recurring role of William Tompkins in The Young Riders. Even his commercials took advantage of his cowboy persona, when he became an 80s icon as The Gum Fighter for Hubba Bubba Bubble Gum and more recently, Pace Picante.

He is currently working on a western radio drama series titled West of the Story and is sidekick to Fred Imus on Sirius Radio's weekly show, Fred's Trailer Park Bash.



Ty Hardin

Though born in New York City, Ty was raised in Texas and, after military service during the Korean War, took some
classes at Texas A&M. He then moved west to California and won some minor roles in B movies. When TV's Clint
Walker insisted on improvements in his Cheyenne contract, Warner Brothers countered by bringing in Ty as a
possible replacement. Soon, Ty had his own show, Bronco, which ran from 1958 to 1962. From here, he moved
into a brief flurry of film activity: Merrill's Marauders and The Chapman Report in 1962, PT 109, Wall of Noise, and
Palm Springs Weekend in 1963, and Battle of the Bulge in 1966. After this, Ty's career drifted off into a series of
forgettable movies made in Europe and, later, he worked in Prescott, Arizona, as an evangelistic preacher. Though
often dismissed as just a hunk of "beefcake" -- he did a lot of bare-chest scenes -- Ty displayed a flair for light
comedy in The Chapman Report and showed dramatic potential in the underrated Wall of Noise.




William Smith

When one talks about actor and lifelong bodybuilder William Smith, not only are they discussing the career of one of the most prolific and popular cult actors of all time, but also one of the screen’s greatest villains.
He'sg appeared in hundreds of films and TV show including; as Clint Eastwood's nemesis in Any Which Way You Can, as Falconetti in "Rich Man  Poor Man", The Losers, Red Dawn, Rumblefish, Laredo, Hawaii 5-0 and as Conan's father in "Conan the Barbarian"
During the Korean War, Bill was in the NSA, and was a Russian Intercept Interrogator and flew secret missions over Russia.
Bill has studied at Syracuse University, the University of Munich, the Sorbonne in Paris, and finally at UCLA where he graduated Cum Laude with a Master’s degree and is fluent in Russian, French, German and Serbo-Croatian.
His trademark arms measured 18 and 1/2 inches. His achievements include an Air Force Light-Heavyweight Boxing Championship; he was a champion discus thrower at UCLA; he was a two-time 200-lb. World Arm Wrestling
Champion and he holds a Black Belt in martial arts (Kung Fu and Kenpo Karate). Among his outstanding feats of strength are strict reverse curl of his own body weight and 5,100 continuous sit ups. He appeared on the pages of numerous bodybuilding magazines including “Mr. America,” “Muscle Mag,” “Iron Man,” “Muscle Builder” and “Strength and Health.”
Bill is an honorary member of the Stuntman's Association, a recipient of the Golden Boot, and Silver Spur awards, and a performing arts award from the Southern California Motion Picture Council and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the
Academy of Bodybuilding and Fitness.



Bo_HopkinsBo Hopkins

Hopkins has appeared in more than one hundred film and television roles in a career of more than forty years, including The Bridge at Remagen, The Wild Bunch, The Getaway, American Graffiti, White Lightning, Radioland Murders, The Killer Elite, Midnight Express, More American Graffiti and A Small Town in Texas. When Gretchen Corbett left The Rockford Files television series in 1978, Hopkins as "John Cooper" replaced her character as Rockford's attorney for several episodes, arguably Hopkins' most memorable role in well over a hundred TV and movie appearances.
Bo Hopkins' first major role in a film was in White Lightning, a 1973 cult classic that also starred Burt Reynolds and Ned Beatty. Bo Hopkins played Roy Boone, Gator McClusky's (played by Burt Reynolds) sidekick during much of the film.
Jerry Reed played Bama McCall in the sequel to White Lightning called Gator. Jerry Reed and Bo Hopkins bore a striking resemblance to one another, hence they played brothers Joe Hawkins and Tom Hawkins in the film What Comes Around.
In 1981, he appeared in the first season of the prime-time drama Dynasty as Matthew Blaisdel. Hopkins' many guest appearances on television include episodes of Gunsmoke, Bonanza, The Virginian, Nichols, The Rat Patrol, The Mod Squad, Hawaii Five-O, Charlie's Angels, Fantasy Island, The A-Team, Scarecrow and Mrs. King, The Fall Guy, Crazy Like a Fox and Murder, She Wrote.
Hopkins has a role in the video game Nuclear Strike. He plays Colonel LeMonde, a mercenary who steals a nuclear weapon. The 'Strike' team tracks him through Southeast Asia.



Andrew Prine

Appearing on Broadway, Andrew soared to recognition in the leading role of the Pulitzer Prize winning play, LOOK HOMEWARD ANGEL, and in his first feature film role, as James Keller in the Academy Award winner, THE MIRACLE WORKER.               
Andrew starred in several television series, beginning with Earl Holliman in the rodeo program, "WIDE COUNTRY", in the role of Andy Guthrie, and joined forces with Barry Sullivan on, "THE ROAD WEST". Andrew also portrayed the network executive, Dan Costello, in " W.E.B.". Adept at comedy, he co-starred in the series, "ROOM FOR TWO", and recurred on "WEIRD SCIENCE"  and "DALLAS".
Andrew has also starred with numerous Hollywood legends, John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart, Dean Martin, Raquel Welch, William Holden, Henry Fonda, Anne Bancroft, Glenn Ford, Carl Reiner, and Ben Johnson, in the feature films; CHISUM, BANDOLERO, THE DEVIL'S BRIGADE, GETTYSBURG, ADVANCE TO THE REAR, TEXAS ACROSS THE RIVER, THE AVENGING ANGEL, WINDS OF AUTUMN, THIS SAVAGE LAND, HONKY-TONK COWBOY, plus Walt Disney's ONE LITTLE INDIAN and HIGH FLYING LOWE. Appearing not only on television in war dramas, (COMBAT and TWELVE O'CLOCK HIGH), Andrew  learned to ski in Italy while shooting the feature film, THE DEVIL'S BRIGADE, with an all star cast that included William Holden, Cliff Robertson, Richard Jaeckel and Claude Atkins.
Andrew's latest work includes: "SAVING GRACE", with Holly Hunter, "CSI" (Directed by Quentin Tarantino- Emmy Award), "BOSTON LEGAL", "SIX FEET UNDER", plus a television pilot "HOLLIS AND RAE" and "CONVERSATIONS WITH ANDREW PRINE" shown on THE WESTERN CHANNEL.
A lifetime member of the prestigious Actors Studio, Andrew's work in the theatre includes, LONG DAYS JOURNEY INTO NIGHT with Charlton Heston and Deborah Kerr, THE CAINE MUTINY directed by Henry Fonda, several Broadway and Off Broadway productions and Sam Shepard's BURIED CHILD, for which he received his second DramaLogue Critics Award for Best Actor. Additionally, Mr. Prine received The Golden Boot Award - Lifetime Achievement in Westerns.



Cheryl Rogers Barnett

The author of 'Cowboy Princess', Life with my Parents Roy Rogers and Dale Evans', has unending stories about growing up the daughter of the King of the Cowboys. Still extremely active in events and foundations that keep the memory of Roy & Dale alive, you can meet Cheryl and hear her famous stoies at this years festival.


Jeff Sutherland
as The Duke

Celebrity interviewer extraordinaire, and host of his own talk show; Jeff's Star Talk, Jeff can be seen throught the festival evoking memories of  John Wayne.  He will also be conducting the Red Carpet Interviews with the stars and dignitaries at this great event!



Ed Faulkner

Ed Faulkner is a well known and beloved Western Actor. He was fortunate to be introduced to Andrew V. McLaglen, son of the  well known character actor and Academy Award winner, Victor McLaglen.  At that time, Andrew was a staff director for CBS directing such notable western TV series such as Have Gun-Will Travel, Gunsmoke and Rawhide.  As the primary director for Have Gun and aware of Richard Boone's (Paladin) interest in cultivating young  unknown actors, introduced Ed to the prominent star.  After a 'reading' with Boone and with the domination of TV western series at that time along with the potential skills he saw as an actor, the physical attributes of being 6'3" and 185 pounds and knowledge of horsemanship, Boone became his coach and mentor along with McLaglen and was cast in an episode of Have Gun-Will Travel within a month of arrival in California!  His new career had begun!
Over the next 18 plus years he became a journeyman actor appearing in over 250 television programs and some 30 motion pictures and feature films made for television and perhaps best remembered for his appearance in top featured roles in six films with John Wayne, two with Elvis Presley and working with such prominent actors as James Stewart, Jack Lemmon, Dean Martin, Maureen O'Hara, Doris Day, Jean Arthur, Brian Keith, Rock Hudson, Jim Hutton, Vera Miles and Kathrine Ross.
Mr. Faulkner continues to stay busy doing voice overs and occasional guest appearances on TV and in October 2008, he filmed a two hour interview for Turner Classic Movies Archive Files to be aired at appropriate times on TCM.  
Since 2004 he has been a guest at numerous, predominately western film festivals, across the United States and was recently honored at the 2007 Western Legends Round-Up in Kanab, Utah with presentation of a plaque on their 'Little Hollywood Walk of Fame.'




Michael Dante

Award winning actor Michael Dante has starred and co-starred in 30 films and 150 TV shows. Under contract to 3 major studios; MGM, Warner Bros. and 20th Century Fox and a former major league baseball player.
Films: Winterhawk (title role), Westbound, Arizona Raiders and Apache Rifles with Audie Murphy and TV shows Bonanza, Daniel Boone, Maverick, Custer Series-17 episodes, Death Valley Days just to name a few.
Some of Michael Dante's awards: Golden Boot Award, Silver Spur Award, Southern California Motion Picture Council Award, Spirit of the West Award, Sidewalk Star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars, Apacheland Days awarded with his western boot prints in cement and his Winterhawk moccasins donated to the Superstition Mountain Museum in Apache Junction, AZ.




Jim Byrnes


Jim Byrnes has an extensive and impressive career in television and film. Jim’s
resume spans 80 one-hour television episodes (from 37 episodes of “Gunsmoke” to
“Walker Texas Ranger”) and 35 movies of the week. He has worked with such
notable producers as Aaron Spelling, Grant Tinker, John Mantley and many more.
Along with Academy Award winner Albert S. Ruddy he co-created, wrote and
produced the three-hour pilot, “The Macahans,” which starred Jim Arness and
Academy Award winner, Eva Marie Saint. This led to the series entitled, “How the
West Was Won.”
He is most recognized for his two book adaptations of Louie L’Amour’s, “The
Sacketts,” a four-hour miniseries starring Tom Selleck, Sam Elliot, Ben Johnson and
Glenn Ford, for which he also produced. The popularity of this miniseries led to
writing and producing, “The Shadow Riders,” which again starred Tom Selleck and
Sam Elliot.
Jim wrote the first and second “Gambler” movies, starring Kenny Rodgers and for
Grosso/Jacobson Productions, wrote the two hour pilot, “The Gunfighters,” starring
Academy Award winner, George Kennedy.
During his tenure with “Gunsmoke,” Jim wrote 37 episodes and served as Story
Consultant for two years. In 1975, Jim won the highly regarded Writer’s Guild
Award for an episode of “Gunsmoke”entitled, “Thirty A Month and Found”. He was
nominated twice more for the Writer’s Guild Award in ’76 and ’77 and has won 4 of
the Western Writers of America “Golden Spur” Awards and the prestigious Western
Heritage Wrangler Award from the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma for
“The Macahans.”
And as recent as 2008, Jim penned the much lauded, “The Gunfighter’s Pledge” for
Hallmark Productions/Larry Levinson, Producer.
Jim is currently working on a Sam Peckinpah screenplay for Academy Award
winning producer, Al Ruddy (“The Godfather”, “Million Dollar Baby”), entitled, “The
In a moving ceremony during the early 80’s, Jim Byrnes’ 37 “Gunsmoke” scripts
were inducted into the annals of the Huntington Library in Pasadena.



Paul Savage

Paul Savage sold his first script for a TV Series called the Millionaire in
1955. Since then he has written for the many early popular Western and
drama television programs. He served as Executive Story Consultant on
Gunsmoke for 3 years and wrote 38 episodes. He has written several movie
screenplays including Wild Country for Disney Studios that has been
replayed many times on TV over the past 30 years. Paul wrote Roy Roger’s
last film, Macintosh and T.J. Among his later credits are Murder She Wrote
before retiring in 1989.