A Wildflower Welcome to Kathryn Albright..and a Giveaway!

(Don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance at winning Kathryn’s latest!)

Thanks for having me here at Petticoats and Pistols! NOVEMBER 8 Headshot

Before Garrett Hedlund portrayed a cowboy in Country Strong and even before John Wayne dominated the screen, there was Gary Cooper. He got his start in the Hollywood star machine back when silent movies were giving way to the “talkies” and he is one movie star who actually grew up on a ranch in Montana and was a real-life cowboy.

Garrett Hedlund

That stint at being a cowboy is what convinced him he didn’t want to do such hard work the rest of his life! He started west after hearing that one of his friends had gotten work as an extra in the movies, but then lost the man’s address upon arriving in Hollywood.

Cooper

He stayed despite having a hard time finding work because he figured he’d rather starve in the mild southern California weather than go back and face the bitter winters he’d left. Eventually he did find work as an extra at ten dollars a day. Then he asked the director if he could take a fall—for which he was paid and extra five dollars.

An interesting fact about Gary “Coop” Cooper (his name was originally Frank Cooper) is that his directors mentioned many times that he couldn’t act, that he was stiff as cardboard and didn’t show any emotion. Gee—is that a cowboy or what?  But, the crazy thing was, when they went back through the film edits, suddenly on screen there’d be a subtlety and tension that came through in his performance. Gary Cooper had “it”—whatever “it” was. Strong, silent, trustworthy, and affable in a quiet way, his most iconic role was of the sheriff in High Noon—a film the producers thought would be a flop but one that is now considered a classic and won him an Oscar.

The studio wanted him for Rhett Butler in Gone With the Wind! It was only due to his procrastination to accept the part that they finally went with Clark Gable. I think perhaps that was a good thing. I can’t think of anyone else in the role!

Another interesting tidbit is that he was something of an artist, using his down-time on the set by drawing caricatures of those around him and sometimes giving them as gifts.

In Dance with a Cowboy, my story in the Wild West Christmas anthology, just released, Gary Cooper’s personification of a cowboy was my inspiration for the main character.In Dance With a Cowboy, it is rancher Garrett Sheridan’s duty to look out for his brother’s widow and daughter when they return to Clear Springs. However, falling for Kathleen isn’t an option—not with the secrets between them. It would take a Christmas miracle…and he doesn’t believe in miracles anymore.

NOVEMBER 8 Book Cover

Here at P&P there’s been a lot of discussion about the actors who characterized cowboys in the heyday of westerns. Who is your favorite? And is there a contemporary cowboy (actor) you like just as much?

I’d like to offer a copy of Dance With a Cowboy for one lucky commenter!

BIO:   From her first breath, Kathryn Albright has had a passion for stories that celebrate the goodness in people. She combines her love of history and her love of a good story to write novels of inspiration, endurance, and hope. Visit with her at www.kathrynalbright.com, on Facebook , Twitter, or Goodreads.

Guest Blogger
Updated: November 8, 2014 — 10:26 am

31 Comments

  1. When I think of older cowboys I think of the Cartwrights in BONANZA.

    I didn’t watch John Wayne.

    My favorite modern day cowboy is Sam Elliott.

    1. Hi Laurie! Thanks for commenting here! I liked Bonanza too. Each brother had their own appeal and they remind me so much of my own three sons–in personality.

  2. John Wayne and the Cartwright brothers. Although, I think Matt Dillon was my favorite.

    1. I never watched Matt Dillon much, but I always enjoyed John Wayne movies. His walk was so distinctive–I could tell it was John no matter how far away or whether his back was turned. thanks for stopping by Faith!

  3. Well thinking of the old days when a western was on the big screen and small, my favorite was Clint Eastwood. I enjoyed him as Rowdy Yates on Rawhide and then again in the ‘spaghetti wester’. These days, I would have to agree with Laurie, Sam Elliott makes a fine cowboy and his voice can take you anywhere…..sigh….

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy Woolard

    1. Hi Cindy,
      I liked Clint Eastwood on Rawhide too. The rest of his movies are a bit too violent for me so, although I saw them once with my husband, I never have had the urge to see them again. But you’re right–on Rawhide he was fun (and very good-looking!)

  4. welcome! I love watching Gary Cooper movies,,I don’t know of a bad movie that man made,im partial to Tom Selleck myself,,he just gets better and sexier with age

    1. Thanks for commenting Vickie! Tom Selleck is great in a western! Pair him up with Sam Elliott and oh my! Yummy!

  5. I am a John Wayne fan and I love Kevin Costner in a cowboy role.

    1. Hi Melanie! Thanks for stopping by! John Wayne, from the beginning of his career to the end seemed to play the same cowboy whether he was opposite Maureen OHara in McClintock or in his role in True Grit. And I liked him in ALL of of his movies. He was really something. What a legacy he left for us all…

      Costner is at his best in a cowboy role, isn’t he?

  6. Hi Kathryn! Welcome to P&P. We’re so glad you came for a visit. You know, you just can’t go wrong in talking about cowboys. They are near and dear my heart. And that’s good since I love writing about them. They’re just very strong men with good character. It’s built right into their DNA. My list of favorite cowboy movie characters is very long, but Sam Elliott is at the top. He has it all.

    Congratulations on the new release! Dance With a Cowboy sounds like a great story.

    1. Hi Linda! Thanks for the lovely welcome. I remember P&P was the first place I ever blogged as a writer–(ahem…several years ago) and it has grown so. Just a wonderful place to hang out and talk about romance and the west and cowboys. I know you’ve been a big reason (along with the other fillies.) Thank you so much for hosting me and for the opportunity to chat 🙂

  7. My dad has always watched John Wayne movies so I grew up watching along… Love holiday books… congrats on your latest release!

    1. Hi Colleen! Thanks for stopping by. I love holiday books too — and the Hallmark holiday movies. Makes for a festive time, doesn’t it?

  8. Welcome, Kathryn! Best wishes on the new book. The cover is beautiful. SO glad you like to hang out here…we love havin’ ya! As for cowboys, well, the brothers on the Big Valley can still get my heart thumping, especially whenever we travel through Stockton on the way to our niece.

    Sam Elliott sets the western gold standard. Hubba hubba. Yes, he gets better with age Don’t miss Hallmark’s “November Christmas.” But at present, Anson Mount in Hell on Wheels is running a close second. Yes, he’s a hero-anti-hero but I think right after the Civil War, there was such confusion everywhere. Both of those guys are way too easy on the eye LOL.

    Welcome and come back soon!

    1. I’ll have to check out November Christmas! I haven’t seen that one. Thanks for the suggestion. And Hell On Wheels — my son and husband like that series although I haven’t seen it. I want to check it out once I retire from my day job (in TWO MONTHS– woo-hoo!) Lots of things I hope to be able to do then…

  9. Don’t think I have a favorite cowboy on screen.

    1. Not a one? Too many to choose from or don’t particularly like the cowboy ideal? Thanks for stopping by!

  10. I had forgotten about Gary Cooper and I loved his sometimes deadpan looks in his movies. Audie Murphy is another actor that I have not seen for a long time. Tom Selleck is a favorite of mine no matter what role he is playing!

  11. Hi Connie,
    I still see the “old” movie cowboys because my husband absolutely loves old westerns. When I come out of my writing cave in the evening, if sports are not on the TV then he is enjoying a good old western :-).

  12. Ah…if you could just mix Sam Elliot,Gary Cooper and Tom Select all in one, what a cowboy that would be!

    Dance with a Cowboy sounds really fun!

    1. Hi Nancy! How are you??? Thanks for stopping by Wildflower Junction! I cannot even imagine a cowboy that would incorporate all three of those men! Wow!

  13. I love Sam Elliot as a cowboy also Kevin Costner but there is just something about Sam Elliot and I think its the voice that makes him the perfect cowboy!

  14. Hello Quilt Lady! Sounds like Sam Elliot is the clear winner here today. He is in so many Louis L’amour stories on film. One I remember was very similar to the story of Shane–just updated. Thanks for stopping by!

  15. Being a real life cowboy is hard work. Much easier to be the screen version of one.

    I am a John Wayne fan. I used to watch all the movies with my father. Happy times & memories.

  16. If we go back, it is The Rifleman, Chuck Conners, that is my favorite. For more recent actors, it is Tom Selleck.
    I’ll be looking for WILD WEST CHRISTMAS. I hope it does well.

  17. I like the written cowboy and the real-life cowboy, not as partial to onscreen cowboys

  18. Hi Kathryn! I watch Turner Classic Movies all the time since I love the oldies like Gary Cooper and John Wayne. Saturday is great with finding westerns on TV including the shows like Bonanza (Michael Landon) The Rifleman, and more. Landon is my favorite. Did any of them on Bonanza find their HEA?! I need to watch them in order some day. Ponderosa was great too. I love that many movies and shows of these are captioned for deaf and I can finally know what they saying. I shall stop. I could chat about these shows forever.

    Cathie
    CathieCaffey@gmail.com

  19. My phone ring tones are from my favorite western movies and tv shows. Would love to read this book!

  20. Hi Kathryn- Thanks, for stopping by P&P. Love reading & watching cowboys like John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, RR, Sam Elliot, Kevin Costner, Tom Selleck & the list goes on.
    What’s not to like about a cowboy who seals your heart & gets the job done at the same time. The Rebel & The Lady was also one of your books that I enjoyed, looking for to Wild West Christmas & your giveaway. Thanks.

  21. My husband s favorite has always been John Wayne. I don’t t have a favorite cowboy today but my favorite actor is Tom Sellick! He is in Bluebloods right now as the police commissioner.

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