'Wyatt Earp' Star Dies: Hugh O'Brian Dead at 91

Sep 06, 2016 05:27 AM EDT | Irene Cabrera


Hugh O'Brien, the star of the long-running television series "The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp" passed away on Monday at the age of 91.

A statement from the Hugh O'Brien Youth Leadership read that the actor died peacefully at his home in Beverly Hills. He is survived by his wife Virginia Barber, 54, whom he married at the age of 81 in 2006 at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery.

"I said goodbye, early this morning, to my favorite cowboy. My 28 years with Hugh have been an amazing, beautiful adventure. I will miss my special man who told me every day that I was beautiful and that he loved me," Barber wrote on Monday, according to Fox News. "I was one lucky cowgirl."

For six years, O'Brien played the titular character Wyatt Earp, a lawman considered as one of the legends of the Old West, in the 1950's ABC Western hit, which had a total of 221 episodes. He was considered by many at that time as one of the greatest male sex symbols on television.

The character and O'Brien's performance proved to be popular amongst fans and critics alike, which earned him an Emmy nomination for Best Continuing Performance by an Actor in a Dramatic Series in 1957, according to Variety.

In film, O'Brien was best known as the last person John Wayne shot dead in a film, which was the 1976 release "The Shortlist." His other film credits include "There's No Business Like Show Business," "The Game of Death," "White Feather," "Never Fear," and "Twins."

Besides being a film and television actor, O'Brien is also a philanthropist, having launched the Hugo O'Brien Youth Organization, a non-profit development program aimed at helping high schoolers.

"Hugh's impact on young leaders and on the world cannot be understated. Like the legendary lawman he was so proud of playing, Hugh was a hero. He was our hero and we will miss him very much," the organization said in a statement, according to Digital Spy.

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