Elliott, McQueen Honored During Awards

Sunday, April 22nd 2007, 3:02 pm
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- For this red carpet event, proper dress included cowboy hats and boots.

A sellout crowd of more than 1,200 attended the 46th annual Western Heritage Awards at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum on Saturday.

Actor Sam Elliott served as master of ceremonies and along with the late Steve McQueen was inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers.

Dubbed the "King of Cool," McQueen played a number of memorable movie roles in such Westerns as "The Magnificent Seven," "Junior Bonner" and "Nevada Smith." He also starred as Josh Randall in the popular 1950s television series, "Wanted: Dead or Alive."

McQueen died of cancer at the age of 50 in 1980.

Also honored was veteran stuntman and actor Dean Smith, who received a Board of Directors' Lifetime Achievement Award. During his career, Smith was the stunt-double for Roy Rogers, Dale Robertson, Ben Johnson, Robert Redford, Robert Duvall and Steve Martin, among others.

"What a great night you've made for this old cowboy. I'm glad to be included in this museum with all my heroes," Smith said. "I want to thank everyone who's helped me. I've spent a lifetime playing cowboys and Indians, competing in rodeos and making Western movies."

Other creative honors went to the film, "Truce," starring Buck Taylor and Michaela Lange, in the theatrical motion picture category, and "Broken Trail," starring Robert Duvall and Thomas Haden Church, in the television feature film category.

The museum's 2007 Chester A. Reynolds Memorial Award was given to cattleman and livestock video marketing pioneer Ellington Peek of Anderson, Calif. The award, named for the museum's founder, honors those who have helped perpetuate the ideals, history and heritage of the American West.

Peek, 78, helped establish Shasta Stockman's Livestock Video Auction in 1991. It's now known as Western Video Market.

"This is such a great honor that I don't know what to say, except thanks a lot," he said. "I hope everybody has a good time and keeps eating that beef."