Actor Hugh O’Brian, who was best known for playing the titular role in The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp, has died. He was 91.

Hugh O’Brian Dies

O’Brian died Monday morning at his home in Beverly Hills with his wife at his side, the actor’s publicist Harlan Boll told the Los Angeles Times. According to Boll, O’Brian had been suffering from several health issues.

O’Brian had starred on The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp from 1955-61, appearing in all of the show’s 221 episodes. O’Brian’s role in the ABC Western earned him an Emmy nomination in 1957.

Before playing Old West peace officer Wyatt Earp, O’Brian had already made a name for himself starring in western projects, including features Beyond the Purple Hills, The Return of Jesse James, Buckaroo Sheriff of Texas, The Battle of Apache Pass and The Raiders.


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In addition to his acting, O’Brian is remembered for his charitable work. In 1958, O’Brian founded Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Foundation, a nonprofit that works with high schoolers.

“Today our whole HOBY family mourns the loss of our founder and inspiration, Hugh O’Brian,” reads a statement from the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership. “It’s impossible to put a number on the amount of lives Hugh has touched – but we can certainly say anyone who participated in HOBY, including all 470,000 of our alumni, tens of thousands of volunteers, and many staff are better people because of him.”

The statement continued, “Hugh literally motivated generations of people around the world. His ripple effect of change, inspiration and leadership will be felt for generations to come. He believed in all of us and we are all the better for it. Hugh O’Brian was simply OUTSTANDING.”

O’Brian is survived by his wife Virginia Barber, brother Don Krampe and seven nieces and nephews.

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