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Wayde Preston

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Cause of death  Colon cancer
Occupation  Actor: Colt .45

Name  Wayde Preston
Role  Actor
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Full Name  William Erksine Strange
Born  September 10, 1929 (1929-09-10) Denver, Colorado, USA
Alma mater  Laramie High School University of Wyoming
Died  February 6, 1992, Lovelock, Nevada, United States
Spouse  Carol Ohmart (m. 1956–1958)
Siblings  Mary Strange, Joan Strange
Parents  John Strange, Bernice Strange
Movies and TV shows  Colt 45, A Long Ride from Hell, Today We Kill - Tomorro, A Man Called Sledge, Anzio
Similar People  Tonino Cervi, Carol Ohmart, Billy Joel, Paolo Bianchini, Jack Starrett

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Wayde Preston (September 10, 1929 – February 6, 1992) was an American actor cast from 1957 to 1960 in the lead role in 67 episodes of the ABC/Warner Brothers western television series, Colt .45. He is also known for his appearance in the title role of an acclaimed 1959 episode entitled "The Saga of Waco Williams" of another ABC/WB western series, Maverick.


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COLT .45 TV Theme Song


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Born William Erksine Strange in Denver, Colorado, Preston was reared in Laramie in southern Wyoming by his educator parents, John and Bernice Strange. He had two younger sisters, Joan and Mary. In 1947 he graduated from Laramie High School, where he was active in football, track, the school band and the Reserve Officer Training Corps. He attended the University of Wyoming in Laramie, where he studied pharmacy. He became an accomplished musician and played in many bands during the late 1940s. In 1950 Preston was drafted into the United States Army. Trained in an artillery unit at Fort Bliss, Texas, Preston attained the rank of first lieutenant and fought in the Korean War. For a time, after his military service, he was a park ranger at Grand Teton National Park in northwestern Wyoming and rode the rodeo circuit before he got his break as an actor.

Acting career

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In Colt .45 he played Christopher Colt, a government undercover agent who masquerades as a pistol salesman traveling throughout the Old West. The series lasted until Preston, like James Garner and Clint Walker during the same period, ran afoul of the Warner Brothers studio and their production demands. Donald May replaced Preston in 1959 and 1960 in the role of Colt's cousin, Sam Colt Jr., but only in four episodes.


Preston also played the role of Christopher Colt in 1958 and 1959 in four episodes relating to "The Canary Kid" of the ABC/WB Sugarfoot series, starring Will Hutchins.

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"The Saga of Waco Williams" is a critical favorite that paired Preston with James Garner, as Bret Maverick, and drew more viewers than any other Maverick episode; it remains one of Preston's career milestones. Tom Selleck's recurring comical character of Lance White in NBC's later The Rockford Files, starring James Garner, is loosely based by writer/producer Stephen J. Cannell upon Waco Williams (Selleck and Preston resembled each other.) After these appearances, Selleck in 1980 immediately procured his own CBS series, Magnum, P.I.

Preston played some 20 roles in television and films between 1957-91. Following his departure from Colt .45 he went to Europe, where he appeared in numerous spaghetti westerns including Vic Morrow's A Man Called Sledge opposite James Garner as well as the 1968 film Anzio about the World War II Battle of Anzio. Preston played the role of Logan in another 1968 film, Wrath of God; he was then cast in 1969 as Marshal Johnny Silver in Death Knows No Time.

Preston later appeared on episodes of NBC's Bonanza and ABC's Starsky and Hutch. His last screen appearance was a supporting role in the 1990 film version of Captain America.

Preston married the former Carol Ohmart on Thanksgiving Day in 1956; they were divorced less than two years later.


Preston died of colon cancer in 1992 at the age of 62 in Reno, Nevada.


Wayde Preston Wikipedia