Born Robert Moseley on January 19, 1922, in Bakersfield, California, Guy Madison never planned to be an actor; the handsome star fell into it quite by accident. Following two years in junior college, Madison took a job as a telephone lineman, but with the onset of World War II, he went into the Coast Guard. During a weekend leave in 1943, one of David O. Selznick's talent scouts spotted Madison, who was attending a broadcast of a popular radio program. The result of this was a small role in the wartime drama Since You Went Away (1944; with Claudette Colbert and Joseph Cotten); Madison completed his scene during a 48-hour pass, and then went back on duty. Following the release of Since You Went Away, Selznick's studio was overwhelmed with fan mail for the handsome 22-year-old. Madison finished his tour of duty in 1946 and immediately went back to Hollywood to capitalize on his newfound fame. RKO Studios signed him to a contract upon his return. Throughout the late 1940s, Madison honed his craft mostly by acting in smaller theater productions, making few movies during that time. He was the subject of numerous beefcake photographs while building a film persona.

Guy MadisonGuy MadisonGuy MadisonGuy MadisonGuy Madison

Various photos of Guy Madison; the first two include Guy's brother Wayne Moseley. You'll find more photos like these in the Guy Madison Gallery

In 1949, Madison married actress Gail Russell; however, Russell's alcoholism helped bring an end to the marriage in 1954. (Gail Russell died at the age of 36 in 1961 from an alcohol-induced heart attack.) Madison then married actress Sheila Connolly in 1954, and the couple had four children before divorcing in 1963.

Guy Madison and Gail Russell

Madison with first wife Gail Russell

Guy Madison's second film and first starring role came in Till the End of Time (1946; with Dorothy McGuire, Robert Mitchum, and Bill Williams), which explored the problems returning World War II veterans had in readjusting to civilian life. Madison carries the weight of the film and does a very good job. Afterward, his film career hit a rough patch, making few movies during this period. He did quite a bit of stage work to build his acting skills in the late 1940s. Finally, Madison found fame on TV and radio on The Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok. Produced from 1951 through 1956, the show made Guy Madison a household name and earned him a new crop of fans, especially among children. Soon, Madison's visage began appearing on cereal boxes, toys, and other promotional items. A total of 17 Wild Bill Hickok films were released to theaters between 1952 and 1955, which were merely edited episodes of the TV program. In reality, Madison made few films during his stint on the show, and upon cancellation of Wild Bill Hickok in 1956, Madison found he had been typecast as the western hero and as a TV actor. He made a dozen or so films in America between 1956 and 1959 but without a great deal of box office success. In 1959, Madison left Hollywood for a lucrative film career in Europe, where he starred in a number of war films and spaghetti westerns.

the films of guy madison

Till the End of Time (1946)

Guy Madison and Robert MitchumGuy Madison and Robert MitchumGuy Madison and Jean PorterGuy MadisonGuy Madison and Dorothy McGuire

From RKO's Til the End of Time. LEFT and CENTER A: With Robert Mitchum. CENTER B: With Jean Porter. CENTER C: With Tom Tully as Madison's father. RIGHT: With love interest Dorothy McGuire

Texas, Brooklyn and Heaven (1948)

Guy Madison

From the United Artists comedy Texas, Brooklyn and Heaven, directed by William Castle

The Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok (1951-1956 TV Series)

Guy MadisonGuy MadisonGuy Madison

Madison as U.S. Marshal James Butler "Wild Bill" Hickok, the role that made him famous. Andy Devine portrayed Jingles, Wild Bill's sidekick

The Command (1954)

Guy Madison and Joan Weldon

With Joan Weldon in the Warner Bros. western The Command

5 Against the House (1955)

Guy Madison and Kim NovakBrian Keith, Guy Madison, Kim Novak, Alvy Moore, and Kerwin Mathews

From the Columbia film noir release 5 Against the House. LEFT: With Kim Novak. RIGHT: With Brian Keith, Kim Novak, Alvy Moore, and Kerwin Mathews

The Beast of Hollow Mountain (1956)

Guy Madison

From the United Artists western/horror blend The Beast of Hollow Mountain

On the Threshold of Space (1956)

Guy MadisonWarren Stevens, Barry Coe, Guy Madison, Ken Clark, and Martin MilnerVirginia Leith and Guy Madison

From the 20th Century Fox release On the Threshold of Space. LEFT: As Captain Jim Hollenbeck. CENTER: With Warren Stevens, Barry Coe, Ken Clark, and Martin Milner. RIGHT: With Virginia Leith

Bullwhip (1958)

Guy MadisonGuy Madison and Rhonda Fleming

From the Allied Artists western Bullwhip with Rhonda Fleming

Gentlemen of the Night (1964)

Guy Madison and Lisa Gastoni

With Lisa Gastoni in the swashbuckler Gentlemen of the Night

Gunmen of the Rio Grande (1965)

Guy Madison

Madison as Wyatt Earp in Gunmen of the Rio Grande

Payment in Blood (1968)

Guy Madison and Edd Byrnes

With Edd Byrnes in the spaghetti western Payment in Blood

later years

The 1960s saw Madison renewing his film career in Europe, where he enjoyed a ten-year run as a popular actor in German and Italian films; he made a surprising number of popular spaghetti westerns in the mid to late 1960s, including This Man Can't Die (1967; with Rik Battaglia) and Payment in Blood (1968; with Edd Byrnes). He left Italy in 1970 and temporarily settled in Texas, later returning to Los Angeles. He stayed mostly retired, making few films and taking on a few roles on such popular TV programs as Fantasy Island and The Smith Family. His last film appearance was in the 1988 western Red River (with James Arness and Ty Hardin). Later that year, Madison was in a serious auto accident that damaged his lungs. Afterward, a variety of health problems limited his activity. Sadly, he passed away at age 74 on February 6, 1996, from complications arising from emphysema. He was survived by three daughters and a son.

guy madison dvds available from


Red River (1988) with Ty Hardin, Robert Horton, John Lupton, Gregory Harrison, and James Arness
The Adventures of William Tell (1986) with Johnny Crawford and Guy Rolfe
Where's Willie? (1978) with Robert Clarke
Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood (1976)
The Pacific Connection (1975) with Gilbert Roland and Nancy Kwan
Il Baco da seta (1974)
Comando al infierno (1970)
The Reverend's Colt (1970) with Richard Harrison
War Devils (1969) with John Ireland
Bang, Bang (1968) with Tom Bosley
The Battle of the Last Panzer (1968)
A Place in Hell (1968) with Helene Chanel
Payment in Blood (1968) with Edd Byrnes
Superargo and the Faceless Giants (1967) with Giovanni Cianfriglia
The Devil's Man (1967)
The Return of Django (1967) with Daniele Vargas
This Man Can't Die (1967) with Sara Bay and Rik Battaglia
Hell in Normandy (1967) with Erika Blanc
The Five Giants From Texas (1966)
Viva Gringo (1966) with Rik Battaglia, Fernando Rey, and Raf Baldassarre
Adventurer of Tortuga (1965) with Rik Battaglia
Duel at Rio Bravo (1965)
The Mystery of Thug Island (1964) with Giacomo Rossi-Stuart
Sandokan Fights Back (1964) with Ray Danton and Raf Baldassarre
Sandokan Against the Leopard of Sarawak (1964) with Ray Danton
Gentlemen of the Night (1964) with Lisa Gastoni
The Executioner of Venice (1963) with Lex Barker and Raf Baldassarre
Apaches Last Battle (1963) with Lex Barker, Daliah Lavi, Pierre Brice, and Rik Battaglia
Sword of the Conqueror (1962) with Jack Palance
Women of Devil's Island (1961)
Slave of Rome (1960) with Rossana Podesta, Raf Baldassarre, and Giacomo Rossi-Stuart
Jet Over the Atlantic (1959) with George Raft, Virginia Mayo, Brett Halsey, and Anna Lee
Bullwhip (1958) with Rhonda Fleming and Burt Nelson
The Hard Man (1957) with Lorne Greene and Myron Healey
On the Threshold of Space (1956) with Virginia Leith, Ken Clark, John Hodiak, Barry Coe, and Martin Milner
The Beast of Hollow Mountain (1956) with Patricia Medina
Hilda Crane (1956) with Jean Simmons and Jean-Pierre Aumont
Reprisal! (1956) with Felicia Farr; Madison also served as producer
The Last Frontier (1955) with Victor Mature and Anne Bancroft
Five Against the House (1955) with Kim Novak, Kerwin Mathews, Brian Keith, Alvy Moore, and William Conrad
The Matchmaking Marshal* (1955) with Andy Devine and Lyle Talbot
Phantom Trails* (1955) with Andy Devine and Steve Brodie
Timber Country Trouble* (1955) with Andy Devine and Kenne Duncan
The Titled Tenderfoot* (1955) with Andy Devine, Clayton Moore, and Jeanne Cagney
The Command (1954) with Joan Weldon and Harvey Lembeck
Marshals In Disguise* (1954) with Andy Devine and Bud Osborne
Outlaw's Son* (1954) with Andy Devine and Sally Fraser
Trouble on the Trail* (1954) with Andy Devine, Martha Hyer, and Robert Blake
The Two Gun Teacher* (1954) with Andy Devine
Border City Rustlers* (1953) with Andy Devine and Gloria Talbott
The Charge at Feather River (1953) with Vera Miles, Steve Brodie, and Neville Brand; originally shot in 3-D
Secret of Outlaw Flats* (1953) with Andy Devine
Six Gun Decision* (1953) with Andy Devine and Lyle Talbot
Two-Gun Marshal* (1953) with Andy Devine and Minerva Urecal
The Ghost of Crossbones Canyon* (1953) with Andy Devine and Marjorie Bennett
Behind Southern Lines* (1952) with Andy Devine
Red Snow (1952) with Carole Mathews
Trail of the Arrow* (1952) with Andy Devine and Monte Blue
The Yellow Haired Kid* (1952) with Andy Devine
Drums in the Deep South (1951) with Barbara Payton and Craig Stevens
Massacre River (1949) with Rory Calhoun, Carole Mathews, and Cathy Downs
Texas, Brooklyn and Heaven (1948) with Margaret Hamilton and Irene Ryan; directed by William Castle
Honeymoon (1947) with Shirley Temple and Franchot Tone
Till the End of Time (1946) with Dorothy McGuire, Robert Mitchum, and Bill Williams
Since You Went Away (1944) with Claudette Colbert, Jennifer Jones, Joseph Cotten, Agnes Moorehead, and Alla Nazimova

PLEASE NOTE: Film titles with an asterisk * denote films that are actually episodes of The Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok, edited into full-length features.

The Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok. Madison starred as Hickok, with Andy Devine as his sidekick, Jingles. This syndicated series produced 113 episodes from 1951 to 1956. Madison and Devine also did a radio version of the show from 1951-1956 on the Mutual Network. The TV series also ran on CBS daytime from 1955-1958 and on ABC daytime from 1957-1958.

Fantasy Island, episode Yesterday's Love/Fountain of Youth, originally aired March 17, 1979
The Smith Family, episode Winner Take All, originally aired April 19, 1972
Zane Grey Theater, episode Jericho, originally aired May 18, 1961
Death Valley Days, episode Extra Guns, originally aired November 20, 1960
The Red Skelton Show, episode San Fernando's Treasure Hunt, originally aired November 3, 1959
The Ann Sothern Show, episode Katy and the Cowboy, originally aired October 12, 1959
Schlitz Playhouse of Stars, episode You Can't Win 'Em All, originally aired January 16, 1959
General Electric Theater, episode Bold Loser, originally aired May 11, 1958
Wagon Train, episode The Riley Gratton Story, originally aired December 4, 1957
Climax!, episode The Man Who Stole the Bible, originally aired June 13, 1957
The Ford Television Theatre, episode Sometimes It Happens, November 7, 1956
The Ford Television Theatre, episode Passage to Yesterday, originally aired November 24, 1955
Climax!, episode A Farewell to Arms, originally aired May 26, 1955

guy madison links

Guy Madison Official Website
Run by Madison's daughter, Bridget, the Guy Madison Official website contains many personal photos of Madison and his family. (Note: This site appears to be offline.)

guy madison film now showing

Watch Guy Madison's 1953 western The Charge at Feather River

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This page premiered June 2, 1999.
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