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Slim Pickens

Louis Bert Lindley, Jr. (June 29, 1929 - December 8, 1983), better known by the stage name Slim Pickens, was a cowboy and actor.

An actor who epitomized the profane, tough, sardonic cowboy, Slim Pickens was born, not in Texas or Oklahoma, but in Kingsbury, California[?]. He was an excellent rider from age 4 and quit school to join the rodeo at age 12. They told him working in the rodeo would be "slim pickings", giving him his name, but he did very well, eventually rising to become the best-known rodeo clown , one of the most dangerous jobs in all of show business. After twenty years on the rodeo circuit, his distinctive voice and drawl, his wide eyes and moon face, and his strong physical presence and grace gained him a role in the western Rocky Mountain (1950), starring Errol Flynn. He subsequently appeared in many westerns, playing both villains and comic sidekicks. In the opening scene of An Eye for an Eye (1966), he shoots a baby in its crib.

One of his most memorable roles was as Taggart, head of the gang of cowboy thugs in Blazing Saddles with Mel Brooks in 1974:

"What in the wide, wide world of sports is a going on here? I hired you people to try to get a little track laid, not to jump around like a bunch of Kansas City faggots!"

His most famous part was as Major T. J. "King" Kong in Dr. Strangelove, which ended with Pickens riding an H-bomb down to global destruction.

In one scene, Pickens briefs the crew on their survival packs:

"In them you'll find one .45-caliber automatic, two boxes ammunition, four days' concentrated emergency rations, one drug issue containing antibiotics, morphine, vitamin pills, pep pills, sleeping pills, tranquilizing pills, one miniature Russian phrase book and Bible, one hundred dollars in rubles, one hundred dollars in gold, five packs of chewing gum, one issue prophylactics, three tubes lipstick, three pair of nylon stockings ... Shoot, a guy could have a pretty good weekend in Vegas with all that stuff."

He appeared in dozens of films, including, Old Oklahoma Plains (1952), Down Laredo Way (1953), Major Dundee (1959) with Charlton Heston, One-Eyed Jacks (1961) with Marlon Brando, The Cowboys (1972) with John Wayne, and 1941 with John Belushi.

He also appeared many times on television, both in guest shots, and in regular roles in The Legend of Custer, B.J. and the Bear, and Filthy Rich. He played the owner of station WJM, Wild Jack Monroe, on the Mary Tyler Moore Show.

His brother acted under the name Easy Pickens. His most notable appearance was as "Easy" in Sam Peckinpah's The Ballad of Cable Hogue (1970).

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