The Silver Spur Awards keep the Reel Cowboys’ code alive in Hollywood

The 2018 Silver Spur Awards rounded up the Reel Cowboys and honored Western stars from TV and films.

Rope tricks from Johnny Crawford
(all photos by MargieBarron)

The best part of attending this year’s Silver Spur Awards was being in a room full of folks who live by the cowboy code. The awards are presented by the Reel Cowboys organization made up of stars, crews, stuntmen, and the equally amazing stuntwomen who have been part of classic Westerns from TV and film. It is headed by a Robert Lanthier who is dedicated to keeping the cowboy spirit alive in Hollywood.

 Part of that spirit is living by the cowboy code, which the honorees and presenters at this year’s 21st annual Silver Spur Awards embraced with all their hearts. Held at the Sportsman Lodge in Studio City on September 21, the main ballroom was filled with a lot of good guys in white hats, sheriffs, buckaroos in black hats, cowgirls and even some sassy dance hall hostesses.

Reel cowgirl, Patrick Wayne, Stephanie Powers, Bill MacDonald

 Many fans of the Western genre also attended because it’s such a feel-good event, especially with the extraordinary stunt woman and world-famous rodeo queen Marguerite Happy as the Mistress of Ceremonies. A “greatest hits” clip reel of Happy’s stunts over the years left everyone in awe of the petite, pretty, funny and tough-as-nails lady. She was proud that the event raised funds for Taurus World Stunt Foundation that helps injured stunt professionals.

The Veterans Memorial of America was also a beneficiary with the Silver Spur’s associate producer Julie Ann Ream honoring Kevin Dobson for his service as an Army MP. The late William Holden, a WWII Army Air Corps vet, was also honored and graciously accepting his medal was Stefanie Powers. It was noted that Holden was in John Ford’s The Horse Soldiers opposite John Wayne.

PHOTO: (from left) At the Silver Spur Awards president Robert Lanthier, Kevin Dobson, Stephanie Powers, Julie Ann Ream and Mark Staggs.

The Silver Spurs honored Patrick Wayne son of the legendary John Wayne, and clips were shown of their scenes together in Rio Grande, The Searchers, and The Alamo, among others. After his buddy producer Bill MacDonald presented, Patrick recited the Cowboy Code, “which is just basically the Golden Rule, and we need more of that today.”

Dawn Wells

Ever-lovely Dawn Wells, known best for Gilligan’s Island, stated, “I’m a Nevada girl who grew up in a rodeo family and proud of the film Winterhawk and play roles in Bonanza and many TV Westerns.” Dawn’s award was presented by Daniel Boone’s Darby Hinton.

The Rifleman’s Johnny Crawford & Laramie’s Robert Crawford

 The Silver Spurs honored the 60th anniversaries of both The Rifleman and Wanted Dead or Alive. Johnny Crawford from The Rifleman did some rope tricks before accepted his trophy from Steve Connors, son of his TV dad Chuck Connors. Johnny’s brother Robert Crawford, who starred in Laramie was on hand and noted that a cornerstone of the cowboy code was “mostly being honest and doing unto others as you would like to be treated. We were raised that way, and my kids were too.”

 Steve McQueen starred in Wanted Dead or Alive, and Robert Lanthier presented Neile Adams McQueen the award with son Chad McQueen and her grandkids cheering on the McQueen legacy.

Tombstone and Titanic’s Billy Zane

 Billy Zane (Titanic) got his Silver Spur for his film Tombstone, and was seen enjoying the company of a group of veterans and listening to their stories. R.L. Tolbert best known for co-starring with Clint Eastwood in Pale Rider was also honored, along with Robert Carradine who launched his western genre career on the hit TV show Bonanza and appeared in The Long Riders with his brothers David and Keith.

 Special guests attending this year included Michael Dante, Margaret O’Brien, Katherine Kovin Pacino, various members of John Wayne’s family, Charles Scott, Roger Neal, and so many more VIPs.

 The evening was launched with a heartfelt invocation by the Rev. Rosey Grier. After his stellar football career Rosey turned to acting and said he loved being in a Western as a regular on the Daniel Boone series. There was the Pledge of Allegiance, lead by Mark Staggs, who later did his humorous tribute to Gunsmoke’s Festus character. The Steve Waddington Band provided wonderful music all night to create a down-home kick-up-your-boots atmosphere for the Cowboy Code crowd. Bless them.

The Steve Weddington Band
(photos by MargieBarron)


Margie Barron has written for a wide variety of outlets including Gannett newspapers, Nickelodeon, Tiger Beat and 16 Magazine, Fresh!, Senior Life, Production Update, airline magazines, etc. Margie is also proud to have been half of the husband & wife writing team Frank & Margie Barron, who had written together for various entertainment and travel publications for more than 38 years.