Slim Pickens

Slim Pickens


Also Known As
Louis Bert Lindley Jr.
Birth Place
Kingsberg, California, USA
June 29, 1919
December 08, 1983
Cause of Death


Favorite Hollywood cowboy of the 1950s through the 70s; perhaps best known as the B-52 pilot who, at the end of Stanley Kubrick's "Dr. Strangelove" (1964), "rides" a hydrogen bomb to destruction, Slim Pickens was a hoarse-voiced veteran of the rodeo circuit -- in fact he was said to have gotten his name when a sidebuster looked at him and said, "Slim pickins -- that's all you'll get in t...


Favorite Hollywood cowboy of the 1950s through the 70s; perhaps best known as the B-52 pilot who, at the end of Stanley Kubrick's "Dr. Strangelove" (1964), "rides" a hydrogen bomb to destruction, Slim Pickens was a hoarse-voiced veteran of the rodeo circuit -- in fact he was said to have gotten his name when a sidebuster looked at him and said, "Slim pickins -- that's all you'll get in this rodeo." He was 13 when he joined the rodeo and he spent years as a rodeo clown and performer before he migrated to Hollywood in 1950. Pickens made his feature film debut in 1950 in an Errol Flynn western at Warner Bros., "Rocky Mountain." He was serious about entertaining and a "pro," to be sure, but the audience took to his joie de vivre. John Ford saw it and cast Pickens in "The Sun Shines Bright" (1953), which Ford later said was his favorite film. He played dozens of sidekicks, scouts, and sometimes varmints chewing and spitting tobacco (or worse) in films of the 50s and 60s, among them "Old Overland Trail" (1953), "The Boy From Oklahoma" (1954), "Major Dundee" (1965) and the remake of "Stagecoach" (1966). Mel Brooks chose him to play Taggart, the prickly third lead of "Blazing Saddles" (1974). Whether a comically vicious outlaw in "The Apple Dumpling Gang" (1975), or Tex, the calculating survivor of "Beyond the Poseidon Adventure" (1979), Pickens was an engaging, charismatic performer.

He was also much on TV, beginning in 1956 with episodic work and on the Disney limited series "The Saga of Andy Burnett" (1957). Pickens was "the town character" on "The Outlaws" (NBC, 1961-1962), and returned to his rodeo roots with appearances on "The Wide Country" (NBC, 1962-1963). He was army scout to "Custer" on the 1967 ABC series about the famed western general's early years. After more than a decade away from regular series work, Pickens played the corrupt Sgt. Wiley on the first season of "B.J. and the Bear" (NBC, 1979).

He then returned to his country comedy roots doing two seasons on the syndicated "Hee Haw" from 1981-1983, simultaneously appearing on "The Nashville Palace" for NBC from 1981-1982. On the 1982 CBS sitcom "Filthy Rich," Pickens was seen on videotape, the dead patriarch of a unscrupulous gaggle of southerners. Each week (for the first episodes of the show) the tape was played and Pickens announced one more term of his will. Besides the regular series work, Pickens was a frequent guest star on other programs. He is memorable in a 1971 episode of "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" (CBS), in which he was the eccentric, faux bronco-riding former movie cowboy star owner of WJM. Pickens also appeared in numerous TV movies, beginning with "Sam Hill: Who Killed the Mysterious Mr. Foster" (NBC, 1971), and running through "The House Possessed" for ABC in 1981.



Cast (Feature Film)

Pink Motel (1982)
Charlie and the Great Balloon Race (1981)
This House Possessed (1981)
Nashville Grab (1981)
The Howling (1981)
Swan Song (1980)
Honeysuckle Rose (1980)
Tom Horn (1980)
Spirit of the Wind (1979)
Undercover With the KKK (1979)
The Good-Time Outlaws (1979)
Sheriff Leddy
1941 (1979)
Beyond the Poseidon Adventure (1979)
Shadow Mountain (1978)
The Busters (1978)
Wister Kane
The Sweet Creek County War (1978)
Smokey and the Goodtime Outlaws (1978)
The Swarm (1978)
Mr. Billion (1977)
The White Buffalo (1977)
Hawmps (1976)
Naman Tucker
Banjo Hackett: Roamin' Free (1976)
White Line Fever (1976)
Pony Express Rider (1976)
Rancho Deluxe (1975)
Babe (1975)
Colonel William J Mccombs
Poor Pretty Eddie (1975)
The Apple Dumpling Gang (1975)
Sweet Punkin' (1975)
The Legend of Earl Durand (1975)
The Gun and the Pulpit (1974)
Billy One-Eye
Bootleggers (1974)
Twice in a Lifetime (1974)
Pete Lazich
Blazing Saddles (1974)
Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid (1973)
Ginger in the Morning (1973)
Hitched (1973)
Bart Dawson; Sam Dawson
The Cowboys (1972)
Anse [Peterson]
The Getaway (1972)
J.C. (1972)
Rolling Man (1972)
The Deserter (1971)
Sam Hill: Who Killed the Mysterious Mr. Foster? (1971)
The Desperate Mission (1971)
Three-Finger Jack
The Devil and Miss Sarah (1971)
La Spina Dorsale del Diavola (1971)
The Honkers (1971)
The Ballad of Cable Hogue (1970)
Ben Fairchild
80 Steps to Jonah (1969)
Will Penny (1968)
Ike Wallerstein
Never a Dull Moment (1968)
Cowboy Schaeffer
Skidoo (1968)
The Legend of Custer (1968)
The Flim-Flam Man (1967)
Jarvis Bates
Rough Night in Jericho (1967)
Stagecoach (1966)
An Eye for an Eye (1966)
Ike Slant
The Glory Guys (1965)
Major Dundee (1965)
In Harm's Way (1965)
C.P.O. Culpepper
Up From the Beach (1965)
Artillery colonel
Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
Maj. T. J. "King" Kong
Savage Sam (1963)
Wily Crup
A Thunder of Drums (1961)
Trooper Erschick
One-Eyed Jacks (1961)
Chartroose Caboose (1960)
Peter Harmon
Escort West (1959)
Stump Run (1959)
Babe Gaskin
Tonka (1958)
The Sheepman (1958)
Gunsight Ridge (1957)
Hank Moss
Gun Brothers (1956)
Moose MacLain
When Gangland Strikes (1956)
Slim Pickett
Stranger at My Door (1956)
Ben Silas
The Great Locomotive Chase (1956)
Pete Bracken
The Last Command (1955)
Santa Fe Passage (1955)
Sam Beekman
The Boy from Oklahoma (1954)
The Outcast (1954)
Boone Polsen
Phantom Stallion (1954)
Slim Pickens
The Sun Shines Bright (1953)
Down Laredo Way (1953)
Slim Pickens
Red River Shore (1953)
Slim Pickens
Old Overland Trail (1953)
Slim Pickens
Iron Mountain Trail (1953)
Slim Pickens
Shadows of Tombstone (1953)
Slim Pickens
The Story of Will Rogers (1952)
Dusty Donavon
Old Oklahoma Plains (1952)
Slim Pickens
South Pacific Trail (1952)
Slim Pickens
Thunderbirds (1952)
Pvt. Wes Shelby
Colorado Sundown (1952)
Joshua "Slim" Pickens
Border Saddlemates (1952)
Slim Pickens
The Last Musketeer (1952)
Slim Pickens
Rocky Mountain (1950)

Cast (Special)

Sawyer and Finn (1983)
Jake's Way (1980)
Sam Hargis
When the West Was Fun: A Western Reunion (1979)
The Winged Colt (1977)

Misc. Crew (Special)

The Nashville Palace (1980)

Cast (TV Mini-Series)

Louis L'Amour's The Sacketts (1979)

Life Events


Started appearing in rodeo shows


Feature acting debut "Rocky Mountain"


Directed by John Ford in "The Sun Shines Bright"


Had early TV work on episode of "Death Valley Days" (Syndicated)


Appeared on "The Saga of Andy Burnett" (ABC)


Had memorable role in "Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb"


Was army scout to "Custer" (ABC)


Made TV movie debut in "Sam Hill: Who Killed the Mysterious Mr. Foster?" (NBC)


Appeared on one season of "BJ and the Bear" (NBC)


Last film acting role "Pink Motel"


Was regular on sitcom "Filthy Rich" (CBS)


Last TV appearance, "Sawyer and Finn"

Photo Collections

The Apple Dumpling Gang - Movie Poster
Here is the American one-sheet movie poster for Disney's The Apple Dumpling Gang (1975). One-sheets measured 27x41 inches, and were the poster style most commonly used in theaters.


Movie Clip

Dr. Strangelove (1964) -- (Movie Clip) Wing Attack Plan R Major "King" Kong (Slim Pickens) on his strategic bomber gets word from radio-man Goldberg (Paul Tamarin) of unexpected orders, Lt. Zogg (James Earl Jones) voicing the crews' concerns, in Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb, 1964.
Never A Dull Moment (1968) -- (Movie Clip) You're Very High Strung Bit part actor Jack (Dick Van Dyke), whom gangster Joe (Edward G. Robinson) has mistaken for a hit-man named Ace, is forced to improvise when he turns up on TV, as he meets the mob, Joanna Moore as Melanie, with Ned Glass, Richard Bakalyan, Slim Pickens, Philip Coolidge and Henry Silva (as Rimsy, Bobby, Cowboy, Fingers and Frank), in the Walt Disney comedy Never A Dull Moment 1968.
White LIne Fever (1975) -- (Movie Clip) We Pay On Delivery Turned away at all the other Tucson trucking outfits, independent Carrol Jo (Jan Michael Vincent) decides to go back with a shotgun to the guy who blackballed him, his father’s old partner Duane (Slim Pickens) who, we learn, is now under the thumb of Buck (L.Q. Jones), in White Line Fever, 1975.
Eye For An Eye, An (1966) -- (Movie Clip) Cut Out That Damn Crying! First scene remarkable for its cruelty, Slim Pickens is Ike Slant, and he darn sure shoots a baby and burns a house around it, escaping with his cohorts before Robert Lansing (who shares top billing with Pickens and Gloria Talbott), as Talion, arrives too late, in the low cost Western An Eye For An Eye, 1966.
Eye For An Eye, An (1966) -- (Movie Clip) It's Been A Long Ride For-now allied seeking respectively revenge and bounty, Talion (Robert Lansing) and Benny (Patrick Wayne) have waited for the arrival of gang-leader Slant (Slim Pickens), who can’t resist more cruel taunting, leading to a shootout, in the Embassy Pictures Western An Eye For An Eye, 1966.
Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid (1973) -- (Movie Clip) This Town Has Got No Hat Size James Coburn (1st title character) is looking for Billy and comes to the town where Slim Pickens, we eventually realize, is the downtrodden sheriff, Katy Jurado his wife, and his prisoner roams mostly free, motivation running low, in Sam Peckinpah’s Pat Garrett & Billy The Kid, 1973.
Getaway, The (1972) -- (Movie Clip) There Ain't No Morals SPOILER because this comes after the big shootout near the end, but Slim Pickens appears as a bystander, with a truck, as Doc and Carol (Steve McQueen, Alil MacGraw) are headed for sure now to Mexico, in Sam Peckinpah’s 1972 hit The Getaway.
Beyond The Poseidon Adventure (1979) -- (Movie Clip) I've Had Smoother Crossings Michael Caine and his crew (Sally Field, Karl Malden) revel in their salvage from the capsized liner when a new survivor (Slim Pickens as Tex) appears, then two more, Angela Cartwright who’s the daughter of Peter Boyle, and Mark Harmon her rescuer, Shirley Jones and Veronica Hamel also among the band, in Beyond The Poseidon Adventure, 1979.
Blazing Saddles (1974) -- (Movie Clip) Where Would I Find Such A Man? Crooked Attorney General “Hedley Lamarr” (Harvey Korman) needs an idea to deliver an incompetent new sheriff to Rock Ridge, so he snags Bart (Cleavon Little) from the medieval hangman, then visits the governor (writer-director Mel Brooks), who’s easily led, in Blazing Saddles, 1974.
Blazing Saddles (1974) -- (Movie Clip) In My Dwessing Woom Wrapping up her Dietrich-roasting anachronistic saloon number (an original by writer-director Mel Brooks), Lili Von Shtupp (Madeline Kahn) has been hired to seduce the resourceful new sheriff Bart (Cleavon Little), now running with “The Waco Kid,” rude business, in Blazing Saddles, 1974.
Blazing Saddles (1974) -- (Movie Clip) I Wouldn't Do That One of the best gags, the nasty for-hire cowboys (led by Slim Pickens) don’t know what they’re getting into when the threaten the black sheriff Bart (Cleavon Little), now aided by his sobered up gunfighter pal “The Waco Kid,” (Gene Wilder), in Mel Brooks’ Blazing Saddles< 1974.
Honeysuckle Rose (1980) -- (Movie Clip) On The Road Again Joining director Jerry Schatzberg’s opening, road manager Sid (Charles Levin) urging country star Buck (WIllie Nelson) to quit golf practice and get on the bus, into a montage featuring Slim Pickens as sideman Garland, to Willie’s Academy Award-nominated original hit song, from Honeysuckle Rose, 1980.


Dr. Strangelove - (Original Trailer) Peter Sellers is an RAF officer, the President and the title character, all facing the end of the world in Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove (1964).
Major Dundee - (Original Trailer) A Union officer (Charlton Heston) leads Confederate prisoners against Apaches in Mexico in Sam Peckinpah's Major Dundee (1965).
Blazing Saddles - (Original Trailer) A black man is appointed sheriff of a western town in Mel Brooks' riotous farce Blazing Saddles (1974) starring Cleavon Little and Gene Wilder.
1941 - (Original Trailer) Panic sweeps Hollywood when a Japanese invasion is suspected in Steven Spielberg's gigantic farce 1941 (1979).
Cowboys, The - (Original Trailer) When his crew quits, John Wayne has to train schoolboys for the big cattle drive in The Cowboys (1972).
80 Steps To Jonah - (Original Trailer) A young man (Wayne Newton) hiding from the law takes refuge in a summer camp for blind children in 80 Steps To Jonah (1969).
One-Eyed Jacks - (Original Trailer) An outlaw seeks revenge on the former friend who betrayed him to the law in One Eyed Jacks (1961), directed by and starring Marlon Brando.
Thunder of Drums, A - (Original Trailer) A green Cavalry lieutenant (George Hamilton) learns the ropes fast when he's shipped out West in A Thunder of Drums (1961).
Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid - (Original Trailer) The legendary outlaw clashes with his former best friend, now the sheriff in director Sam Peckinpah's Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid (1973).
In Harm's Way - (Original Trailer) Director and Producer Otto Preminger plays showman in a cute and action-packed trailer for In Harm's Way, 1965, starring John Wayne, Kirk Douglas and Patricia Neal.
Will Penny - (Original Trailer) Charlton Heston, an outlaw betrayed by his gang, takes refuge with a frontiers woman in Will Penny (1968).
Sheepman, The - (Original Trailer) A tough sheep farmer battles the local cattle baron for land and a beautiful woman in The Sheepman (1958) starring Glenn Ford and Shirley MacLaine.


Louis B Lindley