Robert Horton, ‘Wagon Train’ Actor, Dies at 91

Robert Horton Dead
Dezo Hoffmann/REX/Shutterstock

Robert Horton, known for his role as scout Flint McCullough in the Emmy-nominated series “Wagon Train,” died March 9 in Los Angeles, his niece Joan Evans told the New York Times. He was 91.

He landed his breakout role starring as McCullough in the hit Western series “Wagon Train” for five seasons, exiting the show in 1962. Around the time he left “Wagon Train”– which accumulated seven Primetime Emmy nominations throughout the duration of its eight-season run — the show switched networks, transitioning from NBC to ABC.

Soon after departing from “Wagon Train,” Horton starred in the one-season Western series “A Man Called Shenandoah,” for which he also sang the theme song. Other key TV roles include guest spots on “Murder, She Wrote,” “As the World Turns,” “Alfred Hitchcock Presents,” “Public Defender” and “The Lone Ranger.”

Horton also performed on Broadway and pursued a singing career. In 1963 he starred as rainmaker Bill Starbuck in the original cast of “110 in the Shade,” a musical adaptation of N. Richard Nash’s early ’50s play “The Rainmaker.” The production ran at Manhattan’s Broadhurst Theatre for over 300 performances. He also recorded albums and performed in nightclubs during his tenure on “Wagon Train.”

After being medically discharged from the Coast Guard in 1943, Horton made his screen acting debut in an uncredited part in the 1945 WWII drama “A Walk in the Sun.”

Horton is survived by his wife Marilynn.

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  1. Elaine Bersano says:

    We grew-up with Wagon Train and still watch re-runs on non-cable T.V….The show was realistic and we learned about the hardships of traveling West many years ago……but the focus on “people and their stories” was really what the show was about…people making decisions, people finding their way. Ward Bond was the glue that held it all together and Robert Horton was very believable as his scout…they were a great team…with a wonderful cast. Everyone missed Bond when he passed. Now we miss Robert Horton…apparently he was a talented good-guy. Condolences to his widow and family. Bersano family, California

  2. Larry Vincent says:

    He was a man that any young boy wanted to grow up to be just like. And he always had the good looking women liking him! I still watch wagon train as a young 64 yr old boy.
    What a great man and actor.

  3. I have been wanting to check out Robert Horton, but until today I had not. I think because I felt he might have passed away already. Sadly, it is true… BUT he was one of the good guys”, and sooooo handsome! It was a pleasure reading everyone’s comment!

  4. I just started watching “Wagon Train” after fifty years and it holds up extremely well. Horton was truly great in that part. He made a couple of spy films (The Spy Killer and Foreign Exchange) based on the Jimmy Sangster “John Smith” character. I hope they get re-released for they were awesome spy movies with realistic plots. Horton was one of my favorite actors of the period. His show “A Man Called Shenandoah” is perhaps one of the best shows ever cancelled. Pity–it would have made a wonderful movie.

  5. Lazaro C. Martinez says:

    I’M a 61 yr. Old man who was and still is a fan of TV. series, Wagon Train. Actor, Robert Horton who played the role of Lead Scout, Flint McCullough. I remember that as a kid how I dreamed about being a scout or even a Wagon Master like Flint. The late, Robert Horton was surely a fine actor of that time which actually, help mold me unto the Boy Scouts, and finally, the US. Army’s Special Forces.

  6. Dennis says:

    I just learned of the news of Mr. Horton’s passing. He was my childhood hero. His Flint McCullough was so sensitively and genuinely portrayed…. what an impression he made on me. I am glad to know that in real life he was, as other people here have noted, a decent human being. I am late in learning this news. Aileen, Candi, and Unsworth (earlier/below) have said well what is in my heart. Sad that he is gone; happy that he lived (and lives on, in film).

    • Candi Ramer says:

      Hello Dennis, I am no longer surprised to hear the strikingly similar verbiage in admiration for Bob Horton, by his fans. We all seem to feel the same way about him.. To those fans who mourn his passing, perhaps you would be interested in joining a fan page on Facebook dedicated to Bob, and his role as Flint Mc Cullough. Over 300 fans are may find some interesting commentary and like to join in yourselves. The name of the page is Robert Horton/ Wagon Train. I am not the moderator..but if you would like to join…she will contact you. It is a closed group. Candi

  7. Kirk horton says:

    He will be remembered in pictures forever .old westerns are the best

  8. Ernie Thomas says:

    Always a class act. Seemed so underrated and never overly willing to be praised, but I have a feeling that was part of his nature. As I said, a class act. Too bad we don’t have more like him. RIP

  9. Herbert Plott says:

    Still enjoy his performances on Encore Western’s showing of Wagon Train! RIP!

  10. Shavager says:

    Loved Robert as Flint McCollough on Wagon Train, even more so as “Shenandoah”. God Bless Robert Horton, a cowboy forever! Great singing voice, loved the theme song he did for the Shenandoah series. Western world bows its head, a great character and excellent actor has ridden into the sunset forever!

  11. I remember at 7 years old being in love with Flint. We all went to a parade and rodeo in Phoenix just so I could see him in 1958 or 1959. My dad stood in line for over an hour with me on his shoulders just to see him. My plan was to ask him to marry me. LOL! When we finally made it to the front of the line, I chickened out and remained quiet. My poor dad. Rest in peace Robert. You will be missed.

  12. Esther Atchley says:

    Rest in Peace, I have always been a fan, and had just found a channel running, A Man Called Shenandoah, last week.

    My condolences to his family.

  13. justahunch says:

    I had completely forgotten about him, but I remember being a fan as a child.

  14. Aileen J. Elliott says:

    Robert Horton was a magnificent acting and singing talent who was so often under-rated, and was too often simply identified as ‘Flint McCullough of Wagon Train’. While superb in that role, he was so much more than it and he never fully received the accolades he deserved. He was also a fine, intelligent, decent human being. His like is not often seen, especially in the entertainment world. May he rest peacefully.

    • Merle Dickey says:

      I can’t say anything more than the wonderful things that are in print about Robert Horton . Wagon Train wasn’t quite the same after he left . Thank heavens for his friend Robert Fuller who picked it up .Mr Horton was a wonderful talented man . His singing voice was superb and matched his acting abilities . I am sad he has passed on but I am glad to hear that he did get to live a good life until 91 . Most don’t make it that old . May he rest in peace and as long as there are westerns he will not be forgotten .

    • Candi Honey Ramer says:

      I wanted to say something about Bob as an actor, performer and human being…quite frankly, after reading your post Aileen, There would not be much I could add. He was everything you said he was. He will be sorely missed. Dear Bob, may you be at peace.

  15. Unsworth says:

    Robert Horton was great in Wagon Train. There was something about him that was really cool.

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