×

Wayne Maunder, 1960s Western Star, Dies at 80

Wayne Maunder, the star of 1960s TV Westerns who may have inspired a character in Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming film, died of cardiovascular disease Nov. 11 in Battleboro, Vt., a Vermont Department of Health spokesperson confirmed to Variety. He was 80.

Maunder starred in ABC’s “Custer” as the titular Lt. Col. Custer. The Western aired just 17 episodes before it was canceled in 1967. He also appeared in another Western, CBS’ “Lancer,” as Scott Lancer. The show ran for two seasons from 1968 to 1970.

The actor also appeared on shows like “Kung Fu” with David Carradine, “The F.B.I.,” and “The Rookies,” as well as the 1971 film “The Seven Minutes,” in which he starred as attorney Mike Barrett.

Tarantino’s upcoming film, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” is set in 1969 and features Luke Perry as the character Scott Lancer. Based on real events surrounding the Manson murders, the movie stars actors as recognizable Hollywood figures from the era, like Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie) and Steve McQueen (Damian Lewis).

Born Dec. 19, 1937, in New Brunswick, Canada, Maunder was raised in Bangor, Maine. Following high school, he had stretches in the U.S. Navy and tryouts for baseball teams like the Milwaukee Braves and the Pittsburgh Pirates. Later, Maunder caught the acting bug and studied under Stella Adler in New York City.

Maunder got his break when he was noticed by agent Jane Oliver, who later also discovered Sylvester Stallone, and got a screen test at Fox in 1966.

The late actor is survived by his two brothers.

More TV

  • Black Panther

    'Black Panther,' 'Crazy Rich Asians,' 'Westworld' Among Costume Designers Guild Winners

    “Crazy Rich Asians,” “The Favourite” and “Black Panther” walked away with top honors at the 21st annual Costume Designers Guild Awards Tuesday night, the final industry guild show before the Oscars on Feb. 24. “The Favourite” and “Black Panther” are up for the Oscar this year, along with “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs,” “Mary Poppins [...]

  • Syfy Cancels 'Nightflyers' After One Season

    Syfy Cancels 'Nightflyers' After One Season

    The George R.R. Martin drama “Nightflyers” has been canceled by Syfy after only one season. Based on the novella from the mastermind behind “Game of Thrones,” the show was seen as a big gamble for the NBCUniversal-owned cable network, as it represented the most expensive series it had ever developed. The network attempted to spark [...]

  • Batwoman Arrow

    The CW's 'Batwoman' Pilot Switches Directors, Adds Dougray Scott

    The CW has added veteran Scottish actor Dougray Scott to its “Batwoman” pilot as well as swapped in Marcos Siega for previous director David Nutter, Variety has learned. The pilot, which stars Ruby Rose as the eponymous caped heroine, is being helmed by DC TV head Greg Berlanti, and was penned by “Vampire Diaries” alum [...]

  • OG Review

    Review: 'O.G.' on HBO

    Jeffrey Wright, the most compelling reason to watch HBO’s new film “O.G.,” is among television’s best actors at switching between codes or manners of being. On “Westworld,” his timeline-toggling android swaps personae so delicately that his performance gains in resonance when recalled in retrospect. (Perhaps that’s why Wright has been so oddly underrated through the [...]

  • Nahnatchka Khan Writers Room

    Nahnatchka Khan Exits 20th Century Fox TV for Overall Deal at Universal

    Nahnatchka Khan has signed a four-year overall deal at Universal Television. The deal brings an end to the decade-plus Khan and her Fierce Baby Productions banner spent at 20th Century Fox Television. The move will see Khan exit from her role as showrunner on ABC comedy “Fresh Off the Boat,” which she also created. The [...]

  • David Ajala

    'Nightflyers' Star David Ajala Joins CBS Drama Pilot 'Under the Bridge'

    David Ajala has been cast in a lead role in the CBS drama pilot “Under the Bridge,” Variety has learned. In the project, when a scandal rocks the medical practice she runs with her husband and their friends, a surgeon rises to the occasion and takes the lead in trying to mend both the practice and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content