William Sanderson of Lonesome Dove

Cowboys and Westerns are the heart of Arizona. A long list of movies have been shot here in our state, such as Tombstone. This time we're talking with an actor that was in the classic movie Lonesome Dove.

William Sanderson has played a variety of characters in the movies and on television. You may remember him as E B Farnum in Deadwood, or as Sheriff Bud Dearborne in True Blood. This year he played James the bartender in the incredibly creative show from Current TV, Bar Karma. We talked with William about Lippy Jones, the role he played in Lonesome Dove.

One of the funniest moments on the set of Lonesome Dove had to do with a wagon, as William Described.

In one scene several of us were pushing a wagon up a steep muddy hill. I thought falling down would appear realistic, so I did it. Face down in the mud. I didn’t know the mud also had manure in it. It was terrible tasting – everyone was laughing.

It may come as a surprise to many, but as Dana Delany and several other actors have shared, their hardest part in a Western was riding a horse, though they make it look natural. William shared that riding a horse was his biggest challenge too, but luckily for him that worked out because mostly he drove a horse drawn wagon.

As a youngster, William fantasized about the Wild West, even being an outlaw. He did play cowboys a little as a child, but he was more into sports. Today he realizes being an outlaw wouldn’t be a good career move and now, he tries to stay out of "trouble."
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When asked what his favorite scene was in Lonesome Dove. William said, “Hard question to answer. I thought the scene where Gus and Call slam the impudent bartender’s head into the bar was pretty powerful.

William’s favorite old Western movie is The Magnificent Seven. His more recent favorite is Lonesome Dove. His favorite cowboy was initially the Lone Ranger and as he got older it was Gene Autry.

It doesn’t matter if William is playing a rough and tough cowboy, a bartender, or a sheriff, his acting talents make any character he plays memorable. Thank you William Sanderson for sharing some of your moments on the set of Lonesome Dove.

Next time, we talk with actor Michael Biehn who played Johnny Ringo in the movie Tombstone. He shared news about his new film and the bar scene in Tombstone where he twirls his gun and Doc Holliday, played by Val Kilmer, responds by twirling his tin cup.

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For more Western News, visit WWN-Wild West News.

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William Sanderson as Lippy Jones

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