David Wayne (Digger Barnes)
David Wayne, the versatile actor best known for his portrayal of Digger Barnes in the TV series ‘Dallas,’ left an indelible mark on the entertainment industry. With a career spanning over five decades, Wayne’s talent shone through in theater, film, and television.
From his award-winning Broadway performances to his memorable appearances on popular shows like ‘Gunsmoke’ and ‘The Twilight Zone,’ Wayne captivated audiences with his compelling portrayals. In this article, we delve into the life and career of David Wayne, exploring his early beginnings, iconic role as Digger Barnes, noteworthy accomplishments on stage and screen, personal life, political views, and untimely demise.
- David Wayne was a successful actor known for his roles on Broadway and in film and television.
- He had a diverse career, starting with acting in Cleveland’s Shakespearean repertory theater and later appearing in popular TV series like ‘Gunsmoke’ and ‘The Twilight Zone’.
- Wayne’s military service during World War II as an ambulance driver influenced his acting career.
- He was a lifelong Democrat and supported Adlai Stevenson’s campaign during the 1952 presidential election.
Early Life and Career
David Wayne, best known for his role as Digger Barnes in the television series ‘Dallas,’ had an early life and career that shaped his path in the entertainment industry. He grew up in Bloomingdale, Michigan and attended Western Michigan University for two years before embarking on his acting journey. In 1936, he found his passion for acting when he joined Cleveland’s Shakespearean repertory theatre.
Wayne’s career took an unexpected turn during World War II when he volunteered as an ambulance driver with the British Army in North Africa. Later, after the United States entered the war, he joined the American Field Service as an ambulance driver in Africa. Despite being initially rejected by the Army, Wayne remained determined to serve.
After the war, Wayne made a name for himself on Broadway and in films. He won the Theater World Award for his role in ‘Finian’s Rainbow’ and became the first-ever Tony Award winner for Actor (Supporting or Featured Musical). His talent caught the attention of producer David O. Selznick, leading to a role alongside Albert Sharpe in ‘Portrait of Jennie.’
In addition to his success on Broadway and film, Wayne also appeared on various television shows such as ‘The Pat Boone Chevy Showroom’ and ‘The Twilight Zone.’ However, it was his portrayal of Digger Barnes on ‘Dallas’ that solidified his place in television history.
David Wayne lived a full life both personally and professionally. He was married to Jane Gordon in 1941 and had three children: Susan Wayne Kearney, Melinda Wayne, and Timothy. Unfortunately, tragedy struck when Timothy disappeared during a rafting trip in 1970.
Wayne remained politically active throughout his life as a lifelong Democrat who supported Adlai Stevenson’s campaign during the 1952 presidential election.
On February 9th, 1995 at age 81, David Wayne passed away from complications of lung cancer in his Santa Monica, California home. His legacy as a talented actor and his contributions to the entertainment industry continue to be remembered and celebrated.
Digger Barnes in Dallas Tv Series
You may be familiar with his character in the Dallas TV series, but did you know that Digger Barnes played a significant role in the show’s storyline? As portrayed by David Wayne, Digger Barnes was a complex character who added depth and intrigue to the original series of Dallas.
During his time on the show, which spanned from 1978 to 1982, Digger Barnes faced numerous challenges and conflicts within the Ewing family. He was known for his bitter rivalry with J.R. Ewing, as well as his troubled relationship with his son Cliff Barnes.
Digger’s presence in Dallas brought a sense of tension and drama to the series. His constant scheming and desire for revenge against the Ewings created captivating storylines that kept viewers hooked.
These memorable moments showcase just how influential Digger Barnes was throughout different seasons of Dallas. David Wayne’s portrayal of this complex character left a lasting impact on both fans and critics alike.
Broadway and Film Roles
During his career, David Wayne achieved significant recognition for his work in both Broadway and film roles. He won the prestigious Theatre World Award for his exceptional performance in ‘Finian’s Rainbow’ on Broadway. This accolade showcased his remarkable talent and set him apart from his peers. In addition, Wayne made history by becoming the first-ever Tony Award winner for Actor (Musical), solidifying his status as a prominent figure in the industry.
To further highlight Wayne’s diverse talents, here are four noteworthy moments from his career:
1) ‘Portrait of Jennie’: Producer David O. Selznick handpicked Wayne and co-star Albert Sharpe to star in this acclaimed film. Their performances captivated audiences and demonstrated their versatility as actors.
2) NBC Comedy ‘Norby’: In 1955, Wayne graced the small screen with his comedic skills in this television series. His presence added charm and wit to the show, earning him admiration from viewers.
3) TV Appearances: Wayne guest-starred in various television series such as ‘Gunsmoke,’ where he portrayed leading roles that showcased his range as an actor. Additionally, he co-starred with Jim Hutton in ‘Ellery Queen’ and played Darius Woodley in two episodes of ‘The Outlaws.’
4) Bell Telephone Company Film: Wayne also made notable contributions outside of traditional acting roles. He appeared in the driver safety film titled ‘Anatomy of an Accident,’ produced by Bell Telephone Company.
David Wayne’s extensive portfolio across Broadway and film exemplifies his undeniable talent and enduring impact on the entertainment industry.
Explore Wayne’s television appearances and discover his versatility as an actor in various leading roles on popular TV series. Throughout his career, David Wayne showcased his talent and adaptability by taking on diverse characters in different shows. One notable role was his guest-starring appearance in the leading role on the iconic TV series “Gunsmoke.” He also co-starred with Jim Hutton in the TV series “Ellery Queen,” captivating audiences with his portrayal of complex characters. In addition, Wayne played Darius Woodley in two episodes of “The Outlaws,” further showcasing his range as an actor.
Furthermore, Wayne made appearances outside of dramatic series, such as starring alongside Pat Boone in the variety show “The Pat Boone Chevy Showroom” and his memorable appearance in the acclaimed anthology series “The Twilight Zone.” Additionally, he took part in a Bell Telephone Company-produced driver safety film titled “Anatomy of an Accident,” using his platform to raise awareness about important issues.
Wayne’s most recognized television role came when he portrayed Digger Barnes in the hit drama series “Dallas.” His character added depth and complexity to the show’s storyline, leaving a lasting impression on viewers.
David Wayne’s time spent on television allowed him to explore a wide range of roles and leave a significant impact on the industry. His versatile performances continue to be remembered and appreciated by audiences today.
Personal Life, Political Views, and Death
In his personal life, David Wayne was married to Jane Gordon in 1941 and had two daughters and a son. Tragically, his son Timothy went missing and was presumed drowned during a rafting trip in 1970. This devastating loss undoubtedly had a profound impact on Wayne and his family.
Wayne’s wife, Jane Gordon, passed away in 1993, further adding to the heartache he experienced throughout his life. Despite these personal hardships, Wayne remained dedicated to his work and continued to pursue his acting career.
Politically, Wayne identified as a lifelong Democrat. During the 1952 presidential election, he actively supported Adlai Stevenson’s campaign. Although it is unclear how much involvement he had in politics beyond this particular election, it is evident that Wayne held strong political views.
The actor’s life came to an end on February 9, 1995, at the age of 81 due to complications from lung cancer. He passed away peacefully at his home in Santa Monica, California. Following his death, Wayne’s remains were cremated and distributed among his family members.
David Wayne’s personal life was marked by both joyous moments and heartbreaking tragedies. His unwavering commitment to acting and involvement in politics demonstrate the multifaceted nature of this influential figure within the entertainment industry.
Frequently Asked Questions
Did David Wayne serve in the military during World War II?
Yes, David Wayne served in the military during World War II. He volunteered as an ambulance driver with the British Army in North Africa and later joined the United States Army. His military service influenced his acting career.
How many children did David Wayne have?
David Wayne had three children. He had two daughters, Susan Wayne Kearney and Melinda Wayne, and a son, Timothy. Unfortunately, Timothy went missing and was presumed drowned during a rafting trip in 1970.
What political party did David Wayne align with?
David Wayne, known for his role as Digger Barnes, aligned with the Democratic Party. He supported Adlai Stevenson during the 1952 presidential election and was a lifelong Democrat.
What was the cause of David Wayne’s death?
David Wayne died at the age of 81 from complications of lung cancer. His death occurred on February 9, 1995, at his home in Santa Monica, California. Wayne’s remains were cremated and distributed to his family.
How did David Wayne’s son, Timothy, pass away?
Timothy, David Wayne’s son, disappeared and was presumed drowned during a rafting trip in 1970.
David Wayne had a diverse and successful acting career, leaving behind a significant legacy in the entertainment industry. From his early days in Cleveland’s Shakespearean repertory theatre to his iconic role as Digger Barnes in the TV series ‘Dallas,’ Wayne showcased his talent and versatility. He won prestigious awards on Broadway and appeared in various television shows, captivating audiences with his performances. Despite personal tragedies, such as the disappearance of his son Timothy, Wayne remained dedicated to his craft. His contributions to the entertainment world will always be remembered.
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