Wagon Train's Robert Horton was a Broadway star as well
The actor, who played Flint McCullough, was a multi-faceted talent.
Not a lot of people on the Wagon Train set noticed when the show's Flint McCullough spent his lunch hours studying singing. Robert Horton, who played McCullough, the westbound team's scout, was looking to expand his career in new and interesting ways. Even though he was known to the nation as Flint McCullough on Wagon Train, Horton's true love was the stage and particularly musical comedy.
In the summer of 1959, Horton traveled to the summer theater in Warren, Ohio, to take a break from Hollywood and to find something fun to do onstage. He found it in "Guys and Dolls," where he co-starred with Marilynn Bradley as his leading lady. The pair repeated their roles that September in Detroit.
Then in December of 1960, Horton and Bradley became permanent co-stars when the pair got married. They continued to travel the country starring together in musicals all over the place. "I feel no different working with Bob than I would with any other leading man," Marilynn said when asked if there were any difficulties performing as a family duo. "The only difference I noticed," offered Robert, "is that Marilynn and I have a certain ease with each other that you might not have with a co-star you had just met for the first time.
"In that case, it's an asset for us, although I think sometimes an audience isn't quite as interested in seeing a husband and wife do certain scenes," said Mr. Horton. "But Marilynn and I have another advantage due to our opposite backgrounds. With her training in opera and mine in dramatic acting, we lean against each other and help one another along."
After Horton quit Wagon Train, he and his wife traveled the country, living a flexibly nomadic lifestyle, at the suggestion of his business manager. But all the travel and stage spots aided them in securing a huge role and a big dream. The pair ended up starring together in "I Picked a Daisy," the first collaboration of composer Richard Rodgers and writer-lyricist Alan Jay Lerner.
"It was a funny thing," said Mrs. Horton. "After Bob quit the Wagon Train series, people kept asking him what he wanted to do. And he would tell them he wanted to do musical comedy roles.
"We were in Chicago when someone asked him that question and he said, 'Who knows" Maybe I'll do the first Rodgers and Lerner collaboration!"
"Your sights keep growing as you learn more and more about your profession," Robert Horton explained. "And unless you're lazy, which I'm not, you want to try to do more and more things."