Every time I turn on a Western I see Jack Elam. Tell me what you can about him.
—Harold Brooks, Campbellsburg, Ky.
The former accountant, blinded in his left eye after a childhood fight, served as one of Hollywood’s go-to heavies in 1950s and ’60s TV and movie Westerns. Later in his career, he proved equally gifted as a comedic sidekick. His film credits include Kiss Me Deadly, Firecreek, Once Upon a Time in the West, Rio Lobo and Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid. The Cowboy Hall of Famer, a native of Miami, Ariz., was also a whiz at liar’s poker. Elam died in 2003 of congestive heart failure.