Actor Smiley Burnette

Celebrity Q&A, People
on October 24, 2011

Whatever happened to Smiley Burnette, who starred in so many Westerns with Gene Autry? Did he have any children?
—Florence Christensen, Richfield, Utah

Burnette, who was born in Summum, Ill., was a comedian and singer-songwriter who could play more than 100 musical instruments. He rode as sidekick Frog Millhouse to Autry in 64 singing cowboy Westerns and also was a saddle pal in other films to Roy Rogers, Charles Starrett and Sunset Carson. He and his wife, Dallas, adopted four children from Tennessee: Linda, Stephen, Carolyn and Brian. In the mid-1960s, Burnette co-starred as engineer Charley Pratt on TV's Petticoat Junction. He died in 1967 of leukemia at age 55.