2009 Reunion

Join everyone at the Reunion!

Reunion 2011
Registrations Booming

Smiley faceFans continue to register for The High Chaparral Reunion, with 22 confirmed to attend the big event in Tucson October 21- 23.

Join everyone else, make plans to attend this not to be missed celebration weekend!

Pay in installments through the online web site at wwwthehighchaparralreunion.com.

Visit The High Chaparral Reunion web site for details about registration costs and all the planned events. Questions? Email info@highchaparralnewsletter.com.

See you in Tucson!

What is The High Chaparral Reunion?

Henry Darrow at Old Tucson

Henry Darrow checks out vintage photos at the Cannon ranch house during the 2009 High Chaparral Reunion at Old Tucson

What's all the hoopla about The High Chaparral Reunion? What exactly is it, anyway?

It's a fan-run event, not for profit, and so it's focused on forming a personal connection with the HC guests. When you attend you help bring all the special folks who made the show back home for a reunion, and they genuinely appreciate being our guests.

Since 2003 cast, crew and fans gather to celebrate The High Chaparral. On October 21-23, 2011 loyal fans once again host a reunion for cast, crew, guest stars and production staff.

This is your chance to meet the artists who brought the Cannons, Montoyas and Bunkhouse Boys to life! Past guests include Henry Darrow (Manolito Montoya), Don Collier (Sam Butler), the late Bob Hoy (Joe Butler), Rudy Ramos (Wind), Ted Markland (Reno), and Kent McCray and Susan McCray (producer and casting) —along with a long list of guest stars, production and crew members.


Kent McCray, Susan McCray, Don Collier, Henry Darrow and Rudy Ramos discuss a fan's question at the 2009 Reunion.

It's a true reunion for the cast and crew, and a one of a kind time for fans of the show to meet their heroes. The weekend is filled with one-on-one time with the stars, backstage stories, watching episodes with the people who MADE them (imagine getting to hear exactly what happened when the script was shot, told by the person who was right there), question and answer time, dinner with the cast, camaraderie and fun.

A highlight is the Reunion at the Ranch at the original Cannon ranch house, located at Old Tucson Studios. During the 2009 Reunion an unbelievable number of former HC family came to meet fans, reminisce and marvel at the hundreds of people on the set. "It's just like the old days," was heard often. Since the house still stands, we lucky fans still get to visit the real ranch, right where the show was filmed. It's a unique experience and one you won't forget.

With beautiful uncut episodes, photo and autograph sessions (free hugs are frequent all weekend), new friendships with other fans and the stars of the show, a trip to the special Halloween event 'Nightfall at Old Tucson', and much more, it's a chance to make new memories, new friends, and celebrate your favorite western, The High Chaparral.

To register, see the hotel venue, or see information on past gatherings visit the web site at wwwthehighchaparralreunion.com. Questions? Email info@highchaparralnewsletter.com.

The High Chaparral Reunion: 2011

Schedule of Events

Early Bird Arrival - Thursday, October 20th

Fans enjoy a haunted snack at Nightfall during the 2009 Reunion

Nightfall at Old Tucson (optional)

Every October Nightfall comes to life at Old Tucson Studios, turning the entire town into a haunted asylum.  By popular demand we're putting together this optional High Chaparral group trip on Thursday evening.  Your ticket includes priority guest admission to Nightfall and round trip transportation. 

Thousands visit Old Tucson each night during October for this fantastic event. 

Why visit the mall or just a haunted house when you can have a whole haunted town? The town of Nightfall beckons visitors with a full haunted experience including three all new live shows, four haunted attractions, hideous live characters, lethal libations, vicious victuals, and terrifying trinkets. What other Tucson Halloween attraction has been ranked in Hauntworld Magazine’s Top Ten amusement park Halloween Events in the United States for two years running? Only Nightfall!

Friday, October 21

Ted Markland (Reno) chats with fans during the Sponsor's Dinner at the 2009 Reunion

9 am - noon: Welcome room for arriving fans and celebrities, meet The High Chaparral cast and crew.

Silent auction begins - shop for HC memorabilia, western items and other treasures!

Noon: Break for lunch

Afternoon: Cast Q&A, episodes, special presentations. Bring all your questions, comments, and plan to meet your favorite HC celebrity.

Evening: Sponsor’s Dinner with cast and crew. Thank you to ALL the generous sponsors who help make The High Chaparral Reunion possible.  Without you it would be impossible to bring the Stars, Cast and Crew back to Tucson. Join us for this exclusive dinner with the stars, cast and crew of The High Chaparral.

After Dinner: Cowboy Coffee, dessert and episodes

Saturday, October 22

Fans gather on the Cannon ranch house porch at the 2009 Reunion

Morning: Reunion at the Ranch. This is the big event, as we gather with the cast and crew of The High Chaparral at the original ranch location set at Old Tucson Studios.

Noon: Lunch at Old Tucson. Private lunch with all The High Chaparral stars and crew. The on-site reunion is always well attended by many who worked on the show, so enjoy getting to spend quality time with the people who were there - you'll be sure to hear lots of back stage stories, get your questions answered, and have a chance to express your appreciation.

Afternoon: Q&A, photos with stars, museum & Old Tucson tour. Old Tucson, voted "Best Western Movie Set" by True West magazine, and listed among five one-of-a-kind Tucson sites by USA Today. Old Tucson Studios features film and television shoots throughout the year and daily Wild West entertainment. Take a trail ride through High Chaparral country, get an old-tyme photo, ride the train, visit a mine, or just browse through the town of Old Tucson.

Evening: Saturday night dinner (optional).

After dinner: episodes available in meeting room

Sunday, October 23

Don Collier and Rudy Ramos at the Autograph/Photo session during the 2009 Reunion

Morning: Silent Auction ends – pay and pick up your winnings

Morning: Photo and Autograph Session. This session is always a big hit, as we get the time to take pictures with the stars, get auction items autographed, and talk over the weekend.

Noon: On your own for lunch

1:30-4:30: Tucson Tour (optional, ticket required). Many fans enjoy a chance to tour the Tucson area, see sites like San Xavier del Bac (the location for Hacienda Montoya), Saguaro National Park, and shop.

Evening: episodes



Facebook Conference with Linda Cristal

When:  Thursday, April 28th
Time:  6:00 - 6:30 p.m. PDT 

If you have signed up to be a Facebook fan of Linda's don't miss this opportunity!  Check Linda's Facebook page for registration details. 

 You'll have an opportunity to ask her questions and hear her thoughts about life.

If you're on Facebook but not yeat a friend of Linda's, just send her a friend request. She'd love to hear from all High Chaparral fans.  This free webinar will be available in English and Spanish.

Palm Springs

Palm Springs Rodeo

by Ginny Shook

On the weekend of March 23, Don Collier was one of the many Western stars who attended the Palm Springs Frank Bogert Memorial Rodeo.

Cowboys in Palm Springs? The Palm Springs Rodeo? The words hardly seem to go together. Most people, when they think of Palm Springs, picture a celebrity playground for the Hollywood set. The city has had superstar visitors as early as 1910 with Rudolph Valentino, who was arrested after his Palm Springs wedding night for being not quite divorced from the first Mrs. Valentino. In the 1930’s actor Charles Farrell (along with his wife, Janet Gaynor, the superstar Hollywood couple of the late 20’s) created the Racquet Club of Palm Springs, which attracted such legends as Spencer Tracy, Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Erroll Flynn, the Marx Brothers, Jack Benny, Ginger Rogers, Judy Garland and many others. Supposedly the Bloody Mary was invented there. The 1950’s brought the biggest names of the day - Frank Sinatra (with a piano-shaped swimming pool), and the rest of the Rat Pack, Elizabeth Taylor, who lived across the street from Dinah Shore, Loretta Young, Tony Curtis, Walt Disney (a great horseback rider), Lucy and Desi. In 1966, Elvis bought his Palm Springs home and had his honeymoon there with Priscilla. The 60’s brought out Gene Autry, Liberace, Rock Hudson, Chuck Connors, the Gabor sisters. Even politicians came to play golf and relax by the pool - Presidents Eisenhower, Regan and Ford had homes in the desert, while JFK spent many vacations in the hot sun (its been suggested that Marilyn Monroe’s residency had something to to with that). Most important of all, Cameron Mitchell and Linda Cristal both lived in Palm Springs (and Cameron is also buried there.) Current superstar residents of the Coachella Valley include Barry Manilow, Barbra Streisand, Tom Cruise, and Bill Gates.

But Palm Springs also has a long and proud Western history which makes the rodeo a natural. In the late 1930’s the small city had nine stables and only one golf course. In 1931 the Desert Riders club was formed with 200 members from all walks of life to take a morning ride through the desert. Members included such “cowboys” as Cary Grant and Clark Gable. To celebrate their western history and love of horses, Palm Springs began the Desert Circus in 1934, which included a rodeo and parade. The rodeos continued through 1989.

Palm Springs most famous mayor (no, not Sonny Bono) is always described as a crusty ex-cowboy - sort of a modern day John Cannon. He did not take off his cowboy hat when he met President Lyndon Johnson and wore his usual Western wear when he met JFK. He was known for his straight way of talking - read “not politically correct.” He raised his daughters to believe they were equal to men. At the age of 90, Bogart attributed his long-life to a daily horseback ride and a daily shot of tequila, and he lived to 99. Serving eight years as mayor, Bogart and the Palm Springs Rodeo were synonymous. Which is why the resurrected Rodeo is proudly named in his honor.

As a matter of fact, if John Cannon had just come a little further west he would have had a much easier time of building his empire. The Agua Caliente Band of Cauhuilla Indians were more accepting of the appearance of the White Man than the Arizona Apaches and assisted the early settlers in 1884 to make their home in the land of the hot mineral springs from which the tribe got its name. Those springs are still an important part of the tribe’s land today - the Agua Caliente’s Spa Resort (where Don stayed during the Rodeo) still offers baths in the magical water. If The High Chaparral ranch had been located in Palm Springs, Manolito could have had a daily warm bath instead of his usual once a month “whether I need it or not” wash.

Joining Don at the event were fellow Western stars Ted Markland, Johnny Crawford, Dan Haggarty, Ed Faulkner, Michael Dante, Andrew Prine, Ty Hardin, William Smith. Celebrities in Palm springs - as usual.. But this weekend they represented fond memories of the Old West and were once again the cowboys they portrayed.



Two Rode Together

by Ginny Shook

On the opening day of the Palm Springs Westfest, Don Collier and I sat under the warm California sun, arranging his photos for sale and watching the fans of Western TV and movies start to arrive. “I miss Bobby,” he said suddenly. “It just isn’t the same...”

Ted Markland, Don Collier, and Bob Hoy

This was the first festival Don and I had attended without Bobby Hoy and his absence at our table was almost painful. Though it was a year since Bobby’s passing, Don remarked that it seemed like yesterday. As he talked to the fans about his work on The High Chaparral, Don would point to the cowboy in the blue shirt in the cast photos. “Bobby was my brother,” was what he always told them. Not “played” his brother but “was” his brother. I knew it was true. Don and Bobby first met in 1958 at an acting class and their friendship stayed strong until the end. Though Don lives in Arizona and Bobby resided in Southern California, they talked several times a week. When there was a festival that one of them couldn’t make they would call each other every day to report what was going on, lie through their teeth about how much money they were making with autographed photos, and always assure the other that he was missed. During The High Chaparral days, if the filming took the cast out on location, Bobby and Don usually shared a room to help production manager Kent McCray save a few dollars. And they were still bunking together at the festivals forty years later.

There have been so many festivals that the Butler Brothers attended throughout the years, sharing the memories of The High Chaparral with the fans. Sometimes they’ve been with Ted Markland, sometimes with Henry Darrow. Once they had the pleasure of Linda Cristal’s company, and one stellar festival had Don, Bobby, Henry, Rudy Ramos and Roberto Contreras. Their popularity got them invited over and over to such festivals as Rex Allen Days, The Roy Rogers Festival, The Memphis Film Festival, The Cowboy Festival of Santa Clarita, Festival of the West, The Wild Western Festival, The Hollywood Collectors and Autograph Show, The Old Tucson Autograph Show, Lone Pine Film Festival and others. And of course, The High Chaparral Reunion.

It has been my joy and privilege to attend many of these shows with Don and Bobby (and Ted and Henry and Rudy), helping them sell their photos and act as a sort of personal manager. I’ve tried, throughout the years, to encourage The High Chaparral fans to come to any event that was nearby and spend some time with these great guys. High Chaparral fans meant the world to them and if they met you, you became a friend.


But that time is coming to an end as all good things do. Its not the same without Bobby; the linchpin who held the group together. “Hey, I’m old,” proclaimed Don, as he called me for directions into Palm Springs for the third time in an hour. He will be 83 this October, a week before this year’s High Chaparral Reunion. The hustle and bustle required to come out and meet the fans is tiring. He thinks its time to put away the photos and Sharpie pen.

There is one last place you will be able to meet Sam Butler, Manolito Montoya, Wind, and Reno and that is at The High Chaparral Reunion, October 21-23, 2011 in Old Tucson. This get-together is even better than a Western festival or autograph show. Fans get to spend quality time with their favorites. Share a table for a chat. Rub elbows at dinner. Buy them a cocktail. The the cast and crew are so happy to be together again that their infectious spirit creates a loving family which includes the fans. I think that the 2011 Reunion may be the last time this happens. Maybe not - I hope not. But there is a chance. Don’t take that gamble. Make your reservation for the Reunion today.

Henry Darrow, Soda Springs

The film Soda Springs (‘ It’s never to late to be what you might have been’ starring Jay Pickett and tom Skerritt) was an official selection for the Beverly Hills Film Festival on April 9. 

Henry Darrow appears in Soda Springs as El Quijano, a mystical Mexican.  According to Henry, appearing on a horse was a requirement for this role, and although he hadn’t been in the saddle for 20 years he got on the horse.  He said it took over two hours to get unbent and off!

Watch for Henry in Soda Springs, and catch a great photo of him on the Soda Springs web site in the cast section. 

The Importance of Good
Supporting Characters: Part One

W. St.Germain

This month, we begin a three part series about the importance of supporting cast in filmed productions; in this case, television shows. However wonderful the main cast is, without good supporting cast, a show can flounder. These performers are there to act as more than space fillers. They help to make the main cast shine even brighter by functioning as contrasts and by revealing characteristics that would otherwise remain hidden.  These relationships give an added dimension to the whole show. While they do enhance the roles of the stars, good supporting cast can also become important in themselves. However, if the person playing them doesn’t breathe life into their character it shows. It occurred to me that the exceptional supporting cast of High Chaparral deserved to be recognized in their own right. That is what this series will be about. Since there are many excellent examples, it will be done in three parts. In this issue, we feature Don Collier, Bob Hoy, Rudolpho Acosta, and Marie Gomez.

Don Collier as Sam Butler in the episode Follow Your Heart

Don Collier (Sam Butler)
Already a seasoned actor prior to joining the cast, Don Collier is a rancher/cowboy in real life and it shows in his portrayal of Sam Butler.  The leadership he displayed as Marshall Will Foreman in The Outlaws is still evident in his role as Foreman Sam Butler.  Incidentally, while Don started out as deputy in The Outlaws, he soon became Marshall! His screen presence is too special to be ignored. Sam can best be described as an onion (I can see Don’s face reading this). Every time you think that you know him, a new layer is revealed. Don’s character provides an excellent example of how supporting characters each have a story of their own, even if that story remains a mystery to the viewer. That in itself adds another facet to their character.

I often wondered why Sam never had a love interest. To discover (in the episode Follow Your Heart) that he was married, and had a daughter came as a great surprise to me. I wonder if any other actor could have pulled that one off as believably as he did. Using few words, we see the depth of Sam’s love for his wife, Trini, played by the wonderful actress Miriam Colon. When she lies dying in his arms, we can’t help but weep with him. Again using few words, we see Sam’s great respect for Big John, allowing us to see another side of John when he returns that respect.  Strong, honest, confident and loyal are all words to describe how we view this character. To learn that these are qualities that Don Collier possesses in real life comes as no surprise.

Bob Hoy as Joe Butler in the episode Follow Your Heart

Bob Hoy (Joe Butler)
Stuntman, stunt-coordinator and actor, Bob Hoy put a lot more into the show than many people realize. Bob plays Joe Butler, ranch hand and younger brother to Sam. In his trademark blue shirt (and gorgeous moustache) there was something about Bob that always made you notice him. Even if he’s just in the background, you know he’s there. While brother Sam played the authority figure in the bunkhouse, and did it well, Joe Butler demonstrates a similar strength and toughness that is slightly different but just as obvious. One of the wonderful, but subtle, characteristics Don and Bob managed to produce is a genuine belief that these two men really were brothers. You can believe that they were raised together; there’s a sameness in them and yet each is unique.

  One of the most endearing features of Joe’s character is his childlike view of the world. Childlike? Definitely. Children tend to have a very cut and dry attitude toward life. People are right or wrong, good or bad, with nothing in between. Theirs is a world of black and white. As we grow older, we become aware that shades of gray exist. Joe Butler did not. While he is every inch a strong, mentally and physically tough man, only Bob could have made this ‘black and white’ characteristic endearing. In others, it would have come across as narrow minded. It is another example of how a superior supporting actor adds color to a show. One of Hollywood’s top stuntman, Bob went on to do a great many other things – including stunt work on the original Star Trek series.

Penny’s Tribute Issue to Bob did much more to describe his contribution to High Chaparral and the business in general than I could do in this space so I suggest that if you haven’t already read it, go to: http://highchaparralnewsletter.com/Archives/BobbyHoy_2010.html

Rudy Acosta as Vaquero

Rudolpho Acosta (Vaquero)
One of the most successful character actors of his time was Rudolpho ‘Rudy’ Acosta. Hugely popular in Mexican cinema and winning the Mexican version of the Oscar, Rudy made nearly 100 film and television appearances, including his role as Vaquero. Vaquero was an employee of the Chaparral’s previous owners who stays on to work with for John. Rudy smooths out a lot of edges in this show. He is seen as cook, ranch hand, cattle herder and anything else required. His knowledge of the Apache and their ways makes him an important character, especially when Mano, the only other person to speak fluent Apache, is absent. Vaquero is one of the Chaparral’s most flexible individuals.

   Despite being someone who can do many types of work, Rudy manages to make Vaquero a man who you would trust to do anything. Whether he is assisting Victoria as she removes a bullet from someone, acts as translator between John and the Indians or cooking a meal, you know he’ll do it well. It takes a special kind of talent to be given the role of jack-of-all-trades and not come across looking like you are nothing more than an unskilled worker who hangs around the place. Rudy made Vaquero important to the ranch. All of this he did with a quiet dignity that made him another memorable cast member.

    Marie Gomez (Perlita)

Marie Gomez as Perlita Flores

Although she only appears in four episodes (incredible isn’t it!) Marie Gomez’s portrayal of Perlita Flores is so outstanding that we love to see her. This fiery, beautiful woman must have been exhausted after each performance. She put so much into them. You can tell that Marie loved working on High Chaparral. As Perlita, she creates a perfect blend of mischievous flirt, who has no qualms about receiving dresses stolen from Victoria, to a fiery tempest when things don’t go her way. She often behaves in a shameless manner, acting as a perfect contrast to Victoria’s dignified grace. Yet both women are stunningly beautiful and can be relied on when it really counts.

  Perlita’s passionate, sometimes selfish, ‘live for the moment’ attitude acts to magnify Victoria’s personality that much more. Yet despite Perlita’s less appealing characteristics, Marie presents such an exquisite blend of naughtiness, charm and inherent goodness that we can’t help but love her. Marie is quoted as saying that Champion of the Western World was her favorite episode. Jan wrote a wonderful article about her at http://blog.highchaparralnewsletter.com/?p=334

    Next month, we will look at Ted Markland (Reno), Jerry Summers (Ira), Anthony Caruso (El Lobo) and Roberto Contreras (Pedro).

A letter from Venezuela

by Carlos Javier

Editor's note: as a 14 year old, Carlos tried to get to the U.S. to attend a Reunion when he first found the fan groups in 2008. Since then he's studied English at school, started South American-centric Facebook HC groups, and convinced his mother to join him as he travels to Tucson this October to the 2011 High Chaparral Reunion.

Hello Everyone! My name is Carlos Javier, I'm 16 years old, I'm from Venezuela, I like so much the High Chaparral; to me is the best TV Western. I saw the High Chaparral 3 or 4 years ago, I don't remember what episode was the first which I watched... Only I remember that when it finished I said "I liked it!", I was looking for a good Western and finally I found it! My favorite episode is "Ten little Indians" is the best, I like it because it was so hard with the kids, first the language, second everyone in the ranch said something different like we must go and come back with Cochise, another cowboy said we must to kill them, it's a really fun episode. When the High Chaparral was by TCM almost all my relatives were with me, my grandmother, my mother, my aunt and one cousin always were with me watching the HC, it was not necessary to be together at the same place, every afternoon we were watching it.

Now I'm sure that I'll be with all of you in Tucson, the last reunion I wanted to be there but I couldn't, I didn't have the American Visa, finally we got the American Visa so I'm going to be there with my mom, my grandmother would like to go with us but she doesn't have Visa and here is really hard to get it. Now we are registered; to us is not easy to travel, even is hard to travel to Colombia! Because some laws are hurting us, but I won't talk about my country now, if you want to know something about Venezuela you could write me or add me on Facebook, I don't have any problem with. I think you are asking yourself, Why did he write here ? Well, I was reading the HC Newsletter and I saw something like "If you want to write an article just send it and later it's going to be on the next HC Newsletter". Then I say "Yeah it is going to be amazing to write on!"; I'm going to tell you what the people thinks about the High Chaparral here, hope you enjoy it!

First I must begin making a question: Why do you like the High Chaparral ? I think the High Chaparral is one of the best American Westerns because it is not a simple cowboy history, it's about a long time ago in AZ with Cannon's family, of course like everybody know in America have been making a lot of good westerns for many years. Here in Latin America we like all the American films, because are amazing; in my country Venezuela a lot of people loves the High Chaparral for the actors, the history and many other things, when the HC was on TCM a lot of people was commenting about! It was incredible, some of my friends said "Did you look when John Cannon said that, Did you look this, this and this...?". Hope the HC come back soon to Latin America! Also I hope to meet you face to face in October. Thank you so much.


DVDSeason Three Release of
High Chaparral on DVD

English/German audio

Season 3 of The High Chaparral will be released on June 9th and is available now for pre-order from Amazon Germany.

The DVDs of The High Chaparral in English and German is available from Kinowelt, a leading film distributor and DVD provider in Germany.

Seasons 1 and 2 DVDs are also available on Amazon Germany.

The Kinowelt DVDs are in PAL (European) format with both German and English language versions in Dolby sound. In the U.S an all region/all format DVD player is required to read the PAL formatted discs, however many newer model players are all region. Check the manufacturer/model documentation to be certain. Computer DVD players will often play back a PAL formatted disk so the episodes can be watched that way if the TV DVD player won't accept the PAL format.

The first season set includes the two hour pilot. Episodes on the Kinowelt set have crystal clear, crisp sound and picture quality. Regular season episodes are complete and uncut and of exceptionally high resolution.

Do you have a favorite piece of memorabilia, or an article you'd like to share with other fans? Send it to info@highchaparralnewsletter.com, and we'll do our best to add it to a future newsletter.

Search past editions of the newsletter by topic on the Newsletter Blog.
Selected translation in Spanish available on the Spanish Newsletter Blog, El Gran Chaparral Noticias.

Past issues of the newsletter are available
on The High Chaparral Newsletter Web site.

High Chaparral, Cameron Mitchell as Buck Cannon, Mark Slade as Blue Cannon, Leif Erickson as Big John Cannon

High Chaparral on the Web

The Official High Chaparral website
The High Chaparral Reunion website
The High Chaparral Newsletter
The High Chaparral Newsletter - searchable articles
El Gran Chaparral Noticias

High Chaparral Fan Fiction
High Chaparral Dutch Fan Site
Getting To Know You with Susan McCray
Linda Cristal
Don Collier
Henry Darrow
The Henry Darrow Biography, Lightning in a Bottle
Bob Hoy
Ted Markland
Susan McCray
Nightfall by Susan McCray
Rudy Ramos
Mark Slade
Out West Entertainment
SmartGuy.com (by Jordan Wexler and Linda Cristal)

AUDIO interviews with The High Chaparral cast & crew