Dean Smith’s Amazing Story

He won an Olympic Gold Medal in Helsinki. He rubbed elbows with Hollywood royalty like John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara. He performed stunts in "McClintock!" and "Cheyenne." And now the 81-year-old former stunt man is publishing his memoir, "Cowboy Stuntman: From Olympic Gold to the Silver Screen."
Mon April 1, 2013 9:30 am
Dean Smith (left) with James Garner (right) on the set of the television series "Maverick" around 1978.
Courtesy of Texas Tech University Press
The wood-paneled walls and shelves of Dean Smith’s modest home, about twenty miles south of Graham in rural Stephens County, are cluttered with photographs and memorabilia from a lifetime and then some. A visitor might think he had stumbled into the living room of a real-life Forrest Gump.

In one photo, Smith is in a tuxedo next to the former First Lady Nancy Reagan at a John Wayne Cancer Institute event in 2006. Documentary footage shows a much younger Smith teaching the late George Plimpton how to ride a horse in preparation for an appearance in the 1970 film Rio Lobo. In another photo, Smith poses in drag next to Maureen O’Hara on the set of the 1963 Western McLintock! (“He doesn’t make a very pretty woman,” his wife, Debby, affectionately observed.)

A blown-up image shows the photo finish of the 100-meter dash at the

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