"Jess" From 'Laramie': Where Is Robert Fuller Today?
When one thinks of Robert Fuller, dry landscapes, gruff cowboys and shootouts immediately spring to mind. However, the handsome actor also starred in many other roles.
Robert Fuller had the sort of rise to fame that almost never happens in today's Hollywood. The western star worked as a stuntman at the beginning of his career and was only being given minor parts, such as in the cult-classic Gentlemen Prefer Blondes starring Marilyn Monroe in 1953.
Robert Fuller: From stuntman to worldwide star
Upon his return from serving in the Korean War in 1955, he was able to bag ever bigger guest roles in Hollywood productions, until he was cast in the starring role in Laramie, which was his big breakthrough.
Robert Fuller as "Jess Harper"
His reputation as a hardcore western hero was cemented in 1959 when he became famous worldwide as "Jess Harper". He was even the first American ever to be awarded the Japanese Golden Order of Merit in 1961. He became even more popular when he starred in the box-office hit Return of the Magnificent Seven.
Despite his success in the genre, western films were declining in popularity. This meant that Fuller had to turn his considerable talent to new story lines. From 1971 to 1979 he played Dr. Kelly Brackett in the medical drama series Emergency!, a role that the producer had to persuade him to take on.
Robert Fuller: Guest roles galore
By the eighties Fuller was a fully-fledged television veteran and was able to make a sizeable income from guest appearances on various TV series throughout the eighties and nineties. He appeared in Murder, She Wrote, The Fall Guy and J.A.G.. His last television appearance was in the action series Walker, Texas Ranger with Chuck Norris (77) in 2001.
He has been married to his wife Jennifer Savidge (65) since 2001. He was married to his first wife Patricia Lee Lyon for twenty-two years, before the couple divorced in 1984. They have three children together. He moved to Texas with Jennifer in 2004 and the two of them have a horse ranch there. Fuller has been retired since 2001 and occasionally meets fans at western events.