Plainfield, Indiana, a suburb of Indianapolis, is quite a small town. Due to its proximity to the Indianapolis International Airport, it is generally a jumping off point for tourists looking to take in Indianapolis attractions, Indianapolis events, or an Indianapolis sports game. As a result, there aren’t too many Plainfield famous people. The town’s famous population is largly outweighed by Indianapolis famous people, who number well into the dozens. However, this small Indiana town does have one strong-jawed claim to fame: actor Forrest Tucker.
Forrest Tucker was born in 1919 and played in over 100 action movies, several television shows, and a few theatrical performances in the United States. He began his career at the age of 14 in Chicago, though he was not working films back then. Instead, he was part of the famous World’s Fair, working as a singer and entertainer. Later, he worked at a burlesque theatre in Washington D.C. before joining the United States Army Cavalry; however, Tucker was kicked out after the Army found out he was underage.
|Promotional video for a documentary about Forrest Tucker, a Plainfield, Indiana native|
He appeared in his first major Hollywood film, The Westerner, in 1940. He played alongside the legendary Gary Cooper in that film and was eventually signed to Columbia. Ten years later, he had a breakthrough role as Corporal Thomas in the classic WWII film, The Sands of Iwo Jima, where he performed with John Wayne. After The Sands of Iwo Jima, Forrest Tucker brought his talents to dozens of action films, including The Crawling Eye, Rock Island Trail, and Rage at Dawn.
On Broadway, Forrest Tucker played Harold Hill in The Music Man over 2,000 times, including a run in Chicago that lasted over a year. Following his second Broadway role on Fair Game for Lovers, this famous Plainfield native began a lucrative television career. Perhaps his best known series was F Troop, a show that began in 1965 about the misadventures of a post-Civil War battalion full of misfits. Forrest Tucker played Sgt. Morgan O’Rourke, a crooked and clever officer who runs an illegal saloon and cuts deals with the local tribe of Native Americans.
|Video of bloopers from F-Troop starring Forrest Tucker, a Plainfield, Indiana native|
After F Troop was canceled in 1967, Forrest Tucker starred in three other television series, Dusty’s Trail, The Ghost Busters, and Filthy Rich. Aside from starring, Tucker also made countless guest appearances on many popular shows, including a frequently syndicated Western drama, Gunsmoke. Forrest Tucker passed away in 1986, five months after his final film was released. He leaves a lasting legacy of pulse pounding action movies and wildly entertaining television shows. Forrest Tucker may be one of the few famous people from Plainfield, but the world of stage and screen is certainly better for his influence.
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