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Celebrities Attend Dedication of Spencer’s Mountain (1963)

Cactus and Peggy Davis Pryor

Silent | 1963

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  •  Actress Maureen O’Hara 
  •  Broadcaster and entertainer Arthur Godfrey 
  •  Arthur Godfrey front left of wagon 
  •  Television Personality Art Linkletter (back left) and Director Delmer Daves (front right) 
  •  Maureen O’Hara (L) and Henry Fonda (R) in wagon 
  •  Art Linkletter (R) with wife Lois Foerster (L) 
  •  Maureen O’Hara (R) 
  •  Henry Fonda (R)  
  •  Actress Mimsy Farmer (R) 
  •  Actor James MacArthur (L) with wife, TV actress Joyce Bulifant 
  •  Arthur Godfrey (L) with actress Bronwyn Fitzsimmons (Maureen O’Hara’s daughter) 
  •  Mimsy Farmer 
  •  Joyce Bulifant (L) and James MacArthur (R) 
  •  Miss Wyoming Gretchen Stainbrook on left with Bulifant and MacArthur  
  •  Henry Fonda, James MacArthur, Art Linkletter, Mimsy Farmer, Arthur Godfrey, Wyoming Governor Clifford Hansen, United States Senator from Wyoming Gale W. McKee, and Delmer Daves (L-R) 
  •  Bronwyn Fitzsimmons, Maureen O’Hara, Henry Fonda, Art Linkletter, and Mimsy Farmer (L-R)  
  •  Arthur Godfrey speaking at center  
  •  Governor Hansen, Senator McKee, Delmer Daves, and Jackson Mayor Henry Clissold  
  •  Henry Fonda and Maureen O’Hara, stars of Spencer’s Mountain, at center  
  •  Mayor Clissold reading a proclamation at center, dedicating Spencer’s Mountain  
  •  Delmer Daves accepting the proclamation on behalf of the film 
  •  Art Linkletter speaking at center 
 
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This film documents a press junket and celebration of the dedication of Spencer’s Mountain that led up to the premiere of the film, “Spencer’s Mountain,” in Jackson, Wyoming on May 31, 1963. The dedication of the mountain, which overlooks the town of Jackson, was inspired by the 1963 film of the same name. The cast of the film, as well as Miss Wyoming, Jackson Mayor Henry Clissold, Wyoming Governor Clifford Hansen, and U.S. Senator Gale McKee attended the event and are captured in this footage. Scenes of stars Henry Fonda, Maureen O’Hara, Mimsy Farmer, James MacArthur, Bronwyn Fitzsimmons, Joyce Bulifant, Art Linkletter, and Arthur Godfrey are are also included. Austin Television Personality Cactus Pryor was among the 250 members of the nation's press invited to attend the weekend-long event and interview the stars of the film. The group begins the day in a wagon parade, takes a chairlift up the mountain for the dedication, then explores the region, stopping to see a brown bear and hot springs, both common in the area.
Richard S. "Cactus" Pryor was a comedic television and broadcast personality from Austin, Texas. Cactus, an Austin native, was born in 1923, straight into the entertainment business. His father owned the Cactus Theater on Congress Avenue (hence the nickname), and starting at just 3 years old, Cactus made stage appearances before the shows began. Cactus attended the University of Texas and served in the US Army Air Corp. When he returned to Austin from his service in 1944, Cactus joined the broadcasting team at Lady Bird Johnson's KLBJ radio station, where he worked until 2008. He joined the world of broadcast television at KTBC in 1951 where he was program manager and hosted a variety of television programs, including a football program with Darrell K Royal and many celebrity interviews. Cactus appeared in two films with his friend John Wayne, Hellfighters and The Green Berets. Throughout the 1960s and 70s, he became a sought-after speaker and event host, famous for his roasts of entertainers and politicians, most of whom he counted as close friends. Cactus was also known for his disguises. He would appear at functions in character, often pulling a fast one on the crowd as he charmed them first in disguise, then again as he revealed himself and used his earlier conversations to entertain the crowd. As an active member of the Headliners Club of Austin, Pryor starred in many humorous television news satires alongside Texas politicians, some of which can be seen in his film collection, as well as the Gordon Wilkison Collection and the Wallace and Euna Pryor Collection  He was nationally-known, but kept Austin his home, helping put the city on the map in the 60s and 70s. Cactus Pryor announced to his KLBJ listeners in 2007 that he had Alzheimer's disease, and Austin's "original funnyman" died in 2011.