Went to schools in Ramona and Bartlesville, OK
Worked as a rancher and performed in rodeos
Was hired to deliver a herd of horses to the location shooting of the Western feature, "The Outlaw" (released 1943), at the time being directed by Howard Hawks but later taken over by producer Howard Hughes; ended up working as a stuntman and a wrangler
Occasionally did other work as a stuntman, wrangler and riding double for actors including James Stewart and Joel McCrea during the 1940s
Made film debut in a bit part in the Abbott and Costello comedy, "The Naughty Nineties"
Reputedly saved the lives of several crew members during a wagon accident while working on "Fort Apache"; came to the attention of John Ford, who placed him under personal contract
Played first major acting role in "Three Godfathers", directed by Ford; film also marked first of six acting appearances with John Wayne and the first of eight with Harry Carey, Jr.
First leading role in a feature, "Mighty Joe Young"
Last leading role for a number of years, "Wild Stallion"
Last film for three years, "Shane"; concentrated for a time on his rodeo career; became RCA world champion team roper
Returned to features in "Rebel in Town"
Played leads again in "Fort Bowie" (1958) and "Tomboy and the Champ" (1961)
Last film with director John Ford, "Cheyenne Autumn"
First film with director Sam Peckinpah, "Major Dundee"
First film with director Andrew V. McLaglen, "The Rare Breed"
Played Sleeve on the ABC Western drama series, "The Monroes"
Made TV-movie debut in an adaptation of John Steinbeck's novella, "The Red Pony"
Received top billing in both "The Town That Dreaded Sundown" and "Grayeagle"
First TV miniseries, "The Sacketts"
Played a leading role in a short film about an aging cowboy, "The Last Ride"
Appeared on the Arts & Entertainment network's western documentary miniseries, "Legends of the American West"
Received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
Final TV-movie, Showtime's "Ruby Jean and Joe"
Final screen appearance, "Evening Star"