The early stages of Western star Walter Reed's acting career played almost in reverse. Raised in Los Angeles among the sons and daughters of prominent performers during the Great Depression, Reed skipped town at 17 and rode the rails to New York, where he broke into the Industry as a Broadway performer. Reportedly aided by fellow Western icon Joel McCrea, Reed returned home years later and made his true Hollywood debut as a platoon leader in a 1941 military training film. Reed quickly became a staple in the machismo-driven Western genre, giving his most famous performance as a cowardly stagecoach driver in the 1956 Budd Boetticher picture "Seven Men from Now," which proved to be the director's most famous effort. Throughout the '50s, Reed enjoyed branching out from his reputation as a cowboy. In 1950, he played a pilot in the sci-fi serial "Flying Disc Man from Mars," and later a foreman in "Superman and the Mole-Men." In the latter half of the decade, Reed made a graceful transition into television, where he soon found himself appearing on half a dozen series per year. Among his more memorable stints were as a newscaster on the family comedy "Dennis the Menace" and a gaggle of guest appearances on the detective drama "77 Sunset Strip." Reed retired from acting in 1972.