Full name, Billy Dennis Weaver; born June 4, 1924, in Joplin, MO; died of prostate cancer, February 24, 2006, in Ridgway, CO. Actor, producer, and director. Weaver was best known for his roles as western lawmen: he appeared as Deputy Chester Goode in the television series Gunsmoke for nine seasons, from 1955 to 1964, and in the 1970s played the title role of Deputy Sam McCloud in the series McCloud. Weaver began his acting career on Broadway in1950 but soon headed to Hollywood, where he starred in both films and television. Weaver made his mark in series television, including Kentucky Jones, Gentle Ben, Emerald Point N.A.S., and Buck James. He appeared in numerous television movies, such as Duel, Ishi: The Last of His Tribe, and The Return of Sam McCloud, which he also co-executive produced. Weaver directed several episodes of Gunsmoke. Though Weaver was known primarily for his television work, he starred in dozens of feature films, including The Bridges at Toko-Ri, Seven Angry Men, Touch of Evil, and Gentle Giant. Weaver served as president of the Screen Actors Guild in the early 1970s and was founder and presidentof LIFE (Love Is Feeding Everyone), an anti-hunger organization. An avid environmentalist, Weaver built a solar-powered home in Colorado with recycled tires and cans.