All Inductees

Dean Smith

Dean Smith was born in Breckenridge, Texas. He attended high school in Graham, and while in high school he entered his first rodeo in the bareback riding division. He received amateur championships in both bareback riding and calf roping.

Dean was an exceptional athlete and participated in both football and track. Due to his great athleticism, he received a track scholarship to the University of Texas at Austin where he majored in education. He played half back for the Southwest Conference Champion Texas Longhorns. In addition, he received All Southwest Conference and All American honors in the 100 yard dash in 1952, 1954, and 1955. In 1952, he also participated in the Olympic Games in Helsinki, Finland. There he was a member of the gold medal winning 400 meter dash team and placed fourth in the 100 meter dash.

After college, he enlisted in the Army and completed basic training at Fort Ord in California. After an honorable discharge from the Army and a small stint playing professional football with the Los Angeles Rams and the Pittsburg Steelers, Dean decided to enter the motion picture industry. Dean enjoyed his part as a cowboy and stuntman in a variety of movies, including The Alamo, How the West Was Won, Rio Lobo, The Birds, Maverick and many, many more. He also acted in a number of television programs including Tales of Wells Fargo, Maverick, Gunsmoke, Lawman, Have Gun Will Travel, The Iron Horse, Walker, Texas Ranger and many more. He worked under directors such as Early Bellamy,  John Ford, Howard Hawks, Alfred Hitchcock, Cliff Lyons, John Wayne, and Steven Speilberg.

He is a member of the Screen Actors Guild and a charter member of the Stuntman’s Association of Motion Pictures. He is also an honorary member of the PRCA and in 2002 he had the Dean Smith Celebrity Rodeo benefiting the American Cancer Society with a tribute to Ben Johnson. In 2004 he had the DSCR benefiting the John Wayne Cancer Institute with a tribute to John Wayne.

He has received a number of awards for his various accomplishments. In 2000 he received the American Culture Award for Western Movies and television. In 1998 and 1997 he received the Golden Boot Award and All American Cowboy Award respectively. Dean was also inducted into three separate Halls of Fame: the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in 1985, the Stuntman’s Hall of Fame in 1980 and the University of Texas Hall of Fame in 1980.

When Dean speaks of those who have most influenced his life, he credits a number of personalities. However, the most notable are his grandmother, Mrs. Ollie Smith; his high school coach John Litte; his college coach Clyde Littlefield; James Garner, television/motion picture star who gave him his first start in films; Dale Robertson, who he doubled for in “Tales of Wells Fargo,” John Wane, who he did almost 10 movies with; and Ben Johnson, a cowboy and friend who encouraged him to go back to rodeo to help others. He also offers a special thanks to the cowboy stars and heroes of the 1930s, 40s, and 50s.