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post Don Collier That Face, That Voice

December 12th, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 7:29 pm

Don Collier

Don Collier as Sam Butler in The High Chaparral

By Ginny Shook

There is a newspaper article posted on Don Collier’s website titled “That Face, That Voice” and I have to admit, those are the words that always jump into my head when I think of Don, or as we know him, Sam Butler, foreman of The High Chaparral ranch. While That Face is still cowboy-handsome despite – or because of – 80 plus years of living (those baby blue eyes!) That Voice is really Don’s claim to fame. It is deep, powerful, commanding and soothing all at once. Perhaps it should be declaiming Shakespeare. Even if the Bard’s plays were not your cup of tea, you’d stay in your seat if Don created what would be an imposing King Lear, a stirring Prospero or, given his slightly expanded waistline, a warm and full of life Falstaff.

He has done it all (except for the Shakespeare). Back in the day, he appeared in plays (The Tender Trap and The Detective), starred in the NBC Western Outlaws as Marshal Will Foreman, followed by a co-starring role in a soap opera called Ben Jerrod. In between were guest-starring roles on all the TV Westerns of the day – The Virginian, Bonanza, Death Valley Days, Branded, Gunsmoke, Wagon Train. He was equally talented out of the saddle in shows like Perry Mason and Kraft Suspense Theatre. He has done movies with John Wayne, Anthony Quinn and Audie Murphy, and had a great fight scene with Elvis. And besides his co-starring role in The High Chaparral, he was also a regular on the TV show Young Riders.

Don Collier

Don Collier

That Voice was the host for the PBS series The Desert Speaks for 12 seasons. Don has pitched products from smoke detectors to bubble gum (the Hubba Bubba Gum Fighter is still a legend). More recently That Voice has been popular providing assurance to the voters in commercials for Arizona politicians (Don’s home state). Wouldn’t you believe anything That Voice told you?

You can also hang on his every word three times a week on the Sirus/XM radio show Fred’s Trailer Park Bash, with Fred Imus and Nicole Cox. The show starts off with Don reciting The Pledge of Allegiance. Nothing is more soul-stirring.

Don has no intention of lending That Voice to Shakespeare but luckily for us, he enjoys using his talent to bring us stories of the Old West on CD. West of the Story are four true stories of the West, with Don playing a fictional character in the midst of such history as the gunfight at the OK Corral. Arizona Twilight Tales are six spooky stories of Arizona folklore. Turn out the lights and have Don’s voice send a chill as he tells of what the devil gets up to on Highway 666, or warns of the evil stone of the Hualapai Indians. Click here to listen to an excerpt.

That Face, That Voice is showing no signs of slowing down and is still in demand for everything from personal appearances (come see him at the Palm Springs Rodeo in March) to voice-overs. Don recently recorded two Halloween poems that can only be described as creepy and there is hope for another CD in the near future.

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