Norman Brendon Boone, Jr. was born on February 26, 1938, in Meridian, Mississippi, to the Reverend Dr. Norman Boone, Sr. and Leola (Speed) Boone. After studying architecture, English and theology (first at Georgia Tech and then at Emory University) Brendon transferred to the prestigious theater arts program at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida, where his portrayal of ‘Sakini’ in the Annie Russell Theater stage production of TEAHOUSE OF THE AUGUST MOON won widespread acclaim and attracted the attention of Hollywood producers. After a brief stint studying in New York, Brendon was summoned to Hollywood to star in THE JAMES BOYS as ‘Jessie James’. With this series project shelved, 20th Century Fox cast him in an opening cameo in FANTASTIC VOYAGE just to get a look at him on the big screen. While this assignment introduced him and Stephen Boyd to a lifelong friendship subsequently leading to their starring together in another film, the studio seemed too sluggish to Brendon in determining his next assignment which netted his writing and starring in his own project, THE TORMENTED YEARS with Jane Russell’s brother Jamie directing. The next career progression had Brendon’s winning the coveted continuing role of ‘Roman Bedford’ in RAWHIDE. The episode, DUEL AT DAYBREAK, which introduced his character graced him with the strong players, Clint Eastwood and Charles Bronson, though the series was facing its demise with the transition from black and white to color.
ABC hired Brendon to create the role of ‘Chief’ in ASSAULT!, a WWII Pacific theater series pilot which ultimately aired as a special on ABC. After guest-starring roles on TV in such shows as BONANZA and THE VIRGINIAN, ABC rehired Brendon to recreate the role of ‘Chief’ in another WWII action series, GARRISON’S GORILLAS, as the enigmatic, knife-wielding half-breed Indian which earned him Golden Globe Award recognition from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association in the category: Most Popular TV Star - Male. Career milestones to follow included his portrayal of ‘Hawk’ in GUNSMOKE, yielding the highest rating in the series’ history, an accomplishment acknowledged in full-page trade paper ads (THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER and THE DAILY VARIETY) by both CBS and series star/co-owner James Arness. Rejecting the notion of perpetuating HAWK as a series spin-off, Brendon turned to guest-starring roles in several episodes of QUINCY, ME and EMERGENCY. This followed with other episodic outings in such as FALCON CREST, FANTASY ISLAND, JAKE AND THE FAT MAN, AIRWOLF, B.J. AND THE BEAR, CODE RED, KNIGHT RIDER, ADAM-12, THE NEW DRAGNET, SWITCH, NIGHT WATCH, THE RED SKELTON SHOW, a GOMER PYLE, USMC trilogy, and SUPERIOR COURT with Raymond St. Jacques, not to mention forays into daytime serials with stints on THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS and GENERAL HOSPITAL. Intermittent were starring roles in TV movies, including THE STEEL INFERNO, THE HANGED MAN, DEATH RACE and THE HOSTAGE HEART, along with the mini-series HANGING BY A THREAD and THE NIGHT THE BRIDGE FELL DOWN. In the international co-production theatrical feature motion picture, THE BIG GAME (with locations in Cape Town, South Africa, Rome, and Hong Kong) Brendon starred with France Nuyen as his love interest, Stephen Boyd - his confidant, Ray Milland as his father and Cameron Mitchell rounding out the cast.
Brendon's strong and abiding faith was instilled early and evolved through a lifetime of experiences. From his Southern upbringing during the turbulent Civil Rights era when his father was serving as the President of the Mississippi Ministerial Association, Brendon’s affinity for his brethren intensified through the years. From these early struggles for Civil Rights in the deep South to Brendon’s single-father experiences raising his son (Norman Brendon Boone, III) emerges his PREACHER AND CO - a story of love, brotherhood, loyalty and redemption.
After a worldwide book-signing tour, Brendon will be retiring to life in his magnificent Magnolia Manor in Thousand Oaks, California, where he resides with his wife, actress Karen Jensen. In recent years, as they were beginning their married life, Karen was featured in Tom Lisanti’s book (FANTASY FEMMES OF SIXTIES CINEMA: INTERVIEWS WITH 20 ACTRESSES FROM BIKER, BEACH, AND ELVIS MOVIES) in which her chapter introduces their marriage along with the then-developing PREACHER AND CO.
An invitation to get acquainted with PREACHER AND CO is urged. We think you’ll be glad you made their acquaintance.