Eric Fleming said that being a Western star was the "healthiest job"
Forget your workout class, just star in a Western series.
The real life of a cowboy can seem a little rough and tumble, and while many kids fantasize about living a life on the Western frontier, you can count your lucky stars that you were born in a period with indoor plumbing. Nomadic and mettlesome, the life of a cowboy is not for the faint of heart. In fact, it might be the very last job you ever take on.
However, the life of an actor playing a cowboy sounds pretty neat. Just ask Eric Fleming, star of the long-running Western series, Rawhide. Fleming freely shared his positive beliefs on the profession. He said, "Working in a Western is the healthiest job an actor can have."
Fleming explained that playing the character of Gil Favor actually helped benefit his quality of life. He stated, "After almost a year in the wide open spaces, I'm in top-notch physical condition." He added, "My heart bleeds these days for all those Broadway actors forced to play those sophisticated roles which are ruining their health."
It's high praise for the occupation, especially considering that Fleming won the role immediately following an incredibly restful vacation, no doubt rehabilitating his health. The trip was Fleming's reward to himself after years of work on stage and screen. He commented, "For the first time in my life, I had the time and the money for a long vacation. It probably will never happen again."
After returning, Fleming barely had time to collect his bearings before he was offered the role of a lifetime in Rawhide. He said, "When you're not looking for work, that's when you get it. I stopped in Hollywood to visit some friends and never got any farther."
But while living the fake life of a cowboy means that you get unlimited exercise and time in the great outdoors, that doesn't mean that there are no drawbacks. After Fleming left the series years later and appeared in the comedy film Glass Bottom Boat, he joked, "You can't imagine how pleasant it is to work with a washed face and have a rug under your feet. And with girls. There is something deadly about working for seven years with a male cast."