Western Heritage Awards salute works in literature, music, television and film

About 1,200 people attended the 52nd Western Heritage Awards banquet and reception Saturday at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City.
By Karen Klinka, For The Oklahoman Modified: April 20, 2013 at 9:55 pm •  Published: April 21, 2013

Images of an American West parched for water and hope during the decadelong Dustbowl in the 1930s. The adventures of a slave-turned-bounty hunter in the Old West.

An Oklahoma-born, full-blooded Cherokee transforming himself into a respected actor known for his fierce portrayals of American Indian warriors on film and television.

These images, personas and more received awards, honor and praise Saturday during the 52nd Western Heritage Awards. About 1,200 people attended banquet and reception at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63.

Established in 1961, the Western Heritage Awards salute works in literature, music, television and film that best portray the history and culture of the American West. This year's Wrangler awards, a bronze sculpture of a cowboy on horseback, were presented for works completed in 2012.

Wranglers were presented to creators of Western-genre works in 15 categories and to inductees into the Hall of Great Westerners and the Hall of Great Western Performers.

The iconic Cherokee actor Wes Studi, along with the late film tough-guy Robert Mitchum and the late actors Duncan Renaldo and Leo Carillo were inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers. Renaldo and Carillo became the nation's first regular Hispanic television stars for their roles in the popular series, “The Cisco Kid,” which originally aired in 1950-56.

Award-winning actor Lou Diamond Phillips and Wyatt McCrea, grandson of the late actor Joel McCrea, served as co-hosts of the black-tie gala.

Other celebrities attending were singer/musicians Lynn Anderson, Michael Martin Murphey and Red Steagall; actors Bruce Boxleitner, Barry Corbin, Robert Fuller, Rex Linn and Patrick Wayne; movie stuntman Dean Smith; cowboy poet Waddie Mitchell; actor and scriptwriter Robert Knott; musician/producer Rich O'Brien, documentary filmmaker and writer Dayton Duncan and Western personality Anita LaCava Swift.

by Bryan Painter
Assistant Local Editor
Bryan Painter, assistant local editor, has 31 years’ experience in journalism, including 22 years with the state's largest newspaper, The Oklahoman. In that time he has covered such events as the April 19, 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah...
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