Gordon T. Dawson, ‘Walker, Texas Ranger’ Writer and Peckinpah Collaborator, Dies at 84

Gordon T. Dawson, known for his work on television series “Walker, Texas Ranger” and “Bret Maverick,” and his long association with Sam Peckinpah, has died. He was 84.

Dawson died in hospice in West Hills on March 6 due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

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His work in the industry spanned many facets, from child actor and wardrobe supervisor to script writer and producer. In his last television series, “Walker, Texas Ranger” starring Chuck Norris, Dawson worked as a writer, supervising producer and co-executive producer, writing 32 of the series episodes.

Dawson joined the Army at age 17, serving as a marksman and sharpshooter. Post-service, he became a fireman before landing a job at Columbia Pictures where he spent three months in the studio basement aging soldier uniforms for the film “Major Dundee.” When director Sam Peckinpah noticed that some of the extras did not have properly-aged uniforms, he shut down production and called Dawson down to the set in Mexico to amend them. It was then that a steadfast friendship between the two was forged.

The two went on to work on numerous projects together, with Dawson working on costuming for Peckinpah’s “The Wild Bunch,” and then as line producer and second unit director for Peckinpah’s films “Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid,” in which he also had a small uncredited role (pictured), “The Getaway,” “The Ballad of Cable Hogue” and “Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia.”

Dawson began his television career in 1968, writing four episodes of the ABC series “Cowboy in Africa.” He wrote 13 episodes of “The Rockford Files,” and was supervising producer of “Bret Maverick,” for which he wrote 18 episodes. Dawson was awarded the Western Writers of America Silver Spur award and the Cowboy Hall of Fame’s Western Heritage Wrangler award.

Dawson’s wife, Jane, died in 2016. Dawson is survived by his son Michael, his daughter-in-law, Kathleen, grandchildren Tyler and Ashley and his brother, Thomas and Peter.

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