Doug McClure. The Teflon Actor?

Mr. Confidence. Almost nothing gets through. Part Cooper, Part Garner, he’s so himself he reminds me of Shatner. You at once know it’s him. Every part is tailored to fit. Each role is Doug McClure. Once you’ve seen him, the rest speaks for itself. Cowboy, main man, good ol’ boy, he’s a kinder gentler Joe Don Baker. He might smolder but he won’t send you to jail. He’ll wink. He’ll argue. He’ll shake the truth out of you. He’s a 70s Patrick Swayze and the whole world’s his Road House. “Be Nice.” That’s his policy. “Until it’s time to not be nice.” And not a moment before. No Polar Bear falls on Doug McClure. Unless he wants it too.

Growing up in Glendale California, he graduated from UCLA and dove instantly into acting. Friendly Persuasion (1956), The Enemy Below (1957), Death Valley Days, South Pacific (1958), Lawman, Riverboat, U.S. Marshal, The Twilight Zone, Gidget (1959), Coronado 9, Hennesey, Johnny Midnight, Overland Trail, Because They’re Young (1960), The Unforgiven (1960), Jed Sills on Checkmate and Trampas on The Virginian, The Lively Set (1964), Shenandoah (1965), Beau Geste (1965), The Longest Hundred Miles (1967), The King’s Pirate (1967), Nobody’s Perfect (1968), Terror in the Sky, The Birdmen, The Death of Me Yet, Playmates, The Judge and Jake Wyler, The Blood Vultures of Alaska (1973), Death Race, The Land That Time Forgot (1974), Barbary Coast, Satan’s Triangle, What Changed Charley Farthing (1976), At the Earh’s Core (1976), SST: Death Flight (1977), The People That Time Forgot (1977), Roots, Wild and Wooly, Warlords of Atlantis (1978), The Rebels, Humanoids from the Deep (1980), Firebird 2015 A.D. (1981), The House Where Evil Dwells (1982), Cannonball Run II (1984), Hardcastle and McCormick, Too Close For Comfort, Airwolf, 52 Pick-Up (1986), Murder She Wrote, The Mayor on Out of This World, Tapeheads (1988), Prime Suspect (1989), Superboy, B.L. Stryker, The Gambler Returns: The Luck of the Draw, Matlock, In the Heat of the Night, Maverick (1994).

In 1994, McClure received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. A blond leading man who played 20 year olds well into his 40s. The man was ageless and always himself. He’s Doug McClure. And the name is descriptive enough. McClure is a star in 3 MST episodes. The Land That Time Forgot, At the Earth’s Core, and SST: Death Flight. He strides in those movies and is a big open invitation whenever he’s onscreen. I have a hunch we haven’t seen the last of him. Till then “We’ll always have Paris.” Big Smile or Turn The Dial?


Note: Doug McClure’s flicks appear three times on MST. SST: Death Flight (1977), The Land That Time Forgot (1974), and At the Earth’s Core (1976). Threads on each are linked to below.


KTMA 13. SST: Death Flight (1977)

1107. The Land That Time Forgot (1974)

1114. At The Earth's Core (1976)


Trailer to The Land That Time Forgot (1974).

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Early Appearance.

Top 10 Movies of Doug McClure.

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Trailer of Warlords of Atlantis (1978).

Doug McClure Filmography.

Trailer of At the Earth’s Core (1976).

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Trailer of The People That Time Forgot (1977).

I always preferred his daughter, tbf. Singer/sex symbol Tané:

(Special Guest Star: Lee Majors!)

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Trailer of The Lively Set (1964).

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As Tahnee Cain, her three songs for The Terminator (1984) are likely superior to anything her dad did. My taste mind you. Cameron applied those songs so perfectly I remember them in my sleep.

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Hi, I’m Doug McClure. You may remember me from my parody character on the Simpsons, which supposedly I found funny.

I think you nailed it when you compared him to Shatner, but less of an egomaniac. His Netflix era movies miss the mark a bit, but I wouldn’t mind seeing him pop up again.


Yeah. McClure was not egotistical but he had this I Am quality which smacks of Shatner. Minus the self-satisfied aspect Bill ran with. Doug is more earthly and not as much a jerk as Shatner. My take.


He’s also nowhere near the actor that Shatner was and still is.

I don’t know about the Shat’s actual personality—guy’s been around nine decades, which is long enough to have infinite bad anecdotes and plenty of character defect arcs—but after three hit series, IDK how many hit movies, acting from self-satisfaction to self-parody and beyond, I think we can say by any objective metric, he can “act”.

Doug…well, hell, I remember Shatner’s performance in Over The Hedge, on an episode of “Futurama”—almost anything he was in, no matter how briefly. I don’t remember Doug in, e.g., House Where Evil Dwells or 52 Pickup or Cannonball Run II. (OK, in fairness, I don’t remember Cannonball Run II, at least as a separate entity from 90% of Burt Reynolds’ other movies from the time period.)

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William Shatner is a far better actor. I love him to tears. He transforms average into above average on the fly. He learned from legends and elevated his form as he aged. The man has this singular personality that is its own adjective. McClure too. Which is why I compared them. Where they differ is McClure never moved beyond the persona and Shatner did. Bill could be conscious with his art in a manner Doug couldn’t. I’d argue sometimes Shatner was comfortable simply to be like McClure but even then he evoked feelings that imply a craft and complexity of skill above what McClure was capable of. Shatner had heft, tenacity, and a desire to push into a part making it memorable. This is why he remains on a pedestal few others can touch.


Speaking of William Shatner and Doug McClure, the TV spot for Barbary Coast.

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Egad! it’s like seeing West Wing’s John Spencer in the Patty Duke Show

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That’s her?! I never knew who the singer was for those tunes on the soundtrack, but some of my favorite 80’s songs that, unfortunately, are never heard anywhere ever. Except when I listen to the soundtrack, which is one of my all time favorite soundtracks (Vampires, Conan the Barbarian, and Last Temptation of Christ (also IMO Gabriel’s best album)).

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I enjoyed the McCluressaince of the Netflix era - I think he is due back as a now-treasured MST recurring player. Much like more Albert Pyun, we need more McClure.

I will have to go listen to his daughter’s Terminator songs now. All for Tech Noir.