Ward Bond Hosts His Friends
1 August 2006 | by bkoganbing (Buffalo, New York)
The week that Ward Bond died TV Guide was to feature an article about this Wagon Train episode. Bond got his mentor John Ford to direct this episode of Wagon Train which concerned an alcoholic doctor played by Carleton Young traveling on the Wagon Train.
This must have been a proud day for Bond. John Wayne, John Ford, and Ward Bond had been like the three musketeers ever since Ford spotted both these guys working as prop men and gave them their start in films.
For Bond however he was the odd man out. Either he and Wayne worked on a Ford film together or they worked on a film with another director, but with Wayne the star and Bond one of the supporting cast.
But due to Wagon Train, Bond was now THE STAR and Wayne and Ford worked for him. Wayne has an unbilled unseen cameo as General William T. Sherman during a flashback sequence during the Civil War. I still remember you see Wayne in silhouette in the background, but his voice is unmistakable.
Wayne is billed under his real name of Marion Michael Morrison in the cast and the cast of the episode itself reads like a John Ford movie.
It would have been one of the best received Wagon Train episodes in any event, but Bond's death made it a classic.
I wish I had saved that TV Guide with the rollicking story about Ford and Wayne working for Bond on the Wagon Train set and the heartfelt obituary for Bond in the same issue. In the obituary it was explained that they wanted to run the cover story as well as the obituary side by side, such was the place that Ward Bond as Major Seth Adams had in the affections of the American public.