I am very grateful to Toni Partridge who wisely saved the letters Robert Horton wrote to his British fans. And who generously donated them to this site. They provide an interesting historical perspective as Horton discusses not only his new marriage but Ward Bond’s death, his Royal Command performance and the addition of a Great Dane as well.
17th May 1960
To all my Fan Club Members,
C/o Robert Horton British Fan Club
22 Lordship Park,
Stoke Newington, London,N.16
Dear Fans and Friends,
As note of thanks for the scores of letters I received from you wishing me success, good luck and God’s Blessings at the Royal Command Performance.
I believe the show was a big success, and I was honoured to have been asked to contribute to the evening.
Later I was presented to the Queen and the Duke; they were charming, warm and happily fans of “Wagon Train”. I was delighted to have met them.
That’s all the news about the Royal Command, except again to thank you for your kind thoughts.
With appreciation and all good wishes to you all.
I am, sincerely
30th June 1960
To all my Fan Club Members,
C/o Robert Horton British Fan Club
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for all the most cordial welcome and treatment you gave me whilst visiting you. I am really thrilled at knowing I have so many friends in other countries besides on my own, and do sincerely appreciate the great interest you have shown in my career.
You can all be sure I shall only be too pleased to visit you all again, and I am hoping it will be possible to do this next December, and I do hope on this occasion to be able to appear in several different parts of Great Britain and this give myself the opportunity of being able to see my fans who live a long distance from London. This opportunity I would really appreciate.
I am taking back with me to America a British-Bred Great Dane, as a companion for my poodle Jamie, which will also be a constant reminder of my happy visit to your beautiful country. Thanking you once again for everything.
Now that the hustle and bustle of the holidays has come to an end, and before 1961 gets out of its diapers and into short pants, I though I’d drop you a line, “How are you?”
Before I tell of my future plans and recall the events of the past years, I’d like to say “welcome to the club,” to the new members and extend a grateful thanks for the continuing support of my old friends. I hope 1961 gives us all a lot to yell about and share.
Looking back on 1960 and the last few days of ’59 the last twelve months have been important ones; going to England, appearing at the Palladium, cutting my first record, returning to England to appear in the Royal Command Performance before Her Majesty the Queen and my first real vacation touring Europe, have made 1960 a year that will always be easy to remember.
The year was saddened by the sudden passing of Ward Bond. I’d been with him in his dressing room discussing a script two days before he died, and although Ward and I didn’t always agree on things, this was a friendly discussion. When our drinks and the discussion were finished I recall saying, “Well , Ward, we’ve had our differences but we sure agree on this script”. As I walked across the room Ward said, “Bobby, we don’t have any lousy differences.” I looked at him, smiled, and went out of the room. These were our last words together.
“Wagon Train” will miss Mr. Bond. I believe next year we will have a new wagon master, but there will never be another “Major Adams”.
As I’m sure most of you know December 31st saw me spend my last days as a bachelor, and shortly after five o’clock New Years’ Eve, Marilynn and I were married. It was a simple civil ceremony in Las Vegas, followed by a wonderful evening spent saying goodbye to 1960, and welcoming the New Year. You would all like Marilynn. Those of you who saw us on “This is Your Life” will recall her warm lovely face, framed with black curly hair, and quickened with soft dark eyes. She’s a lovely girl. Any man would be proud of her. Especially me, because she’s mine. Perhaps you know, we met in 0hio in “Guys and Dolls” in 1959. Marilynn is a highly trained and very skilful singer, however she is not going to pursue her career; in the theatre, that is. She has decided to make a career of our marriage, and I predict it’s going to be a very successful one. Wish us luck?
I feel that the club is running very well. If you have any complaints, or suggestions just send them along as we want to improve every way we can.
I am hope that the “Wagon Train” schedule will enable me to make another trip to England in the spring.
I think I’ve just about talked myself out for now, except to say thank you again for your interest and co-operation.
To all members of my British Fan Club,
I wish to take this opportunity of sincerely thanking you for the wonderful reception and heart-felt support that you gave me, when I visited your Great Country.
Quite often I gaze at that wonderful pen that was presented to me on your behalf, and think to myself, how much you must appreciate the “Wagon Train” series, and the role of FLINT McCULLOUGH which I portray to the best of my ability.
I am really thrilled that you have taken me to your hearts, as every Star realizes that genuine support has to be earned, and also respected, and believe me dear friends, I do really mean to try and be worthy of your support and affection.
Thousands of you sent me through to me via the Fan Club, and also through other channels, asking for my autograph. To those who did not receive this service, please accept my apologies, I did sign as many as I possibly could, but the requests were so numerous that I realize I must have disappointed quite a lot of you, but perhaps I shall be given opportunity to do this service for you, when I visit you once again in the near future, when I do hope it will be possible to spend a much longer time, and be enabled to tour your country, and thus give myself the opportunity of meeting as many of you as I would so like to do.
I would like to add to this letter, a fact is so well known by all the American artists that have visited Great Britain, as an audience you are truly wonderful, and that is why so many of us, are always willing to take an engagement in your country whenever the opportunity does arise.
0nce again I wish to thank you for everything. and until I have the opportunity of being with you again, I will sign off by say, HASTA LA VISTA (till I see you again).
(signed) BOB HORTON
No date was given.
The above letter, Bob left us with the request that we insert it in the magazine for you all to read.