‘Virgin River’ Star Annette O’Toole Had Her ‘First Real Acting Job’ on ‘Gunsmoke’

<p id=”par-1_58″><a href=”https://www.cheatsheet.com/tag/virgin-river/”><em>Virgin River</em></a><em> </em>fans know <a href=”https://www.cheatsheet.com/entertainment/virgin-river-annette-otoole-revealed-real-reason-absent-season-3.html/”>Annette O’Toole as Hope</a>, the gossipy but good-hearted town mayor. Her part in the popular Netflix series is just the latest in a long string of memorable roles for the Texas-born actor, who has been performing since she was a child. One of her first real jobs was on the <a href=”https://www.cheatsheet.com/entertainment/hated-gunsmoke-episode-time-never-made-according-fans.html/”>iconic TV western <em>Gunsmoke</em></a>. </p>

<h2>One of Annette O’Toole’s first acting jobs was on ‘Gunsmoke’</h2>

<figure class=”wp-block-image size-full” id=”emb-1″><img decoding=”async” loading=”lazy” width=”1200″ height=”913″ src=”https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/08/Gunsmoke.jpg?strip=all&quality=89″ alt=”Title card for ‘Gunsmoke’ featuring James Arness as Matt Dillon” class=”wp-image-3546851″ srcset=”https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/08/Gunsmoke.jpg 1200w, https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/08/Gunsmoke.jpg?w=640&h=487 640w, https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/08/Gunsmoke.jpg?w=768&h=584 768w, https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/08/Gunsmoke.jpg?w=1024&h=779 1024w, https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/08/Gunsmoke.jpg?w=460&h=350 460w, https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/08/Gunsmoke.jpg?w=222&h=169 222w, https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/08/Gunsmoke.jpg?w=200&h=152 200w, https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/08/Gunsmoke.jpg?w=666&h=507 666w, https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/08/Gunsmoke.jpg?w=435&h=332 435w, https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/08/Gunsmoke.jpg?w=79&h=60 79w, https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/08/Gunsmoke.jpg?w=150&h=114 150w” sizes=”(max-width: 1200px) 100vw, 1200px”><figcaption class=”wp-element-caption”>‘Gunsmoke’ | CBS Photo Archive. Frame Grab</figcaption></figure>

<p id=”par-2_89″>O’Toole, who was born in 1952 in Houston, started taking dance classes as a toddler at her mother’s school. When she was a teen, her family moved to Los Angeles so that she could pursue a career in Hollywood. At 16, she landed a role as a dancer on <em>The Danny Kaye Show.</em> She also appeared in episodes of <a href=”https://www.cheatsheet.com/entertainment/i-love-lucy-actor-william-frawley-recruited-these-my-three-sons-actors-to-prank-vivian-vance.html/”><em>My Three Sons</em></a><em> </em>and the anthology series <em>This Is the Life. </em>But O’Toole’s first grown-up acting job came a couple of years later when she landed a role on <em>Gunsmoke. </em></p>

<p id=”par-3_37″>O’Toole played a character named Edda Sprague in the season 16 episode “The Witness.” In the episode, Ira Pickett’s (Dack Rambo) father Osgood (Harry Morgan) holds a family hostage so that they can’t testify against his son. </p>

<p id=”par-4_59″>Taking the <em>Gunsmoke </em>job was a tough decision for O’Toole. Around the same time, she’d also landed a part as a main dancer in the musical <em>Promises, Promises. </em>But she couldn’t do both because the schedules overlapped. In the end, she chose the TV show because she wasn’t confident she had what took to really excel as a dancer. </p>

<p id=”par-5_54″>“I’m a good [dancer] but will never be a great one,” she told the <a href=”https://dailyplanetdc.com/2021/05/13/annette-otoole-talks-acting-superman-and-smallville/” target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener”>Daily Planet</a>. “So, I decided to do the guest appearance on <em>Gunsmoke</em>. I did hope to still do dancing and some singing down the road still, which I have. Looking back I think it was the right decision to make.” </p>

<h2>The ‘Virgin River’ actor said her role on ‘Gunsmoke’ was ‘a joy’ </h2>

<p id=”par-6_29″>While O’Toole only appeared in one episode of <em>Gunsmoke, </em>it was an experience she never forgot. She’s posted several times about her time on the show on social media. </p>

<p id=”par-7_31″>In August 2022, she shared a photo of her and Morgan in the episode. “My first ‘adult’ role on <em>Gunsmoke</em>. 1978. With the GREAT Harry Morgan,” she captioned the <a href=”https://www.instagram.com/p/ChDAk0wroBR/?hl=en” target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener”>Instagram</a> post. </p>

<p id=”par-8_16″>In April 2023, she <a href=”https://www.instagram.com/p/CqnrHifJB4F/?hl=en” target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener”>posted</a> a behind-the-scenes photo of herself and several of her <em>Gunsmoke </em>co-stars. </p>

<p id=”par-9_22″>“My first real acting job,” she wrote. “<em>Gunsmoke</em> episode ‘The Witness’ with Barry Brown, Dack Rambo, and Tim O’Connor. A complete joy.”</p>

<h2 id=”h-annette-o-toole-has-also-appeared-in-smile-and-smallville”>Annette O’Toole has also appeared in ‘Smile ’ and ‘Smallville’</h2>

<figure class=”wp-block-image size-full” id=”emb-2″><img decoding=”async” loading=”lazy” width=”1200″ height=”886″ src=”https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/08/Annette-OToole-in-Smile.jpg?strip=all&quality=89″ alt=”Annette O’Toole in a white bathing suit and holding flowers in the movie ‘Smile'” class=”wp-image-3546849″ srcset=”https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/08/Annette-OToole-in-Smile.jpg 1200w, https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/08/Annette-OToole-in-Smile.jpg?w=640&h=473 640w, https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/08/Annette-OToole-in-Smile.jpg?w=768&h=567 768w, https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/08/Annette-OToole-in-Smile.jpg?w=1024&h=756 1024w, https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/08/Annette-OToole-in-Smile.jpg?w=474&h=350 474w, https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/08/Annette-OToole-in-Smile.jpg?w=229&h=169 229w, https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/08/Annette-OToole-in-Smile.jpg?w=200&h=148 200w, https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/08/Annette-OToole-in-Smile.jpg?w=687&h=507 687w, https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/08/Annette-OToole-in-Smile.jpg?w=81&h=60 81w, https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/08/Annette-OToole-in-Smile.jpg?w=150&h=111 150w” sizes=”(max-width: 1200px) 100vw, 1200px”><figcaption class=”wp-element-caption”>Annette O’Toole (center) in ‘Smile’ | FilmPublicityArchive/United Archives via Getty Images </figcaption></figure>

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<p id=”par-10_67″>O’Toole’s role on <em>Gunsmoke </em>soon led to other, more substantial parts. In 1975, she starred in the beauty pageant satire <em>Smile. </em>She played <a href=”https://www.cheatsheet.com/entertainment/why-tammy-wynette-changed-her-name-virginia-tammy.html/”>country star Tammy Wynette</a> in the 1981 TV movie <em>Stand By Your Man </em>and adult Beverly Marsh in the 1990 TV miniseries <em>It. </em>The same year, she was nominated for an Emmy for playing Rose Kennedy Fitzgerald in the miniseries <em>The Kennedys of Massachusetts. </em></p>

<p id=”par-11_55″>For two seasons, in the late 1990s O’Toole played the ex-wife of the title character (played by Don Johnson) in <em>Nash Bridges. </em>In 2001, she joined the cast of <em>Smallville, </em>where she played Clark Kent’s mother Martha Kent. It was O’Toole’s second Superman-related project. In 1983, she played Lana Lang in the movie <em>Superman III. </em></p>

<p id=”par-12_18″>More recently, O’Toole has appeared in <em>The Good Doctor, Search Party, </em>and <em>Kidding, </em>in addition to <em>Virgin River.</em></p>

<p id=”par-13_3″>Sources: <a href=”https://www.tvguide.com/celebrities/annette-otoole/bio/3000383342/” target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener”>TV Guide</a></p>

<p id=”par-14_16″><em>For more on the entertainment world and exclusive interviews, subscribe to </em><a href=”https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWmTM34h0-P7FcCwuA6h6sw/videos” target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener”><em>Showbiz Cheat Sheet’s YouTube channel</em></a><em>.</em></p>

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