How the famous villain Jack Elam lost sight in his left eye

Cheryl Kahla
Jul 25, 2018
07:01 A.M.

Jack Elam is remembered for portraying villains in Western films. He starred in classics such as Once Upon In The West, Kismet, and The Man from Laramie.


Elam began his career in the late forties when he landed his debut role in She Shoulda Said No. He also appeared in several western series the following decade.

Fans might remember him as Buckshot from Bonanza, Gus Smith from The Rifleman, or as Uncle Alvin Bully Stevenson in Easy Street, the NY Times reported.

He also had returning roles in The Texas Wheelers, Wonderful World of Color, Gunsmoke, The Dakotas, Temple Houston, and Lawman. Read more on Twitter, @amomama_usa.

Elam's last film roles were as Curtis in Lonesome Dove: The Series, and as Buckshot in the made-for-TV Bonanza film, Under Attack in 1995.

He was inducted into the Cowboy Hall of Fame in the early nineties and joked that fame came with a price.

Thanks to his talent for portraying unscrupulous villains, women would often walk up to him in the street and 'whack him' for something one of his characters did on screen.


Elam was born in Arizona and lost his mother when he was just two years old. According to her death certificate, the cause of death was paralysis.

The acclaimed actor lost sight in his left eye at the age of 12 after he was accidentally stabbed with a pencil.

Before pursuing his career in acting, he worked as an accountant, like his father, in Los Angeles and eventually took an accounting job in Hollywood.


Elam met Jean Hodgert in the late thirties and was married to her for 24 years, from 1937 until her death in the early sixties.

He exchanged vows with Margaret Jennison in 1961, and the couple remained together until Elam passed away in 2003 of congestive heart failure.

The famed Western villain left behind Margaret, as well as his children: Jacqueline, Jeri, and Scott.

Related posts

5 Celebrities Who Don't Look the Same as in the 80s – Photos of Radical Transformations

May 04, 2024

This Boy Was Only 16 When He Lost Star Dad – 8 Years Later, He Came Out as Gay and Now Raises 2 Sons

March 11, 2024

Michael Jackson’s Nephew Looks Like His 'Perfect Recreation' in a New Photo

February 14, 2024

John Candy’s Lookalike Daughter Reveals Their Last Conversation – Few Days Later, He Was Buried in a Closed Casket

March 06, 2024

‘The Young & the Restless’ Actress Meg Bennett Passes Away, Family Speaks Up

April 22, 2024

Michael Landon’s Daughter Jennifer Looks ‘Pretty and Classy’ in Plunging Outfit in Closeup Photo

January 22, 2024

4 Young Siblings & Their Dad Found Dead in Their Home

March 21, 2024

7 Famous Kids from the '80s Who Are Now Parents Themselves – Photos

May 17, 2024

12 Celebrities You Never Knew Had Different Names Before They Changed Them

April 22, 2024

Teacher Learns Her Ex's Daughter Is Forced to Do Homework on the Street Even in the Rain – Story of the Day

April 24, 2024

Fans Amazed by Alison Arngrim's 'Terrific' Look At 62 with Pixie Cut as She Poses on Magazine Cover

January 26, 2024

7 Beauties of the Past: How Famous Actresses Have Changed over Decades

April 16, 2024

This Boy Grew Up 'Very Poor' in a Tiny Old House — He Is Now One of the Highest-Paid Oscar Winners with Multiple Mansions

April 09, 2024

Robyn Bernard Found Dead in Open Field: 3 Other 'General Hospital' Stars with Tragic Fates

March 15, 2024