Films featuring well-known Texans
George Herbert Walker Bush, the 41st President of the United States
George W. Bush is the 43rd President of the United States and the 46th Governor of Texas.
Guich Koock, born William Faulk Koock, is a sixth generation Texan whose mother was Mary Faulk, sister of Texan author and famously blacklisted radio entertainer, John Henry Faulk. Koock grew up on 23 acres in a Victoria home just south of Austin, which his mother turned into the well-known Green Pastures restaurant in 1946. Consistent with the Faulk family's progressive values, Green Pastures was open to all races beginning on its opening day, 18 years before the Civil Rights Act. The Koock family lived above the restaurant, enjoying constant visits from friends and extended family and an ideal combination of urban and rural life as they raised animals on their 23 acre property.
In high school, Koock worked as author and folklorist J. Frank Dobie's driver. His access to Dobie influenced his intellectual interests and led to his acquaintance with many prominent Texans, including Tex Robertson, who hired him to work at Camp Longhorn. At Camp Longhorn, he befriended Cactus Pryor and Hondo Crouch, with whom he remained friends into adulthood. Koock studied history and English at Texas A&M. His Master's thesis was a history of slavery in East Texas, compiled by Koock from an extensive series of interviews with the children of former slaves in the region. Koock was later awarded a Lomax Fellowship from the University of Texas to collect Texas folklore from South Texas ranches.
In 1970, Koock teamed up with Hondo Crouch to buy the town of Luckenbach, Texas. With the help of its owners, Luckenbach became a major tourist attraction in Texas and hosted five World's Fair celebrations. It was in Luckenbach that Steven Spielberg's casting director spotted Koock and recruited him for a supporting role in The Sugar Land Express (1974).
Koock spent the next two decades traveling between Texas and Los Angeles, where he perfected the part of the "good ol’ boy" in movies such as Piranha (1978) North Dallas Forty (1979), American Ninja (1985), and Square Dance (1987) and television shows such as "Carter Country" (1977-79), "Lewis & Clark" (1981-82), and "She's the Sheriff" (1987-89). He also made recurring appearances on "Good Morning America," "The Tonight Show," and "The Merv Griffin Show."
Born in 1927 in Leonard, James A. "Jimmy" Turman served as the 64th Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives from 1961 through 1963, and the first Speaker ever to hold a doctoral degree. In 1962, he ran for the office of lieutenant governor, narrowly losing to Preston Smith.
39th Governor of Texas (1963 - 1969)
Born in 1917 in Floresville, John Connally was elected the 39th governor of Texas in 1963. During his term he emphasized educational issues and helped to secure financing for higher teacher salaries, better libraries, and improved research and doctoral programs in the universities. His political career also included influential positions at the national level, serving as Secretary of the Navy under President John F. Kennedy (1961) and Secretary of the Treasury under President Richard M. Nixon (1971 – 1972.) Connally died in Houston in 1993, and is buried in the Texas State Cemetery in Austin.
For more on John Connally, check the John Connally tab on any of these videos' pages.
John Henry Faulk (1913-1990) was a Texas writer, humorist, television personality, lecturer, and civil rights activist. Faulk grew up in Austin, Texas and studied at the University of Texas where he became the protégé of progressive Texas thinkers J. Frank Dobie, Walter Prescott Webb, and Roy Bedicheck. Faulk’s father was a socialist and staunchly anti-racist, and Faulk’s upbringing, coupled with the influence of his three mentors, led his scholarly research into the civil liberties of African-Americans; his master’s thesis focused on the analysis of ten African-American sermons from churches along the Brazos River. Faulk taught English at the University of Texas from 1940-42, where he honed his talents of using storytelling as a commentary on societal norms in front of his students. After serving in the Merchant Marines and the U.S. Army during WWII, he became acquainted with members of the entertainment industry through his close friend, Alan Lomax. In 1946, CBS gave Faulk his first weekly radio program. He went on to have shows on several other regional stations before beginning the John Henry Faulk Show for WCBS in 1951. The show ran for six years until Faulk famously fell victim to Cold War era McCarthyism, and his entertainment career effectively ended due to his blacklisting. In 1957, the right-wing, for-profit organization AWARE, Inc., likely in retaliation for Faulk’s previous efforts to thwart AWARE’s control of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists union, blacklisted Faulk for alleged communist associations and sympathies. Faulk filed and won a libel suit against the organization, winning a historic settlement that the jury determined was fair compensation, a sum much larger than Faulk sought in his original petition. Despite his courtroom victory, Faulk was unable to find work as a media entertainer again until 1975 when he joined the cast of Hee-Haw. Faulk wrote two books, one a tell-all about his battle against blacklisting that became an Emmy-winning television movie in 1974. He returned to Austin in 1968, and, along with his work on Hee-Haw, he wrote two one-man plays, unsuccessfully ran for U.S. Congress, and again became a university lecturer, urging students to protect their First Amendment rights. Faulk married Hally Wood in 1940, Lynne Smith in 1948, and Elizabeth Peake in 1965; he had five children. John Henry Faulk died in 1990 after a battle with cancer. Austin’s central branch of their public library system is named in his honor.