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Hugh O’Brian Net Worth | Wife (Virginia Barber), Cause of Death, Bio

Hugh O’Brian Net Worth – $11 million

What was Hugh O’Brian’s net worth at the time of his death? Also, learn about Hugh O’Brian’s wife and the cause of death.


Hugh O’Brian was an American actor who is best known for his role in the TV series ”The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp.”


He was born on April 19, 1925, in Rochester, New York, USA, as Hugh Charles Krampe.

His mother was of half English/Scottish descent and half German Jewish, while his paternal grandparents were German immigrants.

O’Brian attended New Trier High School in Winnetka.

US Marines

He enlisted in the US Marines after one semester at the University of Cincinnati.

Hugh became the youngest Marine drill instructor on record at age 17.

First Role

In 1950, he got his start as an actor in a role as Len Randall in the drama ”Never Fear.”

In 1958, Hugh created the ”Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Foundation,” a non-profit youth leadership development program that helps to instill leadership skills in high school students. Since its inception, more than 530,000 students have attended the foundation programs.

On February 8, 1960, O’Brian was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6613 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California.

From 1955 to 1961, he performed as Wyatt Earp in 226 episodes of ”The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp” — the first Western television series written for adults. He practiced for ”a thousand hours or more” with the pistol. One of the reasons he was chosen for the role was his close physical resemblance to Wyatt Earp.

”I’m convinced that he was a thoroughly honest man, righteous and utterly fearless,” said O’Brian in an interview about Wyatt Earp. He added: ”He was also just. In 200 gunfights, he killed only four men.”

He was awarded the key to Lancaster by Mayor George Coe in 1963.

Hugh O'Brian Net Worth

© Guliver / Getty Images

From 1972 to 1973, he played Hugh Lockwood in ”Search,” an SF series produced by Anthony Spinner, John Strong, and Robert H. Justman.

In 1979, he starred in two episodes of the television series ”The Seekers.”

In 1988, Hugh appeared with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito in the comedy ”Twins.”

In 1990, the actor performed as Gen. Nelson Miles in ”Gunsmoke: The Last Apache.”

He recreated the role of Wyatt  Earp in two episodes of the TV series Guns of Paradise (1990) and again The Gambler Returns: The Luck of the Draw (1991).

In 1992, he was inducted into the Western Performers Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City.


In 2006, Hugh O’Brian married Virginia Barber during a ceremony at Forest Lawn Memorial Park.

Hugh O'Brian with his wife Virginia Barber

© Guliver / Getty Images

He was 81 years old. It was his first marriage. Hugh dated Virginia for 18 years before they got married.


He has a son from a relationship with Adina Etkes.


Hugh O’Brian died on September 5, 2016, from natural causes in Beverly Hills. He was 91.

”My 28 years with Hugh have been an amazing, beautiful adventure,” said his wife at the time. Virginia Barber added: ”I will miss my special man who told me every day that I was beautiful and that he loved me. I was one lucky cowgirl.”

”It’s impossible to put a number on the amount of lives Hugh has touched, but we can certainly say anyone who participated in HOBY … are better people because of him,” said Javi LaFianza, President and CEO of the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership, in a statement.


O’Brian was 6′ (1.83 m) tall.

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”I believe every person is created as the steward of his or her own destiny with great power for a specific purpose.”

”A lot of people came on the set who knew Wyatt [Earl], people he befriended or who befriended him.”


what is the net worth of Hugh O'Brian


He was the last person John Wayne ever shot dead in the movies (1976).

In ”The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp,” Hugh openly carried a pistol with a 12-inch barrel — Buntline Special.

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Hugh O’Brian – Net Worth

So, how much was actor Hugh O’Brian worth?

O’Brian earned most of his wealth from performing in 112 movies and TV series, including – Ambush Bay, Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In, Benny and Barney: Las Vegas Undercover, Ten Little Indians, Greatest Heroes of the Bible, In Harm’s Way, Love Has Many Faces, Bush Doctor, Come Fly with Me, White Feather, Gunsmoke: The Last Apache, There’s No Business Like Show Business, Africa: Texas Style, The Lawless Breed, Call of the Wild, and Rocketship X-M.

He gained fame for his role in the TV series ”The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp.”

Therefore, at the time of his death, Hugh O’Brian had an estimated net worth of $11 million.

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Donice Noelle

Wednesday 24th of May 2023

My Uncle Hugh was the older Brother of two surviving sons! A baby sister and brother passed in Infancy prior to 1920…. We suspect Cystic Fibrosis ( un named then)! I remember as a little girl, driving with my parents down from Pleasant Hill to Beverly Hills on weekends to watch him on set! His big white Dog…. And his swimming pool put back! Wherever he was around the world he always sent me a doll from that country for my birthday with $10.00 to spend as I saw fit! A lot of money for a little girl in those days! Rest in peace Uncle Hugh…. And “Semper Fi”, From your Army niece!🇺🇸

Carol Rose

Tuesday 1st of August 2023

@Donice Noelle, I am 73 and I have enjoyed your Uncle Hugh's acting for years. I loved him in Wyatt Earp and I still watch him on YouTube. He always seemed like such a nice man. He had a great smile. He will be missed by many fans. I only wished I had met him before he passed. My husband was also in the Marines. I do bet your were proud of Hugh. Thank you for sharing your story with us. May God bless you.


Friday 3rd of March 2023

I am completely obsessed with his Wyatt Earp character! My husband is significantly older than me and loves older westerns. I would complain about watching them- until I laid eyes on Hugh O’Brian! He was stunningly gorgeous 😍 I now watch the series myself and am totally smitten 🤩 So happy to read that he seemed to be an exceptional man off the set as well 🥰

Nancy Williamson

Friday 29th of July 2022

When I was about 12 years old, Hugh O'Brian (my hero) came to a theater in Denver, CO. and put on a fast draw show. After the show we stood in line for his autograph and he kissed me on the cheek. I went home and told my mother I would never wash that cheek again. The thrill of my young life! He was a wonderful man! A great actor and was Wyatt Earp!

Ken Burton

Friday 1st of July 2022

As a boy I watched all of the Wyatt Earp shows. My grand father gave me the Hugh O’Brian album. Loved his smile and style. Will Never forget my TV cowboy shows. Still watching the reruns. Along with Legend of Wyatt Earp are of course Gunsmoke, Have Gun Will Travel, Wanted Dead Or Alive, Rifleman, Bat Masterson.

C. Roberts

Saturday 18th of June 2022

Hugh was in a 1950 Gene Autry movie, “Beyond the Purple Hills.”