Quentin Tarantino dedicated the latest episode of his podcast to the late Rick Dalton, who died recently after a career spanning several decades across film and television…
Rick Dalton — the star of the 1950s cowboy series “Bounty Law” as well as cult classics such as “The 14 Fists of McCluskey” — died on May 19 after a remarkable career that spanned decades across film and television.
Now if that name sounds familiar that’s because Rick Dalton is the character Leonardo DiCaprio played on Quentin Tarantino’s Oscar nominated film “Once Upon a Time … In Hollywood” and now the prolific writer and director is paying tribute to the actor following his recent “death.”
We are saddened by the news of the passing of actor Rick Dalton, best known for his roles in the hit TV series Bounty Law and The Fireman trilogy.
Rick passed away peacefully in his home in Hawaii and is survived by his wife Francesca.
RIP Rick Dalton 1933-2023 pic.twitter.com/j51sNEh7AP
— The Video Archives Podcast (@VideoArchives) May 19, 2023
In the wake of “Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood” opening, Tarantino often talked about expanding upon the characters in that universe including the book adaptation that gave a lot more inside into Rick Dalton, his stunt double Cliff Booth (as played by Brad Pitt) and their lives both before and after the events in the movie. Tarantino even went as far as writing a book called “The Films of Rick Dalton” where he took a deep dive into the career of his fictional character as he created an entire catalogue of starring appearances in various movies.
Sadly, Tarantino had to then break the news that Rick Dalton passed away this past week but on the latest episode of his “Video Archives” podcast that he shares with longtime friend and collaborator Roger Avary, he pays tribute to the actor as they discuss his many roles.
“On May 19, 2023, actor Rick Dalton passed away peacefully in his home in Honolulu, Hawaii. He is survived by his wife, Francesca. Dalton was beloved by fans of Bounty Law, where he played bounty hunter Jake Cahill for five seasons and also for his iconic role as Eddie Karpinski, the flamethrower-wielding vigilante in The Fireman, The Fireman Part 2, and The Fireman 3: CIA Crackdown. But he was so much more than that, with a career that spanned over 20 years. On this episode of the Video Archives podcast, we invite you to remember Rick Dalton.”
During the episode, Tarantino and Avary discuss their favorite memories of Rick Dalton and his career dating back to his five season run on “Bounty Law” as well as the many films he starred in over the years. The duo even discusses the films Dalton didn’t land including his desire for a part in John Carpenter’s iconic horror film “The Thing.”
Dalton did end up starring in “The Fireman” series, which included a sequel that picked up just seconds after the first film ended — an idea attributed to the same scenario that played out in John Carpenter’s “Halloween” and the sequel “Halloween II.” In fact, Avary is convinced that’s part of the reason why Dalton wanted Donald Pleasance as one of the co-stars for “The Fireman 2,” which ended up being directed by his close friend and former stuntman, Cliff Booth.
The duo also discusses a harrowing night that Dalton experienced in 1969 after a group of followers loyal to cult leader Charles Manson broke into his house but their fiendish plans were ruined when Booth subdued and killed two of the assailants. Dalton then dispatched the third by burning her alive in his pool using the same flamethrower he wielded in “The 14 Fists of McCluskey.”
“He also had a thing that happened with him in the late ’60s where three hippies were bursting into his house, and they were tripping, and they had a gun with them, and his stunt double basically beat the brains in of two of them, and Rick set the other one on fire with the flamethrower from The 14 Fists of McCluskey,” Tarantino explains during the podcast.
“So he got invited to, like, the Republican Convention, alright, because it became this thing for, like, Nixon’s Silent Majority. And he’s a lifelong Democrat but he went and they fucking dug him. Rick was very happy being dug. But they put him on Johnny Carson after that and he was a big hit on the Johnny Carson show, and then all of a sudden, because of the notoriety, he started doing better TV shows. He went from, like, doing Land of the Giants and Green Hornet to doing Mission: Impossible.”
It’s a career retrospective for the ages so if you’re curious to hear all about the legacy that Rick Dalton leaves behind, listen to the latest episode of the “Video Archives” podcast below: