According to an article on TV westerns in Time Magazine (March 30, 1959), O'Brian stood 6 feet tall, weighed 170 lbs, and had chest-waist-hips measurements of 44-32-36
Broke into acting by happenstance. Dating an actress in Los Angeles at the time, he visited her at a couple of her rehearsals for a play. The director asked Hugh to step in after the leading man dropped out of the show. An L.A. Times reporter saw the production and gave Hugh excellent reviews.
Brother of Don Krampe
Developed a friendship with Marilyn Monroe after the two co-starred in There's No Business Like Show Business (1954).
Elected Freshman Class president at Los Angeles City College.
He became the youngest drill instructor in the Marine Corps' history, and during his four years of service won a coveted Fleet appointment to The Naval Academy, which he declined. In 1972, O'Brian was awarded one of the nation's highest honors, the Freedom Through Knowledge Award, sponsored by the National Space Club in association with NASA. In 1974, he was awarded the George Washington Honor Medal, highest award of the Freedom Foundation at Valley Forge, as well as the Globe and Anchor Award from the Marine Corps. In 1976, the Veterans of Foreign Wars also honored him with an award.
Hugh O'Brian and teacher Virginia Barber had dated for 18 years before their marriage on June 25, 2006, at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, Calif. It was his first marriage; her second. She was 54; he was 83. The Rev. Robert Schuller, pastor of the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, officiated, and the couple was serenaded by close friend Debbie Reynolds. Dubbed "A Wedding to Die For", the ceremony concluded with a cocktail reception.
Hugh's vast investments over the years have been wise and fruitful with dividends paying well in stocks and bonds, real estate, bowling alleys, a building equipment firm, a theatre-in-the-round, an oil syndicate and his own TV production company.
Inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in 1992.
Once recorded an album of popular songs and sang on the Ed Sullivan, Dinah Shore and Jackie Gleason variety shows.
One of the few actors who has appeared in a Bruce Lee movie ("Game of Death"), a John Wayne movie ("The Shootist") and an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie ("Twins").
One of the first celebrities to frontline tours of Vietnam at the request of the State Department, Hugh once staged and directed a company of "Guys and Dolls" which toured Vietnam, Thailand and Japan for the troops.
The Hugh O'Brian Acting Awards Competition was developed in 1964 at UCLA with cash awards going to acting talents.
Was awarded one of the space community's highest honors with the 1972 Freedom Award for his variety of space-oriented projects, including the Hugh O'Brien Youth Foundation seminars at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Was once a soda-jerk at Schwab's drug store on Sunset Boulevard
Was the last person killed on screen by John Wayne, in The Shootist (1976).
Was the youngest Drill Instructor in Marine Corps history - Age 17.