Jack Elam was one of the great character actors, often playing grizzled pioneers or gunmen in a wide variety of Westerns. With his trademark bulging eyes (one of them was blind) and borderline crazy performances, Elam was a noted scene stealer.
It happened in the 1970 oater “Rio Lobo,” starring John Wayne. The movie was generally panned—except for Elam’s acting. That didn’t set well with the Duke, who had a long memory on such things. When producers wanted to cast Elam in Wayne’s 1973 effort “The Train Robbers,” the Duke nixed the idea.