Director Oscar “Budd” Boetticher, Jr. was born in Chicago, Illinois and raised in Evansville, Indiana. He attended Culver Military Academy and Ohio University, but left college after a football injury and ended up in Mexico City. There, he took up bullfighting and was trained by matadors. Boetticher parlayed this experience as his entrance to Hollywood; he began work as a technical advisor on Blood and Sand (1941), a film about a Spanish matador, directed by Rouben Mamoulian.
Boetticher’s career took off as he worked his way up directing low-budget pot-boilers and crime dramas, including Escape in the Fog (1945) and Black Midnight (1949). His claim to fame as a director came in 1951 with Bullfighter and the Lady, starring Robert Stack; the film earned him an Academy Award® nomination for best story.
Just five years later, Boetticher began to direct a string of Westerns, teaming up with legendary cowpoke Randolph Scott. Together, they made (what some consider to be Boetticher’s best Westerns) Decision at Sundown (1957), Ride Lonesome (1959) and Comanche Station (1960).
A rebel director of stark Western films, Boetticher also worked in television, directing episodes of Zane Grey Theatre, Maverick and The Rifleman. Additionally Boetticher continued directing up until 1985. In the latter part of his career, he managed to make a documentary film based on the Mexican bullfighter, Carlos Arruza, in spite of the tragedy of losing both Arruza and most of his own crew in an automobile accident. Boetticher passed away on November 29, 2002.