Doc Holliday in Film and Literature
by Shirley Ayn Linder
The legend of Doc Holliday is now well past a century old. While his time on earth was brief, troubled and filled with pain, his legend took wings and flew. Beginning with his part in the now famous gunfight at the O.K. Corral, Denver newspapers first told his story in the late 19th century. They, followed by words of Wyatt Earp, grasped the glimmer of his tale. So enamored was the public that by 1939 he was a literary icon and his character had appeared in eight films. Historians, authors, screenwriters and eventually television refined the legend, which reached its apex perhaps with the 1993 film Tombstone. Doc Holliday's image has neither dimmed nor wavered in the 21st century. Broadway, country music and art join with literature and film to continue his mystique as the personification of a surviving legend of the U.S. West.