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Rick Dalton is one of the main protagonists in Quentin Tarantino's 9th film, Once Upon a Time In Hollywood. He is an Amercian actor who used to be the lead in the Bounty Law series but never found success after the show was canceled and got acting jobs as heavies in tv pilots. Rick is also the best friend of his stunt double and personal assistant, Cliff Booth, and Francesca Capucci's husband.

He was portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio, who also played Calvin Candie in Django Unchained.


Rick and Cliff meeting Marvin Schwarz.

Rick Dalton was born on April 22, 1936 in Hollywood. He was an American television and film actor who has been active since the 1950s. He had gained notoriety working as the star of the western TV series Bounty Law. In February 1969, casting agent Marvin Schwarz warned him about always playing the heavy in TV shows and encouraged him to pursue a career in film. Rick began suffering from severe anxiety even as he began shooting the pilot episode of a new series called Lancer as a villain. During the shooting of the episode, he strikes up a conversation with eight-year-old co-star, Trudi Fraser.

Rick's stunt performer and best friend was Cliff Booth, who served as both a shoulder to lean on, as well as his chauffeur. After seeing Rick through the tough times, he knew their partnership would soon be coming to an end as Rick was cast to play a lead in an Italian Western film being filmed in Italy. During Rick's stay in the country, he met starlet Francesca Capucci and married her.

Rick using his flamethrower to kill Susan Atkins

On 8th August 1969, Rick and Cliff decided to go to the Valley Mexican restaurant landmark Casa Vega on Ventura while Francesca stays at Rick's house, sleeping and being guarded by Cliff's pitbull, Brandy. When they returned to Rick's house on Ciello drive, Dalton goes into the swimming pool, leaving Cliff inside. Some time later, several members of Charles Manson's cult stage a home invasion on Cielo Drive, with the intent of murdering the residents of the residence owned by famous film director Roman Polanski, which included his actress wife, Sharon Tate, and her house guests. The cult members actually break into Rick's home in order to "kill the people who taught them to kill". Cliff had encountered these would-be killers earlier, but despite his severe intoxication, he manages to kill two of them, while also siccing his dog, Brandy onto another. Cult member Susan "Sadie" Atkins, manages to get away from the dog and goes out back towards the pool. Rick, shocked by her sudden appearance, goes to his tool sheed. After exiting it, he comes near the pool with his flamethrower, which was actually a prop from one of his earlier films, and proceeds to burn Susan Atkins to death.

After everything settled down, Rick meets his neighbors at the Polanski/Tate residence and is invited to join them inside for drinks.

In 1988, Dalton retires from acting and moves to Hawaii with Francesca Capucci, eventually meeting Quentin Tarantino himself at the 1996 Hawaii International Film Festival.