Broncho Billy Anderson
Gilbert M. Broncho Billy Anderson was an American actor, writer, film director, and film producer, who is best known as the first star of the Western film genre. Anderson was born Maxwell Henry Aronson in Little Rock, Arkansas and his family was Jewish, his fathers parents having emigrated to the United States from Prussia, and his mothers from the Russian Empire. His family moved to Pine Bluff, Arkansas when he was three years old and he lived in Pine Bluff until he was 8, when he moved with his family to St. Louis, Missouri. When he was 18, he moved to New York City and appeared in vaudeville, in 1903, he met Edwin S. Porter, who hired him as an actor and occasional script collaborator. Anderson played three roles in Porters early motion picture The Great Train Robbery, seeing the film for the first time at a vaudeville theater and being overwhelmed by the audiences reaction, he decided to work in the film industry exclusively. He began to write, direct, and act in his own westerns under the name Gilbert M. Anderson, in 1907 in Chicago, Anderson and George Kirke Spoor founded Essanay Studios, one of the major early movie studios. In 1909, he directed the film with the first known instance of the pie-the-face gag, Anderson acted in over 300 short films. He played a variety of characters, but he gained enormous popularity from a series of 148 silent western shorts and was the first film cowboy star. Spoor stayed in Chicago running the company like a factory, while Anderson traveled the western United States by train with a film crew shooting movies. Writing, acting, and directing most of these movies, Anderson also found time to direct a series of Alkali Ike comedy westerns starring Augustus Carney, in 1916, Anderson sold his ownership in Essanay and retired from acting. He returned to New York City, bought the Longacre Theatre and produced plays and he then made a brief comeback as a producer with a series of shorts with Stan Laurel, including his first work with Oliver Hardy in A Lucky Dog. Conflicts with the studio, Metro, led him to again after 1920. He asked for $900,000, but the outcome of the suit is unknown, Anderson resumed producing movies, as owner of Progressive Pictures, into the 1950s, then retired again. In 1958, he received an Honorary Academy Award as a motion picture pioneer for his contributions to the development of motion pictures as entertainment, at age 85, Anderson came out of retirement for a cameo role in The Bounty Killer. For the last years of his life, he lived at the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills, Anderson died in 1971 at the age of 90, at a sanitarium in South Pasadena, California. He was survived by his wife, Mollie Louise Anderson, their daughter, Maxine and he was cremated and his ashes placed in a vault at the Chapel of the Pines Crematory in Los Angeles. Anderson was honored posthumously in 1998 with his image on a U. S. postage stamp, in 2002, he was inducted into the Western Performers Hall of Fame at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. For the past nine years, Niles, California, site of the western Essanay Studios, has held an annual Broncho Billy Silent Film Festival, Anderson has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1651 Vine Street in Hollywood
Orvon Grover Gene Autry was an American performer who gained fame as a singing cowboy on the radio, in movies, and on television for more than three decades beginning in the early 1930s. Autry was also owner of a station, several radio stations in Southern California. From 1934 to 1953, Autry appeared in 93 films and 91 episodes of The Gene Autry Show television series, during the 1930s and 1940s, he personified the straight-shooting hero—honest, brave, and true—and profoundly touched the lives of millions of Americans. Autry was also one of the most important figures in the history of country music and his singing cowboy movies were the first vehicle to carry country music to a national audience. The town of Gene Autry, Oklahoma was named in his honor, orvon Grover Autry was born September 29,1907 near Tioga in Grayson County in north Texas, the grandson of a Methodist preacher. His parents, Delbert Autry and Elnora Ozment, moved in the 1920s to Ravia in Johnston County in southern Oklahoma and he worked on his fathers ranch while at school. After leaving high school in 1925, Autry worked as a telegrapher for the St. Louis–San Francisco Railway and his talent at singing and playing guitar led to performing at local dances. While working as a telegrapher, Autry would sing and accompany himself on the guitar to pass the lonely hours, one night, he was encouraged to sing professionally by a customer, the famous humorist Will Rogers, who had heard Autry singing. As soon as he could collect money to travel, he went to New York and he auditioned for Victor Records, about the time it became RCA Victor. According to Nathaniel Shilkret, director of Light Music for Victor at the time, Shilkret explained to Autry that he was turned down not because of his voice, but because Victor had just made contracts with two similar singers. Autry left with a letter of introduction from Shilkret and the advice to sing on radio to gain experience, L. Watson, recorded My Dreaming of You and My Alabama. Autry signed a deal with Columbia Records in 1929. He worked in Chicago on the WLS-AM radio show National Barn Dance for four years, and with his own show, in his early recording career, Autry covered various genres, including a labor song, The Death of Mother Jones, in 1931. Autry also recorded many records in 1930 and 1931 in New York City. These were much closer in style to the Prairie Ramblers or Dick Justice and these late Prohibition-era songs deal with bootlegging, corrupt police, and women whose occupation was certainly vice. These recordings are not heard today, but are available on European import labels. His first hit was in 1932 with That Silver-Haired Daddy of Mine, a duet with fellow man, Jimmy Long. He wrote Here Comes Santa Claus after being the Grand Marshal of the 1946 Santa Claus Lane Parade and he heard all of the spectators watching the parade saying Here comes Santa Claus
Noah Beery Jr.
Beerys father, Noah Nicholas Beery, enjoyed a similarly lengthy film career as a major supporting actor. Beery was best known for playing James Garners father, Joseph Rocky Rockford, Beery was born in New York City, New York, where his father was working as a stage actor. He was given his nickname Pidge by George M. Cohans sister Josie, the family moved to California in 1915 when his father began acting in motion pictures. After attending school in Los Angeles, they moved to a ranch in the San Fernando Valley, a style of living he would maintain for the rest of his life. At the age of seven, he appeared with his father in The Mark of Zorro and like his father, beerys early television work included a weekly stint as a clown in Circus Boy with Micky Dolenz in the mid-1950s. In 1960 Beery replaced Burt Reynolds in the role of Bill Blake in Riverboat. He appeared once on the anthology series Crossroads and on Walter Brennans ABC sitcom. He guest-starred three times on the long-running NBC western series, The Virginian in the 1960s, but Beery is best known for his role as Joseph Rocky Rockford, the father of Jim Rockford, James Garners character on the popular television series The Rockford Files. Beery died on November 1,1994 in Tehachapi, California, Beery Jr. s first wife until 1966 was Maxine Jones, the only child of Western star Buck Jones. His second wife from 1968 until his death was Lisa Thorman and he was survived by his wife, Lisa, two daughters, Muffett and Melissa, a son, actor Bucklind Beery, and three step-children, Page, Sean, and Lorena Slattery. On February 8,1960, he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his contributions to the television industry, located at 7021 Hollywood Blvd. The Mark of Zorro with Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. and Noah Beery, Sr. Heroes of the West Fighting with Kit Carson with Noah Beery, the Three Musketeers - Noah Stubbs with John Wayne The Trail Beyond - Wabi with John Wayne and Noah Beery, Sr. The Story of Will Rogers with Will Rogers Jr. I
Among his best-remembered roles are Bert, the cop, in James Stewarts Its a Wonderful Life and Captain Clayton in John Waynes The Searchers. Bond was born in Benkelman in Dundy County, Nebraska, Benkelman is a small town located in the southwestern corner of the state near the Kansas and Colorado state lines. The Bond family, John W. Mabel L. and sister Bernice, lived in Benkelman until 1919 when they moved to Denver, Colorado, Bond attended the University of Southern California and played football on the same team as future USC coach Jess Hill. At 62 and 195 pounds, Bond was a lineman on USCs first national championship team in 1928. Bond and John Wayne, who as Marion Michael Morrison, had played tackle for USC in 1926 before an injury ended his career, became lifelong friends and colleagues. Bond, Wayne, and the entire Southern Cal team were hired to appear in Salute, during the filming of this movie, Bond and Wayne befriended Ford, and appeared in many of Fords later films. Bond made his debut in Salute and thereafter was a busy character actor. He appeared in 31 films released in 1935 and 23 in 1939, rarely playing the lead in theatrical films, he starred in the television series Wagon Train from 1957 until his death in 1960. He was frequently typecast as a policeman or as a brutal thug. Bond later starred in the popular series Wagon Train from 1957 until his death, Wagon Train was inspired by the 1950 film Wagon Master, in which Bond also appeared. Wagon Master was influenced by the earlier The Big Trail, for Wagon Train, Bond was assigned the lead role of the crusty but compassionate Major Seth Adams, the trail master. Bond specifically requested Terry Wilson for the role of assistant trail master Bill Hawks, Wilson and McGrath stayed with the series for the entire run on NBC and then ABC from 1957 to 1965. Upon Bonds death in 1960, the master role passed in 1961 to John McIntire. An epileptic, he was rejected by the draft during World War II, in 1960, Bond campaigned for the Republican presidential nominee Richard M. Nixon. Bond died three days before Democrat John F. Kennedy narrowly defeated Nixon, Bond appears in more of the films on both the original and the tenth anniversary edition of the American Film Institutes 100 Years. Pop Perry Fort Apache – Sgt, John Wayne gave the eulogy at his funeral. Bonds will bequeathed to Wayne the shotgun with which Wayne had once accidentally shot Bond, for his contribution to the television industry, Bond has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6933 Hollywood Blvd. In 2001, he was inducted into the Western Performers Hall of Fame at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, also, a Ward Bond Memorial Park is in his birthplace of Benkelman, Nebraska
Ernest Borgnine was an American film, television, character and voice actor whose career spanned more than six decades. He was noted for his gruff, yet calm voice, Machiavellian eyebrows, a popular performer, he had also appeared as a guest on numerous talk shows and as a panelist on several game shows. He also played the lead in many films, winning the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1955 for Marty. Borgnine earned an Emmy Award nomination at age 92, for his work on the series ER and he was also known for being the original voice of Mermaid Man on SpongeBob SquarePants, a role he played from 1999 until his death in 2012. Ermes Effron Borgnino was born on January 24,1917, in Hamden and he was the son of Anna, who emigrated from Carpi to the United States, and Camillo Borgnino, who emigrated from Ottiglio. Borgnines parents separated when he was two old, and his mother and he lived in Italy for about 4 1⁄2 years. By 1923, his parents had reconciled, the name was changed from Borgnino to Borgnine. Ernest had a sister, Evelyn Borgnine Velardi, the family settled in New Haven, Connecticut, where he graduated from James Hillhouse High School. Borgnine took to sports while growing up, but showed no interest in acting, Borgnine joined the United States Navy in October 1935, after graduation from high school. He served aboard the destroyer/destroyer minesweeper USS Lamberton and was discharged from the Navy in October 1941. In January 1942, he reenlisted in the Navy after the attack on Pearl Harbor, during World War II, he patrolled the Atlantic Coast on an antisubmarine warfare ship, the USS Sylph. In September 1945, he was discharged from the Navy. He served a total of almost ten years in the Navy and his military awards include the Navy Good Conduct Medal, American Defense Service Medal with Fleet Clasp, American Campaign Medal with 3⁄16 bronze star, and the World War II Victory Medal. In 1997, Borgnine received the United States Navy Memorial, Lone Sailor Award, on December 7,2000, Borgnine was named the Veterans Foundations Veteran of the Year. In October 2004, Borgnine received the title of chief petty officer from Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Terry D. Scott. The ceremony for Borgnines naval advancement was held at the U. S. Navy Memorial in Washington and he received the special honor for his naval service and support of the Navy and navy families worldwide. On February 5,2007, he received the California Commendation Medal, Borgnine returned to his parents house in Connecticut after his Navy discharge without a job to go back to and no direction. In a British Film Institute interview about his life and career, he said, After World War II, I didnt even want to be a Boy Scout
Walter Andrew Brennan was an American actor. He won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 1936,1938 and 1940, Brennan was born in Lynn, Massachusetts, less than two miles from his familys home in Swampscott. He was the second of three born to William John Brennan and the former Margaret Elizabeth Flanagan (June 4,1869 in Charlestown, Massachusetts – February 1,1955. His parents were both of Irish descent, the elder Brennan was an engineer and inventor, and young Walter studied engineering at Rindge Technical High School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. While in school, Brennan became interested in acting and he began to perform in vaudeville at the age of 15. While working as a clerk, he enlisted in the United States Army. After the war, he moved to Guatemala and raised pineapples before settling in Los Angeles, during the early 1920s, he made a fortune in the real estate market, but he lost most of his money during the 1925 real estate slump. Brennan also had bit parts in The Invisible Man, Girl Missing, the Three Stooges short Woman Haters, in the 1930s, he began appearing in higher-quality films and received more substantial roles as his talent was recognized. This culminated with his receiving the first Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Swan Bostrom in the period film Come, two years later, he portrayed town drunk and accused murderer Muff Potter in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Throughout his career, Brennan was frequently called upon to play characters older than he was. The loss of teeth in a 1932 accident, rapidly thinning hair, thin build. He used these features to great effect, in many of his film roles, Brennan wore dentures, in Northwest Passage – a film set in the late 18th century – he wore a dental prosthesis which made him appear to have rotting and broken teeth. Brennan played the lead in Swamp Water, the first American film by the director Jean Renoir. In Sergeant York, he played a preacher and dry-goods store owner who advised the title character. Brennan and Cooper appeared in six films together, in 1942, he played the reporter Sam Blake, who befriended and encouraged Lou Gehrig in Pride of the Yankees. He was particularly skilled in playing the sidekick of the protagonist or the old man in films such as To Have and Have Not. From 1957 to 1963, he starred in the ABC television series The Real McCoys, after five years on ABC, The Real McCoys switched to CBS for a final season. Brennan joined with the creator, Irving Pincus, to form Brennan-Westgate Productions