Friday, January 15, 2010


AS COWBOY HERO BOB STEELE (right) clobbers a bad hombre (GEORGE CHESEBRO), Steele's pals HOOT GIBSON (left) and KEN MAYNARD observe with mixed feelings. This lobby card from ARIZONA WHIRLWIND (1944, Monogram) portrays the typical cowboy action one could find Saturdays at the local movie theater prior to the advent of TV. By then, Steele (Jan. 23 1907-Dec. 21, 1988), Maynard (July 21, 1895-March 23, 1973) and Gibson (Aug. 6, 1892-Aug. 23, 1962) were at the end of their respective sagebrush movie trails, having starred in dozens of B-Westerns since the days of silent films.
HOOT GIBSON, born Edmund Richard Gibson and nicknamed after a Hoot Owl, was a top western movie star (and director-producer) from the 1920's-'40s. KEN MAYNARD's movie career lasted from 1923-44. BOB STEELE, born Robert Adrian Bradbury, rode the range from 1920's The Adventures of Bob & Bill series (with his twin brother Bill) through 1967, in cowboy oaters as both star and character actor. He is remembered for his dramatic roles in Of Mice and Men and The Big Sleep. From 1965-67, Steele played it for laughs as Trooper Duffy in TV's F-Troop.
ARIZONA WHIRLWIND was #6 of 8 in The Trail Blazers trio western series that ran from 1943-44. It was Maynard's last movie, being replaced by Chief Thunder Cloud in the final two installments. [from Steve Crum's show biz memorabilia collection]
Some young cowboys influenced by the likes of Hoot, Ken & Bob:

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