In Search Of Robert J. Horner/Robert John Horner, B movie producer/director.
Confusion with the 25 year old Robert J. Horner that was killed in a 1935 car accident in California.
In summary - there are TWO different Robert J. Horners ... and are not related to each other.
|Robert J. Horner/Robert John Horner/Bob Horner, low budget B movie producer/director/writer.
The Family Search website (free), Ancestry.com (subscription), Variety tradepaper, and an El Paso, Texas newspaper have more info:
Although some of the data may be incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has information on Horner: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0395130/
If interested, you can download/stream several of Horner's western epics from YouTube:
Ted Wells and Jimmy Aubrey in THE PHANTOM COWBOY (Aywon, 1935): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zyAbI-fNssg
Jack Perrin in THE APACHE KID'S ESCAPE (Cosmos/West Coast, 1930): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbM4VphGp7Q
BORDER MENACE (Aywon, 1934), a film that many consider to be the worst, most inept B western that was ever lensed ... and Jimmy Aubrey is over-the-top as Bill Cody's sidekick "Polecat Pete": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOJoJBoOAm4
The earliest mention of Horner in Hollywood was the 1916 Motion Picture News Studio Directory, and the above biography was in the section of "Scenario Editors and Writers".
That 4040 B'way, Chicago, Ill home address matches his World War I draft registration.
Above is a December, 1923 tradepaper ad for Horner silents.
Bottom left is a photo of George Chesebro who did some starring work for Horner. In sound era westerns, Chesebro was a prolific bad guy, often portraying the brains heavy.
|The 25 year old Robert J. Horner who died in a 1935 car accident.
On Saturday night, May 4, 1935, there was a car accident near San Diego which claimed the lives of four of the five people. Child star Jackie Coogan was injured but lived. Coogan's father, John H. Coogan, was the driver and died at the scene. Also killed were 19 year old Trent 'Junior' Durkin, Charles (or Clarence) Jones (the manager of the Coogan Ranch), and Robert J. Horner. Newspaper clippings mention that this Robert J. Horner was an "actor ... 25 years of age ... a young screen and radio writer". Since Jackie Coogan's father was the driver, two lawsuits were filed seeking financial compensation from Jackie - one was by Junior Durkin's family and a second by Horner's mother.
Notice the "Merchant - Furniture" in red font in the above 1910 census for Horner's father. Our 25 year old victim in that 1935 car accident was the grandson of R. J. Horner, noted New York furniture designer and manufacturer. More at: