(Image courtesy of Carol Murray and her "Jack Hendricks Photo Album")
Left to right are Jack Hendricks, Al St. John (as saddle pal 'Stub Macey') and Tom Tyler in a still from TRIGGER TOM (Reliable, 1935). Note the zipper on Tyler's form-fitting shirt. Al did another with Tyler, PINTO RUSTLERS (Reliable, 1936).
(Courtesy of Les Adams)
Above is a lobby card from SANTA FE BOUND (Reliable, 1936), the last of Tom Tyler's eighteen films for B. B. Ray and Harry Webb at Reliable Pictures. From left to right are Charles 'Slim' Whitaker, Jack Hendricks, Tyler, Ed Cassidy (mustache) and Dick Cramer. Cramer was the brains heavy in this ... and he was billed third as "Richard Kramer" (with a K). In the photo inset on the right are leading lady Jeanne Martel, Tom Tyler, and Earl Dwire. Tyler and Jeanne Martel were husband and wife ... for a brief time.
(Courtesy of Carol Murray and her "Jack Hendricks Photo Album")
Left to right are Robert Walker, Earl Dwire, Roger Williams and leading man Richard Talmadge with the wounded Jack Hendricks. Scene from Talmadge's STEP ON IT (Reliable, 1936).
(Courtesy of Les Adams)
Above is the cover of the pressbook for Bob Custer and Rin-Tin-Tin Jr. in VENGEANCE OF RANNAH (Reliable, 1936) - based on a story by prolific Northwoods adventure writer James Oliver Curwood. Ray directed using the alias of "Franklin Shamray". Custer worked a few years earlier with Rinty Jr. in THE LAW OF THE WILD (Mascot, 1934).
(Courtesy of Les Adams)
Above from the pressbook for CARYL OF THE MOUNTAINS (Reliable, 1936), another film based on James Oliver Curwood's writings. On the left are Francis X. Bushman, Jr. and Lois Wilde ... and trainer Lee Duncan's Rin-Tin-Tin Jr. is on the right. Bernard B. Ray was producer and director.
(Courtesy of Les Adams)
Bob Custer's finale as a western movie hero was SANTA FE RIDES (Reliable, 1937) which was released in early 1937 but filmed in late 1936. In this, Reliable tried to make a singin' cowboy out of Custer ... who lip-synchs tunes ... badly. Supporting musicians and singers included Lloyd Perryman, Rudy Sooter, Curley Hoag and Oscar Gahan. In the above lobby card, Custer is landing a right to the jaw of Charles 'Slim' Whitaker while prolific henchman Herman Hack looks on from the right. SANTA FE RIDES was also Custer's last movie appearance - he retired after completing this western and did not do any support/bit roles in later films.
Among B. B. Ray's last film jobs were four for producer Jack Schwarz, two of which were westerns:
BUFFALO BILL RIDES AGAIN (Jack Schwarz/Screen Guild, 1947) starred Richard Arlen and the heroine was pretty Jennifer Holt, the sister of Tim Holt. Reviews were not complimentary - from the April 2, 1947 Variety: "There's nothing to recommend 'Buffalo Bill Rides Again'. It's a meandering western overlength on footage and short of action. Strictly filler material ..." ; "... loaded with cliches ..." ; "Bernard B. Ray direction actionless ..."
BUFFALO BILL IN TOMAHAWK TERRITORY (Jack Schwarz/United Artists, 1952) was co-produced by Ray and Edward Finney and Ray also directed. Finney is best remembered as the producer of many Tex Ritter oaters for Grand National and Monogram. Clayton Moore wore a goatee and big mustache as the hero, and was shot during his one year salary argument break from the Lone Ranger TV show. Chock full of (old) stock footage, TOMAHAWK TERRITORY is a rather dreary mess.
On the trail of Benjamin Shamrayevsky / Bernard B. Ray
I've highlighted his Benjamin Shamrayevsky name in this color. And variations of his birth date are highlighted in this color.
YouTube and the Internet Archive have many of B. B. Ray's films which you can view or download. Caution - Raymond K. Johnson's films are mixed in with B. B. Ray:
Although some of the data may be incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has information on Bernard B. Ray: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0712748/
Bernard B. Ray's brother Leon Shamroy
1901 - 1974
B. B. Ray's brother Leon Shamroy became a noted cinematographer / director of photography, and his films included BUFFALO BILL (1944), TWELVE O'CLOCK HIGH (1949), THE ROBE (1953), THE KING AND I (1956), NORTH TO ALASKA (1960), and PLANET OF THE APES (1968).
He was nominated eighteen times for an Academy Award and won four Best Cinematography Oscars for THE BLACK SWAN (1942), WILSON (1944), LEAVE HER TO HEAVEN (1945), and CLEOPATRA (1963). Leon was president of the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) in 1947 - 1948.
Although some of the data may be incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has information on Leon Shamroy: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0005872/
Wikipedia has photos and a biography on Leon Shamroy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leon_Shamroy
Raymond K. Johnson / Raymond Kingsbury Johnson
1901 - 1999
Hollywood history is chock full of myths and misinformation and Raymond K. Johnson / Raymond K. Johnston is an example. For years, those name variations were assumed to be aliases used by low budget movie producer / director Bernard B. Ray.
C. Jack Lewis (1924 - 2009) was a retired Marine officer, movie screenwriter, co-founder of Gun World magazine, more. In his memoir White Horse, Black Hat: A Quarter Century on Hollywood's Poverty Row (Scarecrow Press, 2002), Lewis reinforced the notion that Johnson / Johnston was another name used by Bernard B. Ray. From his book:
" ... he worked under various names, mostly to keep his projects from looking like one-man shows! Names he used were Ray Bernard, Raymond Johnson, Raymond K. Johnson, Raymond Johnston, Raymond K. Johnston, Bernard Ray, Raymond Samuels, and Franklin Shamroy."
Raymond K. Johnson / Johnston were NOT Bernard B. Ray pseudonyms. Many years ago, I did an Old Corral biography on B film producer Harry S. Webb, with info and photos from his son Bob Webb. One of Bob's comments related to Raymond K. Johnson:
"This is an actual person who I had the pleasure of meeting in the sixties at MGM, where he had become head of the camera department."
May, 1957 issue of American Cinematographer magazine confirms Johnson at MGM: "The ASC last month elected to Associate Membership in the Society Raymond K. Johnson, head of the camera department at M-G-M studio ..." (ASC is the American Society of Cinematographers.)
Raymond Kingsbury Johnson was born November 24, 1901 in Leeds, Benson County, North Dakota and passed away March 23, 1999 in Thousand Palms, Riverside County, California, at the age of 97.
His movie career began in the 1920s, and one of his early jobs was the filmed-in-Alaska THE CHECHAHCOS (Alaska Moving Picture/Associated Exhibitors, 1923). He was a cameraman and his sister Gladys was one of the actors. Then Raymond directed a couple of silents. First was NORTH OF NOME (Great Northern Film Company/Arrow, 1925) which was originally titled THE ETERNAL FRONTIER. Sister Gladys was the female lead. Next was the filmed-in-Utah THE EXODUS / ALL FACES WEST (1928). EXODUS got tied up in a bankruptcy and wound up being auctioned off. A few years later, some opening narration was added and the film was released in 1931 by Syndicate as CALL OF THE ROCKIES.
In 1935 - 1940, he helmed about twenty B grade features - westerns and non-westerns - for independent, Poverty Row producers C. C. Burr (1891 - 1956) and Harry S. Webb (1892 - 1959). His films for Burr included four singing cowboy yarns with melodious Fred Scott. And for Harry S. Webb, he did a couple of Rin-Tin-Tin Jr. adventures, a Bob Steele western, and a half dozen oaters with Monogram's sagebrush crooner Jack Randall.
In July, 1942, forty year old Raymond K. Johnson enlisted in the Army for World War II service. And in the mid to late 1940s, he went to work at MGM's camera department.
We have a biography of Raymond K. Johnson with more details on his career - and several photos from relatives. Click HERE and a separate window / tab will open.