Back to prior page

To Old Corral Homepage To Old Corral Homepage


At the beginning of 1932 --- and apparently unable to land any further screen work --- he left Hollywood and hit the sawdust trail, traveling the country with various circus troupes, including the Walter L. Mane and Gorman Brothers' circuses until around 1934 when he returned to the movie capital to team up with Rex Bell and Ruth Mix for a four-picture series for Resolute. Among the titles were THE TONTO KID ('34), GUNFIRE, FIGHTING PIONEERS, and SADDLE ACES, the last three released in 1935. He also had a good role that year in the RKO all-star western, POWDERSMOKE RANGE.



(From Old Corral image collection)


(From Old Corral image collection)

Above is a photo of the title lobby card for GUNFIRE (Resolute, 1935).  In the blowup of the circular inset are from L-to-R, Buzz Barton, Ruth Mix and star Rex Bell.



(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above from left to right are Buzz Barton, Rex Bell, Tom Mix's daughter Ruth Mix, and Stanley Blystone in a scene from SADDLE ACES (Resolute, 1935). Barton was in his early twenties when he did these four with Bell and Mix.



(Courtesy of Richard S. Kumler)

Above from left to right are Jack Luden, Tuffy the dog, pretty Eleanor Stewart and in the back is Buzz Barton in a still from ROLLING CARAVANS (Columbia, 1938), one of four oaters that Luden did for producer Larry Darmour at Columbia.


By this time Barton was a young man of 22 and he continued to remain busy, not as a star, but supporting such stars as Bill Cody in THE RECKLESS BUCKAROO ('35), and Hoot Gibson in Diversion Pictures' THE RIDING AVENGER ('36). He was also cast in the Fred Scott/Spectrum ROMANCE RIDES THE RANGE ('36).

Still active, Barton went over to Columbia in 1938 for three with Jack Luden --- ROLLING CARAVANS, STAGECOACH DAYS, and PHANTOM GOLD. Then came one with Tex Ritter, WHERE THE BUFFALO ROAMS, and four with Bill Elliott, IN EARLY ARIZONA, LONE STAR PIONEERS, FRONTIERS OF '49, and THE LAW COMES TO TEXAS, the last three released in 1939. That same year he had a bit part in the Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers musical, THE STORY OF VERNON AND IRENE CASTLE, and rode the range with the Bar 20 cowboys in the Hoppy oater, SILVER ON THE SAGE. In 1940 he supported Bob Steele in Metropolitan's WILD HORSE VALLEY, and Jack Randall in Monogram's THE KID FROM SANTA FE. The following year only one credit shows up for Barton, a small role in the Buck Jones Columbia feature, WHITE EAGLE. His last known screen appearance came in 1942 in the Tim Holt RKO, COME ON DANGER. Shortly afterwards, he left for the Navy for service in the Pacific Theater during World War II. Barton was aboard the USS Missouri in August 1945 for the signing of the Japanese surrender.

Returning from the war, and with his acting career over, Buzz took up ranching and was married in 1947. Three years later he and his wife, Thelma, moved to Arizona where they adopted a baby girl named Linda. In 1956, the family returned to his old stomping grounds at Newhall where he worked as a horse wrangler in a number of westerns, including John Wayne's final film, THE SHOOTIST ('76). Some credits carry Buzz as appearing in the 1967 classic, IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT, in an un-credited role as a bus conductor, but it is believed it was an actor named Robert Barton.

In 1979 illness forced Buzz to retire from the movie business and the following year on November 20, he passed away at the age of 67 in Reseda, California.  Buzz's wife Thelma passed away on February 12, 2000.

Surely the most popular --- and by far the best rider and roper of all the juvenile western stars --- he was seriously challenged across the way at Universal by another trick rider named Newton House.

From the mid 1930s through the mid 1950s, the Motion Picture Herald and Boxoffice trade publications conducted polls to determine the Top Ten (or Top Five) cowboy film stars.  In most cases, the winners were what you would expect --- Autry, Rogers, Holt, Starrett, Hoppy, etc.  Prior to that, there was no popularity polls or rankings for the heroes of the cowboy film.

Author and film historian Ed Wyatt made an extensive study of the silent western and produced his own Top Ten List which was published in the April, 1997 issue of Classic Images. It was made by compiling the starring roles of westerns of the leading cowboy stars of each year, and rated them by the number of films made, the quality of the studio producing the films, and familiarity of the star's name.  Following are Wyatt's rankings for 1928 and 1929, the last year of the silent film, and Buzz Barton is included.


1928

1. Tom Mix
2. Fred Thomson
3. Ken Maynard
4. Hoot Gibson
5. Tim McCoy
6. Tom Tyler
7. Bob Steele
8. Buzz Barton
9. Ted Wells
10. Buck Jones, Bob Custer (tie)
1929

1. Ken Maynard
2. Hoot Gibson
3. Tim McCoy
4. Tom Mix
5. Tom Tyler
6. Bob Steele
7. Buzz Barton
8. Bob Custer
9. Art Acord
10. Jack Holt



Les Adams has Barton identified in 41 sound era films - 38 westerns and 3 serials.  See filmography below.

You may want to go to the In Search Of ... page on the Old Corral and to the California Death Records database.  There you will find a record for: William Andrew Lamoreaux, born 9/3/1913 in Missouri, Mother's maiden name of Stephens, and he passed away on 11/20/1980.  There was no matching record in the Social Security Death Index (SSDI).



 Buzz Barton Filmography
Sound films only
Serials are in red
Special thanks to Les Adams for providing this filmography


Release
Date
Title Company Star Director Barton
Role
3/1/30 MYSTERY TROOPER, THE (Serial) Syndicate Robert Frazer Stuart Paton Billy Holt
3/5/30 LONE DEFENDER, THE (Serial) Mascot Walter Miller Richard Thorpe Buzz
8/6/30 CANYON HAWKS Big 4 Yakima Canutt Alvin Neitz (Alan James) George Manning
11/12/30 BREED OF THE WEST Big 4 Wally Wales Alvin Neitz (Alan James) Jim Bradley
11/22/30 APACHE KID'S ESCAPE Cosmos Jack Perrin Robert J. Horner Tim Wells
3/8/31 WILD WEST WHOOPEE Cosmos Jack Perrin Robert J. Horner Buzz
7/7/31 RIDERS OF THE CACTUS Big 4 Wally Wales David Kirkland Buzz
7/25/31 FLYING LARIATS Big 4 Wally Wales David Kirkland Buzz
8/1/31 SO THIS IS ARIZONA Big 4 Wally Wales J. P. McGowan Buzz
10/28/31 CYCLONE KID Big 4 Buzz Barton J. P. McGowan Buddy Comstock
1/10/32 HUMAN TARGETS Big 4 Buzz Barton J. P. McGowan Buzz Dale
1/20/32 TANGLED FORTUNES Big 4 Buzz Barton J. P. McGowan Buzz Davis
8/15/34 TONTO KID, THE Resolute Rex Bell Harry Fraser Wesley Fritch
12/1/34 GUNFIRE Resolute Rex Bell Harry Fraser Danny Blake
4/1/35 PECOS KID, THE Ajax Fred Kohler Jr. William Berke Gunman
4/2/35 RECKLESS BUCKAROO, THE Spectrum Bill Cody Harry Fraser Drake
5/21/35 FIGHTING PIONEERS Resolute Rex Bell Harry Fraser Splinters
6/2/35 SADDLE ACES Resolute Rex Bell Harry Fraser Montana Nick Sabot
9/27/35 POWDERSMOKE RANGE RKO Harry Carey Wallace Fox Buck
5/15/36 FEUD OF THE WEST Diversion Hoot Gibson Harry Fraser Six-Bits
6/16/36 RIDING AVENGER , THE Diversion Hoot Gibson Harry Fraser Tony
9/28/36 ROMANCE RIDES THE RANGE Spectrum Fred Scott Harry Fraser Johnny Marland
1/11/38 PAROLED - TO DIE Republic Bob Steele Sam Newfield Cowhand
2/2/38 WHERE THE WEST BEGINS Monogram Jack Randall J. P. McGowan Rider
3/7/38 ROLLING CARAVANS Columbia Jack Luden Joseph Levering Jim Rankin
6/6/38 DESERT PATROL Republic Bob Steele Sam Newfield Henchman
6/20/38 STAGECOACH DAYS Columbia Jack Luden Joseph Levering Buzz
8/31/38 PHANTOM GOLD Columbia Jack Luden Joseph Levering Pedro
9/14/38 MEXICALI KID, THE Monogram Jack Randall Wallace Fox Cowhand
10/19/38 WHERE THE BUFFALO ROAM Monogram Tex Ritter Al Herman Townsman
11/2/38 IN EARLY ARIZONA Columbia Bill Elliott Joseph Levering Buzz
12/21/38 WILD HORSE CANYON Monogram Jack Randall Robert Hill Barfly
1/19/39 FRONTIERS OF '49 Columbia Bill Elliott Joseph Levering Vaquero
3/16/39 LONE STAR PIONEERS Columbia Bill Elliott Joseph Levering Chuck
3/31/39 SILVER ON THE SAGE Paramount William Boyd Lesley Selander Cowhand
4/16/39 LAW COMES TO TEXAS, THE Columbia Bill Elliott Joseph Levering Buzz
3/13/40 WILD HORSE VALLEY Metropolitan Bob Steele Ira S. Webb Joe
5/9/40 LAND OF THE SIX GUNS Monogram Jack Randall Raymond K. Johnson Deputy
5/23/40 KID FROM SANTA FE, THE Monogram Jack Randall Raymond K. Johnson Rider
1/4/41 WHITE EAGLE (Serial) Columbia Buck Jones James W. Horne Rider
2/25/41 RIDIN' THE CHEROKEE TRAIL Monogram Tex Ritter Spencer G. Bennet Rider
6/5/42 COME ON, DANGER RKO Tim Holt Edward Killy Cowhand


LINKS

  Although some of the data is incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) has information on Buzz Barton: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0059104/

Jim Tipton's Find A Grave website has a picture of the grave marker for William Andrew Lamoreaux who is interred at Eternal Valley Memorial Park, Newhall, California: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=15052790

B. B. Pelletier wrote an article about Buzz Barton being the first celebrity to have their name on a Daisy BB gun: http://www.pyramydair.com/blog/2006/05/buzz-barton-first-of-personality-bb.html



Back to prior page

To Old Corral Homepage To Old Corral Homepage