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Ken Maynard and his wonderful palomino Tarzan made some great silents and sound films.  After Maynard finished his series for Larry Darmour at Columbia in the mid 1930s, his film career went into a downward spiral (he would do a few mediocre oaters for Grand National and Colony, and a few more as a member of the Monogram Trail Blazers).  Maynard toiled for several circuses, including Cole Brothers, Biller Brothers, and the Arthur Brothers Circus, and he also lost a bundle when he brought out his own 'Diamond K Ranch' wild west show in the mid 1930s. The Old Corral section on Maynard has more details on his career and circus work.



(Courtesy of Fred D. Pfening, Jr.)

Above, Ken Maynard and the original Tarzan with the Cole Bros Circus, 1937.


Joe Taylor remembers meeting Ken Maynard in the early 40s. You can find more info and pictures of Joe and his Red Birds country-western singing group in the 'Memories' section of the Old Corral. Joe recalls that Ken was performing with the circus at what was then Centlivre Park in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Joe spent some time with Ken prior to his performance and then took a seat with his wife on the bleachers to watch his show. Joe wasn't too happy when his wife Pauline had a nature's call, asking him to accompany her to the restroom. Being several rows up (maybe 4 to 5) turned out a real hazard for Joe when he, concentrating on the circus ring, stepped off the end of the bleachers spraining his ankle. Ken, waiting to be introduced, saw what had happened and asked the boy selling Cokes (then the small bottled Coke kept in an ice bucket) to bring his bucket over. Ken pulled out the Cokes and had Joe put his bare foot and ankle in the ice bucket, saying it would reduce the swelling. Needless to say, Joe was impressed with Ken's concern for him.



(Courtesy of Fred D. Pfening, Jr.)



(Courtesy of Fred D. Pfening, Jr.)



(Courtesy of Mark Kulka)



Jack Hoxie was one of the bigger silent western heroes, but was not able to continue that stardom when talkies arrived.  Hoxie worked for circuses and also had his own show, and he was still making big top appearances in the late 1940s.


(Courtesy of Fred D. Pfening, Jr.)

(Courtesy of Fred D. Pfening, Jr.)



(Courtesy of Fred D. Pfening, Jr.)
Left are Jack Hoxie and an unidentified performer with the Downie Bros Circus, 1933. The lady might be Dixie Starr who was once married to Jack Hoxie.

Got an e-mail from Ray Menasco in May, 2002. Ray writes: "I believe the lady is Dianne (Dixie Starr) Buck who passed away at home here in Utah on April 17, 2002. She was born Dianne Juanita Hodges in Oklahoma on April 12, 1912. She is believed to have performed in wild west shows and several movies with Jack Hoxie. She was also a high wire performer and trick rider with Miller Bros., Downie Bros. Circus and Jack Hoxie Wild West Show. She was also a stunt woman."

In the 1920 census, 7 year old Janita Hodges is living with her parents in Washington, Oklahoma. The Janita (instead of Juanita) may be a census taker spelling error or a mistake when translating the paper forms into a digital record.



Hoot Gibson was another of the 'big guns' of the silent cinema who faded during the 1930s in talkies.

By the late 1930s, Hoot was no longer in demand as a starring western hero, and made only a few screen appearances (such as in the 1937 Republic chapterplay, THE PAINTED STALLION).

(Courtesy of Fred D. Pfening, Jr.)



(Courtesy of Fred D. Pfening, Jr.)

Above is an autographed photo of Hoot Gibson while he was with the Hagenbeck Wallace Circus, 1937.



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