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Two for the price of one ...
the heroes, heroines and sidekicks in a dual role
and folks doing multiple roles in the same film




(Courtesy of Larry Welch)

Above - Ken Maynard doing a dual role as brothers Clem and Ken Bellamy in a lobby card from HONOR OF THE RANGE (Universal, 1934).



(Courtesy of Minard Coons)

In OUTLAWS OF SONORA (Republic, 1938), Bob Livingston had dual roles as both his normal Three Mesquiteers character 'Stony Brooke' as well as baddie 'Dude Brannen'. Above - Ray 'Crash' Corrigan (as 'Tucson') has Merrill McCormick subdued, Max Terhune (as 'Alibi') is taking care of George Chesebro, and Bob Livingston (as 'Stony') is taking care of the duplicate Stony in the barroom brawl finale in OUTLAWS OF SONORA.



(From Old Corral image collection)

Above is the title lobby card from THE LONE RIDER AMBUSHED (PRC, 1941). In this yarn, George Houston has a dual role --- as Tom Cameron (The Lone Rider) and the outlaw Keno Harris. From L-to-R are George Chesebro, Jack Ingram, Frank Hagney (kneeling) and an unidentified performer. In the inset on the lower left, Houston is about to launch a right hand at an unidentified player, while Jack Ingram and barkeep Ralph Peters look on.



(From Old Corral image collection)

Above are Roy Rogers and Gabby Hayes in a lobby card from JESSE JAMES AT BAY (Republic, 1941). This was the last of Roy's "historical westerns" and in this film, he had a dual role as Gabby's pal Jesse James and Clint Burns.



(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above is the title lobby card for TRAIL OF TERROR (PRC, 1943), one of the best of the Texas Rangers series. In the above lobby card, the masked Dave O'Brien is having a disagreement with Dan White. In this film, O'Brien plays his lawman self as well as his evil twin brother.



(From Old Corral image collection)

Above from L-to-R are John Merton, Dave 'Tex' O'Brien, Buster Crabbe (seated), Lynton Brent and Curley Dresden in a lobby card from Crabbe's SHERIFF OF SAGE VALLEY (PRC, 1942). Buster had a dual role in this oater, and "the other Crabbe" is facing him on the far left.


Bob Livingston had dual roles as Stony Brooke and 'The Laredo Kid' in ROCKY MOUNTAIN RANGERS (Republic, 1940), one of the Three Mesquiteers series.

In the photo on the right, the scar-faced Livingston has Pascale Perry collared.
 


In the above photo, Al 'Fuzzy' St. John tightens up the last knot on the well-tied Buster Crabbe In THE DRIFTER (PRC, 1944).  This is another of those 'hero plays dual role' oaters, with Crabbe in his normal job as 'Billy Carson' as well as baddie 'Drifter Davis'.  Naturally, poor ol' Fuzzy gets confused and tries to restrain the evil 'Drifter' from mixing it up with his pal Billy ... but the 'Drifter' convinces Fuzz that he's really Billy Carson ... got the plot???


Right is a pressbook ad for TWO GUN SHERIFF (Republic, 1941) in which Don Barry portrayed Sheriff Bruce McKinnon and Jim 'Sundown' McKinnon.
(Courtesy of Les Adams)



(Courtesy of Les Adams)
On the left, Crabbe versus Crabbe in PRAIRIE RUSTLERS (PRC, 1945). This was Crabbe's fourth (and last) dual role during his 36 film Billy the Kid/Billy Carson series at PRC.


There were various westerns and serials where the hero (and occasionally the heroine or sidekick) had a dual role, and there were a bunch of films where a familiar face essayed multiple roles:

What you won't find on this list are heroes who did the 'imposter bit' by wearing a disguise or putting on a ruse in order to go undercover or infiltrate the gang.  Nor will you find heroes who donned a cape and covered their faces and became a 'masked avenger'.

For example, we haven't included the bunch of Tim McCoy oaters where he changed clothes, put on a moustache and disguised himself as a Mexican.  You also won't find Bob Livingston and Lee Powell (from the Lone Ranger serials) or John Carroll and Reed Hadley (from their Zorro cliffhangers).  Nor do we include a couple films with George Hayes.  In John Wayne's THE STAR PACKER (Lone Star/Monogram, 1934), Hayes was the sweet Uncle Matt Matlock but he also wore black as the mysterious outlaw, 'The Shadow'.  Hayes did it again in Wayne's RANDY RIDES ALONE (Lone Star/Monogram, 1934) when he was both Marvin Black and 'Matt the Mute'.  Neither of these Hayes portrayals were dual roles --- he simply masqueraded as a member of the community to cover his villainous activities.

Thanks to Les Adams for running his trusty database and coming up with the film and details below.

Which western film hero did the dual role thing most often? Don Barry, Roy Rogers, Tim McCoy and Ken Maynard did three each. But the "winner" is Buster Crabbe. He played dual roles in four of his 36 Billy the Kid/Billy Carson oaters for PRC (Producers Releasing Corporation). Continuing the trivia, it appears that PRC producer Sig Neufeld and his director/brother Sam Newfield liked the dual role gimmick. And it occurred a total of five times in those 36 Crabbe/Al St. John Billy the Kid/Billy Carson adventures. As mentioned, Crabbe played dual roles on four occasions. Add one more PRC Crabbe oater when Al St. John played brothers in HIS BROTHER'S GHOST (PRC, 1945).


Dual Roles


The Hero in Dual Roles - Westerns & Serials
Release
Date
Title Company Who Dual Roles
3/15/31 RIVER'S END, THE Warners Charles Bickford RCMP Sgt. Derry Conniston and John Keith
12/6/31 POCATELLO KID, THE Tiffany Ken Maynard The Pocatello Kid and Jim Bledsoe
4/16/34 HONOR OF THE RANGE Universal Ken Maynard Ken Bellamy and Clem Bellamy
2/1/35 PHANTOM COWBOY, THE Aywon Ted Wells Bill Collins and Jim Russell
2/13/35 WILDERNESS MAIL Ambassador Kermit Maynard Rance Raine and Keith Raine
7/1/35 BRANDED A COWARD Supreme Johnny Mack Brown Johnny Hume and Bill "The Cat" Hume
8/1/35 TOMBSTONE TERROR Supreme Bob Steele Duke Dixon and Jimmy Dixon
12/30/35 BULLDOG COURAGE Puritan Tim McCoy Tim Braddock and Slim Braddock
12/30/35 CUSTERS LAST STAND (Serial) Stage and Screen Rex Lease Kit Cardigan and John Cardigan
1/2/36 DESERT GUNS Beaumont Conway Tearle Kirk Allenby and Bob Enright
11/16/36 BIG SHOW, THE Republic Gene Autry Gene Autry and Tom Ford
12/1/36 BOSS RIDER OF GUN CREEK Universal Buck Jones Larry Day and Gary Elliott
4/1/37 FEUD OF THE TRAIL, THE Victory Tom Tyler Tom Wade and Jack Granger
5/30/37 RECKLESS RANGER Columbia Bob Allen twin brothers Bob Allen and Jim Allen
8/27/37 TRAILING TROUBLE Grand National Ken Maynard "Friendly" Fields and Blackie Burke
9/1/37 MOONLIGHT ON THE RANGE Spectrum Fred Scott Jeff Peters and Killer Dane
4/14/38 OUTLAWS OF SONORA Republic Bob Livingston Stony Brooke and Dude Brannen
5/1/38 TWO-GUN MAN FROM HARLEM Merit/Sack Herbert Jeffrey Bob Blake and The Deacon
9/16/38 BILLY THE KID RETURNS Republic Roy Rogers Roy Rogers and Billy the Kid
9/16/38 BLACK BANDIT Universal Bob Baker Bob Ramsay and Don Ramsay
3/5/39 TWO GUN TROUBADOR Spectrum Fred Scott Fred Dean Sr. and Jr.
4/19/39 OUTLAW'S PARADISE Victory Tim McCoy "Lightnin' Bill" Carson and Trigger Mallory
5/12/39 THREE TEXAS STEERS Republic Ray Corrigan Tucson Smith and "The Gorilla"
8/12/39 STRAIGHT SHOOTER Victory Tim McCoy "Lightnin' Bill" Carson and Sam Brown
5/24/40 ROCKY MOUNTAIN RANGERS Republic Bob Livingston Stony Brooke and The Laredo Kid
5/31/40 BAD MAN FROM RED BUTTE Universal Johnny Mack Brown Buck Halliday and Gils Brady
6/19/40 WAGONS WESTWARD Republic Chester Morris David Cook and Tom Cook
8/10/40 RIVER'S END, THE Warners Dennis Morgan Sergeant Derry Conniston and John Keith
1/17/41 ROMANCE OF THE RIO GRANDE 20th-Fox Cesar Romero Cisco Kid and Carlos Hernandez
4/10/41 TWO GUN SHERIFF Republic Don Barry Sheriff Bruce McKinnon and Jim "Sundown" McKinnon
8/29/41 LONE RIDER AMBUSHED, THE P.R.C. George Houston Tom Cameron (The Lone Rider) and Keno Harris
10/17/41 DRIFTIN' KID, THE Monogram Tom Keene Tom Sterling and Jim Vernon
10/18/41 JESSE JAMES AT BAY Republic Roy Rogers Jesse James and Clint Burns
12/18/41 RIDERS OF THE BADLANDS Columbia Charles Starrett Steve Langdon and Mac Collins
2/12/42 BULLETS FOR BANDITS Columbia Bill Elliott Wild Bill Hickok and Prince Katey
4/1/42 SUNSET ON THE DESERT Republic Roy Rogers Roy Rogers and Bill Sloan
8/21/42 LAW AND ORDER P.R.C. Buster Crabbe Billy the Kid and Lt. Ted Morrison
9/4/42 ARIZONA STAGECOACH Monogram Ray Corrigan Crash Corrigan (I) and Crash Corrigan (2)
9/4/42 ARIZONA STAGECOACH Monogram John King Dusty King (I) and Dusty King (2)
9/4/42 ARIZONA STAGECOACH Monogram Max Terhune Alibi Terhune (1) and Alibi Terhune (2)
10/2/42 SHERIFF OF SAGE VALLEY P.R.C. Buster Crabbe Billy the Kid and Ed "Kansas Ed" Bonney
4/29/43 CHEYENNE ROUNDUP Universal Johnny Mack Brown Buck Brandon and Gils Brandon
7/1/43 FUGITIVE FROM SONORA Republic Don Barry Ted Winters (Keeno Phillips) and Parson Dave Winters
8/24/43 SHADOWS ON THE SAGE Republic Bob Steele Tucson Smith and Curley
9/7/43 TRAIL OF TERROR P.R.C. Dave O'Brien Ranger Tex Wyatt and Curly Wyatt
6/14/44 DRIFTER, THE P.R.C. Buster Crabbe Billy Carson and Drifter Davis
9/15/44 STAGECOACH TO MONTEREY Republic Allan Lane Bruce Redmond and Chick Weaver
4/20/45 CORPUS CHRISTI BANDITS Republic Allan Lane Captain James Christi and Corpus Christi Jim
11/7/45 PRAIRIE RUSTLERS P.R.C. Buster Crabbe Billy Carson and Jim Slade
3/8/47 GUNSMOKE Standard Pictures/Astor Nick Stuart Brad Marlowe and Mr. Marlowe
6/17/48 TIOGA KID, THE P.R.C. Eddie Dean Eddie Dean and Clip (Tioga Kid) Mason
1/7/49 OUTLAW COUNTRY Screen Guild Lash LaRue Marshal Lash LaRue and The Frontier Phantom
7/1/49 TRAIL OF THE MOUNTIES Screen Guild Russell Hayden Sandy Sanderson and Johnny Sanderson
7/1/49 RIM OF THE CANYON Columbia Gene Autry Gene Autry and his father
8/12/50 GUNFIRE Lippert Don Barry Frank James and Bat Fenton
2/1/52 FRONTIER PHANTOM, THE West. Adv. Lash LaRue Marshal Lash LaRue and The Frontier Phantom
3/27/53 SON OF THE RENEGADE United Artists Johnny Carpenter Red River Johnny Sr. and Jr.
7/1/54 LAWLESS RIDER, THE United Artists Johnny Carpenter John Carpenter and Rod Tatum
9/25/56 FLESH AND THE SPUR Amer.-Int. John Agar Luke Random and Matt Random
7/1/65 CAT BALLOU Columbia Lee Marvin Tim Strawn and Kid Shilleen


The Heroine, Sidekick, Second Lead in Dual Roles
Release
Date
Title Company Who Dual Roles
12/1/44 FIREBRANDS OF ARIZONA Republic Smiley Burnette Frog Millhouse and Beefsteak Discoe
2/3/45 HIS BROTHER'S GHOST P.R.C. Al St. John Fuzzy Jones and Andy Jones
9/29/45 SUNSET IN ELDORADO Republic Dale Evans Kansas Kate Wiley and Lucille Wiley
11/18/46 STARS OVER TEXAS P.R.C. Lee Bennett Bert Ford and Waco


Other Folks doing Dual Roles in a Western or Serial
Release
Date
Title Company Who Dual Roles
10/20/30 INDIANS ARE COMING, THE (Serial) Universal Francis Ford George Woods and Tom Woods
1/12/31 RED FORK RANGE Big 4 Lafe McKee Charles Farrell and The Colonel (wagon train leader)
12/30/32 CRASHIN' BROADWAY Monogram George Hayes J. Talbot Thorndyke and John Griswold
5/5/36 PHANTOM PATROL Ambassador Harry Worth Dapper Dan Geary and Stephen Norris
6/6/38 MAN'S COUNTRY Monogram Walter Long Lex Crane and Buck Crane
11/5/43 FALSE COLORS United Artists Tom Seidel Bud Lawton and Kit Moyer
3/8/47 GUNSMOKE Standard Pictures/Astor Craig Lawrence Duke Mattson and (twin) Deke Mattson
11/20/50 BLAZING SUN, THE Columbia Kenne Duncan Al Bartlett and his brother
3/30/58 COLE YOUNGER, GUNFIGHTER Allied Artists Myron Healey Phil Bennett and Charlie Bennett


Multiple Roles

Note: the following 'multiple role' information represents some examples ... we are NOT trying to list every person who ever appeared in two or more roles in westerns and serials.  That would be a monumental task.  The info on serials contains mostly Republic titles and many of the people listed are stuntmen doing roles in front of the camera.


Some examples of folks doing Multiple Roles in the same Western
(and there's lots more occurrences)
Release
Date
Title Company Who Multiple Roles
11/3/31 OKLAHOMA JIM Monogram Jack Evans Gunman and Gambler
8/26/32 McKENNA OF THE MOUNTED Columbia Glenn Strange Mountie and Henchman
6/1/35 CIRCLE OF DEATH Kent Prod. Budd Buster Wagon Train Scout and Storekeeper
7/24/35 CYCLONE OF THE SADDLE Superior George Morrell Pa Carter and Soldier
11/29/35 BETWEEN MEN Supreme Budd Buster Virginia Townsman and Brawler
6/6/36 ACES AND EIGHTS Puritan Karl Hackett Wild Bill Hickok and The Narrator
8/29/36 TRAITOR, THE Puritan Slim Whitaker Plainview Man and Texas Ranger
9/10/36 CAVALCADE OF THE WEST Diversion Budd Buster Stage Guard and Indian
10/5/36 CAVALRY Republic Budd Buster Abraham Lincoln and Wagonmaster Jake
10/19/38 WHERE THE BUFFALO ROAM Monogram Ernie Adams Bert and Gabby Stage Passenger
11/25/38 SIX GUN TRAIL Victory George Morrell Sheriff and Café Patron
5/7/41 SHERIFF OF TOMBSTONE Republic Jay Novello Wells Fargo manager John Anderson and Mexican bandit Joe Martinez
12/13/47 CHEYENNE TAKES OVER P.R.C. Marshall Reed Wayne Dawson and Henchman Johnson


Some examples of folks doing Multiple Roles in the same Western themed serial
(and there's lots more occurrences)
Release
Date
Title Company Who Multiple Roles
3/1/31 SIGN OF THE WOLF, THE Metropolitan Al Ferguson Clyde Winslow/Henchman Dick
1/15/35 RUSTLERS OF RED DOG, THE Universal Artie Ortego Scout/Henchman/Indian
1/15/35 RUSTLERS OF RED DOG, THE Universal Art Mix Saloon Waiter/Henchman
2/23/35 PHANTOM EMPIRE, THE Mascot Ted Mapes Deputy/Muranian
12/30/35 CUSTERS LAST STAND Stage and Screen Ted Adams Buffalo Bill Cody and Henchman Adams
12/30/35 CUSTERS LAST STAND Superior Carl Mathews Chief True Eagle/Curly
12/30/35 CUSTERS LAST STAND Superior Artie Ortego Henchman Quirt/Indian Raider
10/1/36 VIGILANTES ARE COMING, THE Republic Al Taylor Vigilante/Cossack
2/12/38 LONE RANGER, THE Republic Jack Perrin Morgan/Henchman
7/5/38 GREAT ADVENTURES OF WILD BILL HICKOK, THE Columbia Slim Whitaker Henchman Keno/Cactus
5/1/39 OREGON TRAIL, THE Universal George Plues Settler/Stage Driver
10/10/42 KING OF THE MOUNTIES Republic Tom Steele Jack/2nd Spike
10/10/42 KING OF THE MOUNTIES Republic Duke Taylor Smelter Henchman/Mountie
12/17/42 VALLEY OF VANISHING MEN, THE Columbia Blackjack Ward Prospector/Henchman
12/17/42 VALLEY OF VANISHING MEN, THE Columbia Milburn Morante Cave Prisoner/Barfly
4/17/43 DAREDEVILS OF THE WEST Republic Duke Green Sniper/Dave
4/17/43 DAREDEVILS OF THE WEST Republic Eddie Parker MonkMason/Jim/Rustler
4/17/43 DAREDEVILS OF THE WEST Republic Buck Bucko Townsman/Gulch Henchman
12/16/44 ZORRO'S BLACK WHIP Republic Tom Steele Ed Hull/Attacker/Mack/Townsman
12/16/44 ZORRO'S BLACK WHIP Republic Duke Green Evans/Brown
12/16/44 ZORRO'S BLACK WHIP Republic Dale Van Sickle Karl/Camp Henchman/Dabney
12/16/44 ZORRO'S BLACK WHIP Republic Cliff Lyons Rock Henchman/Ambusher
12/16/44 ZORRO'S BLACK WHIP Republic Roy Brent Waggner/Attacker
12/16/44 ZORRO'S BLACK WHIP Republic Cliff Parkinson Trail Henchman/Ed
1/26/46 PHANTOM RIDER, THE Republic Joe Yrigoyen Blackie/Ambusher/Logan/Attacker
1/26/46 PHANTOM RIDER, THE Republic Bill Yrigoyen Henchman Lookout/IndianRenegade
1/26/46 PHANTOM RIDER, THE Republic Dale Van Sickle Bert/Lyons/Pete/Mack
1/26/46 PHANTOM RIDER, THE Republic Bud Bailey Trail Henchman/Attacker
1/26/46 PHANTOM RIDER, THE Republic Post Park Tom/Money Wagon Driver
4/27/46 KING OF THE FOREST RANGERS Republic Scott Elliott Andrews/Bryan/Sand/Merkle
4/27/46 KING OF THE FOREST RANGERS Republic Tom Steele Martin/Baker/Steele/Al
4/27/46 KING OF THE FOREST RANGERS Republic Dale Van Sickle Smith/Blaine/Hughes
1/18/47 SON OF ZORRO Republic Jack Kirk Charlie Graham/Blake
1/18/47 SON OF ZORRO Republic Tom Steele Leach/Spike
1/18/47 SON OF ZORRO Republic Dale Van Sickle Murray/Dale/Kaw/Forney
1/18/47 SON OF ZORRO Republic Joe Phillips Sniper/Deputy
1/18/47 SON OF ZORRO Republic Cactus Mack Raider/Green
1/18/47 SON OF ZORRO Republic Bud Wolfe Haskell/Hart
1/18/47 SON OF ZORRO Republic Al Ferguson Raider/Lawton
3/24/47 JESSE JAMES RIDES AGAIN Republic John Compton Steve Lane/Long
3/24/47 JESSE JAMES RIDES AGAIN Republic Tom Steele Goff/Bates/Hood
3/24/47 JESSE JAMES RIDES AGAIN Republic Dale Van Sickle Boyd/Brock/Raider/Gow
3/24/47 JESSE JAMES RIDES AGAIN Republic Ted Mapes Bass/Dale
3/24/47 JESSE JAMES RIDES AGAIN Republic Herman Hack Kaw/2nd Joe
4/24/48 DANGERS OF THE CANADIAN MOUNTED Republic Tom Steele Fagin/Carter/Driver/
Lou/Sloane/Spike
4/24/48 DANGERS OF THE CANADIAN MOUNTED Republic Dale Van Sickle Boyd/Bart/Pete/Scott/Steele
4/24/48 DANGERS OF THE CANADIAN MOUNTED Republic Carey Loftin Porter/Clerk
4/24/48 DANGERS OF THE CANADIAN MOUNTED Republic Ken Terrell Art/Curry/Fenton/Grady/
Guard/Masters/Tom
4/24/48 DANGERS OF THE CANADIAN MOUNTED Republic Marshall Reed Dave/Douglas/Jim/Williams
4/24/48 DANGERS OF THE CANADIAN MOUNTED Republic Bud Wolfe Vance/Zeke
10/30/48 ADVENTURES OF FRANK AND JESSE JAMES Republic Dale Van Sickle Thomas Dale/Art Carter/Jones
10/30/48 ADVENTURES OF FRANK AND JESSE JAMES Republic Tom Steele Mike Steele/Barton/Gus
10/30/48 ADVENTURES OF FRANK AND JESSE JAMES Republic Carey Loftin Carson/Pete
10/30/48 ADVENTURES OF FRANK AND JESSE JAMES Republic Eddie Parker Jergens/Joe
8/6/49 GHOST OF ZORRO Republic Dale Van Sickle Mike Hodge/Mead
8/6/49 GHOST OF ZORRO Republic Tom Steele Brace/Spike
8/6/49 GHOST OF ZORRO Republic Post Park StageDriver/Zeke
2/11/50 JAMES BROTHERS OF MISSOURI, THE Republic Hank Patterson Duffy/Waller
2/11/50 JAMES BROTHERS OF MISSOURI, THE Republic Dale Van Sickle Harry Sharkey/Simpson
2/11/50 JAMES BROTHERS OF MISSOURI, THE Republic Tom Steele Slim/Drake
2/11/50 JAMES BROTHERS OF MISSOURI, THE Republic Duke Green Henchman Brad/Cowl
2/11/50 JAMES BROTHERS OF MISSOURI, THE Republic Post Park Waggoner/Farrow/Stage Driver
2/11/50 JAMES BROTHERS OF MISSOURI, THE Republic Ken Terrell Stark/Trent
2/11/50 JAMES BROTHERS OF MISSOURI, THE Republic Duke Taylor Flint/Pete
4/1/50 DESPERADOES OF THE WEST Republic Tom Steele Gregg/Blake
7/19/54 MAN WITH THE STEEL WHIP Republic Tom Steele Gage/Tom


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