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Who's That Face ...
inquiring minds want to know!

(Courtesy of Ron Blum)

Mystery Painting

May, 2006: Ron Blum e-mailed about this large painting. Ron writes: There is nothing on the back (marks, dates, names, etc.). There is an artist's signature but it is tough to read. It appears to start with "Lan" and the second word appears to begin "De". I think it is either a movie magazine cover, or perhaps some sort or preliminary piece for some poster or promotional piece. It is large, about 24 by 36. It is oil on canvas that has been removed from the stretcher bars.

I did circulate this to some Old Corral contributors. No - it's not a Buck Jones comic cover. No - it's not a promo image or piece from any of Buck's films, including Jones' BLACK ACES (1937). Any detective out there with some details on the where, when and why of this?

June, 2009 update from Ron Blum: "... I ended up selling it and saw that it sold again at a Western Auction somewhat later. I don't think they found out anything else about it."

(Courtesy of Will Harinsky)

John Doe #24

Will Harinsky acquired the above photo (and three other variations of the same pose) in February, 2004 at a Serial and B western movie convention in Tucson from a dealer of various flats and posters. All 4 photos are about 5" x 3" in size. The bag they came in was old, worn, and yellow with a stamp that reads "Republic Pictures" in black ink. Anybody have any info on this image?

(Courtesy of Steve Scalici)

Jane Doe #1

The name Nancy Chambers isn't familiar to us, at least as a B-western performer.  Perhaps she was a rodeo or circus performer, or worked in a western swing band.  Anybody have any info on her?

John Does #5 and #6

(Courtesy of Ed Phillips)

The above photo shows Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams standing on the right, and in the window are a half-dozen faces which are shown below.  Photo from SINGIN' IN THE CORN (1946), which starred Judy Canova.

Bottom row is, from L-to-R, Frank Lackteen, Frances Rey, and Nick Thompson.

The top row, L-to-R, are Chief Yowlachie, John Doe #5 and John Doe #6.

Got an e-mail from Phil Arnold who was in touch with stuntman Jack Lilley. Lilley identified our John Doe #5 as Tom Humphries.

The man in the top right might be Charles Randolph.

John Doe #1

Is this Herman Nowlin/Nolan ? Nope ... back to Square One. Photos of the real Herman Nowlin/Nolan are in "The Henchies" section.

This guy appears in a couple of dozen or more westerns from the mid-30's into the forties usually at Monogram or PRC. Never heard him utter a line but he's always on a porch or in the bar or just basically hanging around.

Our John Doe #1 is NOT Clem Horton or Jack Low (Lowe) or George Kamel or Lee J. Cobb or Tex Palmer or Foxy Callahan or Denver Dixon/Victor Adamson or a young Pat Buttram.

Above, our John Doe #1 with Al 'Fuzzy' St. John in a crop from a lobby card from GUNSMOKE TRAIL which starred Jack Randall.

Above, John Doe #1 on the right in BILLY THE KID IN SANTA FE, and on the left is Sherry Tansey.

Above, our John Doe #1 is in the middle between Jack Randall and Tom London in Randall's WILD HORSE RANGE.

Above, John Doe #1 on the left with George Morrell in a crop from a lobby card from Johnny Mack Brown's RANGE LAW.

Above, John Doe #1 in the center. On the left is Henry Wills and right is Joseph Eggerton in a scene from JMB's FIGHTING BILL FARGO.

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above left to right in the front row are Buck Moulton w/ sixgun, Bud McClure next to him w/ sixgun, Carleton Young is in the center with coat and pointing, and on the right is Hobart 'Tex' Parker. Our John Doe is in the right background and wearing a dark hat. Scene from the Don Barry starrer TWO GUN SHERIFF (Republic, 1941).

John Doe #2 is not Robert O'Byrne.
Might be Bob McElroy?

Several of us thought this older gent might be Robert O'Byrne. But it isn't. Jack Tillmany found a photo of O'Byrne in a 1945 casting directory and he's much younger than our John Doe #2. Current speculation is that he's Bob McElroy.

McElroy was an old-timer when he started film work in the mid 1940s. He seemed to find a home at Monogram doing uncredited roles as a henchman, townsman, barfly, etc. in oaters with Johnny Mack Brown, Jimmy Wakely, Whip Wilson and the Cisco Kid entries with Gilbert Roland. As the B western faded away, McElroy did uncredited work in television shows including the CISCO KID, WILD BILL HICKOK, GENE AUTRY, a few others.

  Although some of the data may be incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has information on Bob McElroy:

1930 census - living in La Crescenta, Los Angeles, California are 38 year old Robert F. Mcelroy (born Kentucky), his 34 year old wife Hazel K. (born New York) and two servants:
1930 census takers worksheet - they are renting at 7123 E. Verduga. Occupation of Robert is "Proprietor - Restaurant"; and he is a World War I veteran:

1940 census - 49 year old Robert F. Mcelroy (born Kentucky) and his 43 year old wife Hazel K. (born New York) are living in Glendale, Los Angeles County, California:
1940 census takers worksheet - McElroy and wife are on two separate sheets. They own their home at 3961 Pennsylvania. His occupation is "Proprietor - Restaurant" and Hazel is "Partner - Restaurant":

Ancestry had Robert F. McElroy, actor, in the 1957, 1960, 1962 and 1972 city directories and his address matches the 1940 census: Robert F. McElroy, actor, home address of 3961 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Above - John Doe #2 in a crop from a still from the Johnny Mack Brown WESTERN RENEGADES (Monogram, 1949).

Above, John Doe #2 in a crop from a lobby card from VALLEY OF FEAR (Monogram, 1947), one of the Johnny Mack Brown oaters. On the left, all roped up, is Tris Coffin. And wearing the green shirt is Ted Adams.

Above from L-to-R are Johnny Mack Brown, John Merton and John Doe #2 in a crop from a lobby card from MAN FROM SONORA (Monogram, 1951).

I also have some screen captures of this guy:

  • he's the jail guard in the Gilbert Roland KING OF THE BANDITS (Monogram, 1947).
  • he's the man with the floppy hat and bar of soap in the Gilbert Roland BEAUTY AND THE BANDIT (Monogram, 1946).
  • and he's one of the poker playing barflies in the Eddie Dean DRIFTING RIVER (PRC, 1946).

His roles were mostly minor, and as such, he rarely got billing credit. However, he does get billed in a pair of Johnny Mack Brown Monograms, PRAIRIE LAW (Monogram, 1947) and GUN TALK (Monogram, 1947). I have some screen captures of McElroy (portraying henchies) in those.

John Doe #3

(Courtesy of Ed Phillips)

Above from L-to-R are Robert Walker, Frank Ellis, Dick Rush, Edmund Cobb, John Doe #3, Charles Starrett, George Morrell (behind and right of Starrett).  In the background on horseback are Steve Clark and Tex Cooper (Buffalo Bill-looking character).  Scene from TWO-FISTED SHERIFF (Columbia, 1937).  Below is a blowup of the face of John Doe #3.

John Doe #3 is NOT Robert Gleckler.

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