|Unkempt, rough and tough looking members of the gang, or lynch mob, or vigilantes, or posse riders, or cow herders. They had minimal or no dialog, not much screen time, and were generally not listed in the film credits. Some would show up as a face in the crowd, portraying townspeople, barflys, deputies, wagon drivers, ranch hands, etc. We tend to recognize some of their faces, but have no clue as to their real names.|
Full name: Francis William Walker
appeared in at least 93 westerns and 4 serials ... and still counting.
|I tend to recall Francis/Frank Walker in Columbia oaters just prior to and during the early days of World War II - rightly so, as he appeared in nearly four dozen of the Bill Elliott and Charles Starrett Columbias from that time period.|
Born in Idaho, his film career spanned about a dozen years, from about 1933-1945, and most of his roles were that of gang member / henchman as well as doubling and stunt work. Appears he was a busy guy - check his reported earnings in the 1940 census below.
He enlisted in the Army on May 21, 1942 as a Private (link with more details below). Alas - we don't know where his duty locations were ... or whether he was injured in the military or Hollywood ... or he found a different job outside of the movie business.
The Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has a few film listings for him during 1943-1945 ... and then he disappears.
The California Death Index and Social Security Death Index (SSDI) have Walker passing away in May, 1971 in Shasta County, California. Profiles on him note he died in Redding, California (which is the county seat of Shasta County). I found no obituary at the Google Newspaper Archive or the Newspaper Archive websites. Perhaps an Old Corral visitor who lives in/near Redding, California will volunteer to visit the local library and see if there's an obituary on Walker.
Although some of the data may be incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has information on Francis Walker: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0907733
(Courtesy of Les Adams)
Above is the title lobby card from the Astor re-issue of Bill Elliott's THE RETURN OF DANIEL BOONE (Columbia, 1941). He's got his arm around Betty Miles. In the upper right inset, Elliott has the drop on Bud Osborne and Francis Walker (standing) and Ray Bennett (kneeling).