|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: Earl Leslie Rengstorff Askam
1891 - 1940
appeared in at least 12 westerns and 4 serials, and his film career ran from about 1930 - 1940.
|To cliffhanger fans, Earl Askam's most remembered roles were as 'Officer Torch' in the first FLASH GORDON serial and as 'Red' in THE HAWK OF THE WILDERNESS cliffhanger.
Askam's April 2, 1940 death on a golf course was mentioned in the April 3, 1940 issue of the Film Daily tradepaper: "Earl Askam ... was stricken with a fatal heart attack while playing golf with Kermit Maynard. He was a brother of Perry Askam, concert star."
Askam's Hollywood film career was secondary to his main profession - singing in traveling repertory companies, light opera, and doing extensive stage work with his brother, noted singer Perry Askam. A 1925 issue of Variety noted that Earl was a member of the New York Metropolitan Opera company. He served during World War I as a second lieutenant and lieutenant.
Although some of the data may be incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has information on Earl Askam and his brother Perry:
There are many articles on Askam in newspapers and Variety tradepapers. Below are a few highlights:
The Family Search website (free), Ancestry.com (subscription), the California Death Index and the death certificate provide more info on Askam:
Jim Tipton's Find A Grave website confirms that Earl Askam is interred at Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, Alameda County, California: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=52239861
(Courtesy of Les Adams)
John Wayne has his dukes on William Royle, and in the background, from L-to-R, are John Beach, Earl Askam and Olin Francis. From the Three Mesquiteers adventure, RED RIVER RANGE (Republic, 1938).
Full name: Olin Caldwell Francis
1891 - 1952
appeared in at least 37 westerns and 3 serials, and his film career ran from the early 1920s - early 1940s.
|The movie career of Olin Francis began circa 1921. He starred in a few before transitioning to character parts in silent films and serials.
In talkies, he wound up in lesser roles, often as a B film gang member, henchman, et al. Perhaps his meatiest B western performance occurs in TAKE ME BACK TO OKLAHOMA (Monogram, 1940), considered one of Tex Ritter's best Monograms. Francis is "Mule Bates", a released convict who's hired by Karl Hackett to handle the reins in a stagecoach race ... as well as killing Tex. But he winds up going straight and assisting Ritter, sidekick 'Slim' Andrews and Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys.
His last film appearance was circa 1941 ... and then he disappears from the movie business. He identified himself as an actor in the 1940 census. However, the occupation on his 1952 death certificate is "Police Officer - Air Craft".
Although some of the data may be incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has information on Olin Francis: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0290274
The Family Search website (free), California Death Index and the death certificate provide more on Olin Francis and family:
Jim Tipton's Find A Grave website confirms that Olin Francis is interred at Inglewood Park Cemetery, Inglewood, California: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=92201137
(Courtesy of Les Adams)
Above from L-to-R are an unidentified player, Barney Beasley, an un-moustached Tom Smith, and Ken Maynard appears to be 'rassling with Ed Brady in a still from GUN JUSTICE (Universal, 1933). The bartender is Olin Francis.
(Courtesy of Bart Romans)
From L-to-R are Curley Dresden (sans moustache), John Wayne and Olin Francis in a scene from PALS OF THE SADDLE (Republic, 1938), one of the Three Mesquiteers series.
Real name: Carl F. Moehring
1897 - 1968
appeared in at least 62 westerns and 2 serials, and his career in film and TV ran from about 1913 through the early 1960s.
Carl F. "Kansas" Moehring wasn't from Kansas. He was born in Ohio. And he was in Hollywood circa 1913 as a rider and stunt man in westerns and action films. There are newspaper reports about a severe spinal injury that he suffered while working on a 1913 film at Universal.
The Lima (Ohio) Daily News from November 21, 1913 had a lengthy article on the injury and the possibility that Moehring would be paralized/disabled. The headline read "LIMA YOUTH SERIOUSLY HURT IN CALIFORNIA. CARL MOEHRING JUMPS FROM SADDLE ON BACK OF RUNAWAY BRONCHO". Following are a few excerpts from the article including a mention that his parents had moved from Ohio to Kansas (and perhaps that's when he picked up the "Kansas" moniker):
His parents were "Mrs. and Mrs. Henry J. Moehring, formerly of Lima and St. Marys ..." and "Carl Moehring ... (was) one of three Lima youths (that) ran away ... and started for the west. They went at first to Independence, Kan., where Carl's father was employed ..." and "Carl continued on to California where he secured employment with the Universal Film company."
He did recover from the spinal injury and continued stunting and riding.
You may want to go to the In Search Of ... page on the Old Corral and then to the California Death Index. There you will find dual records - one for Carl F. Moehring and another for Kansas Moehring. The other information on both records is the same: he was born 7/9/1897 in Ohio, Mother's maiden name of Ersig, and he passed away in the Los Angeles area on 10/3/1968.
Although some of the data may be incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has information on Kansas Moehring: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0595415
(From Old Corral image collection)
Standing from left to right in this still from FRONTIER OUTLAWS (PRC, 1944) are Kansas Moehring, Tex Cooper and Buster Crabbe. Sitting from left to right are Al 'Fuzzy' St. John, Marin Sais, and Frances Gladwin. Gladwin was the heroine in four of Buster's PRC oaters. Marin Sais (1890-1971) began her film career in silents. She was married to Jack Hoxie but they divorced in 1925 after about five years of marriage.