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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.




Above - 1937



Above - 1941
Chuck Morrison

May be: Charles Fredrick Morrison

1896 - ????


Chuck Morrison is a mystery man. His Hollywood career lasted about ten years, from approximately 1933-1944. And then he disappears - perhaps he entered the service for World War II duty or took a job in a defense plant ... or he was injured, ill or passed away.

He was generally a henchman ... most often unbilled/uncredited ... and he is relatively easy to spot due to a protruding jawline and misalignment of teeth (malocclusion). He did westerns with many of our favorites - his earliest were with Rex Bell, Reb Russell, Harry Carey Sr., and by the late 1930s - early 1940s, he was appearing in oaters with the Three Mesquiteers, Don Barry, Autry, Rogers, more.

Les Adams has Morrison identified in about 65 films and that includes 45 westerns and 10 serials.

The Family Search website (free) and Ancestry.com (subscription) have records on a guy that MAY be our B western henchman Chuck Morrison:

  • 1940 census: 44 year old Charles F. Morrison (born Massachusetts about 1896) and 24 year old lodger Mary Wood (born Missouri) are living in the Los Angeles area: https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/K9CC-C2L
    1940 census takers worksheet: Charles F. Morrison and Mary Wood are renting and reside at room/unit #351 at 1825 North Kingsley Drive in Los Angeles. Morrison is divorced; lived in rural California in 1935; completed 4 years of college; and occupation is "Actor - Motion Picture Studio". He also reports that during 1939, he worked 28 weeks and earned $1500.00. Mary is single and her occupation is "Model - ladies clothing": https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-27796-4792-60?cc=2000219&wc=MMYH-XBS:827740180
  • Ancestry.com has Los Angeles County voter registrations and City Directories. The 1942 voter registration (shown below) has actor Charles F. and model Mary E. Morrison residing at 1422 Riverside Drive, Burbank, California. The 1940 Burbank city directory also shows them as married and living at that Riverside Drive address.
  • 1942 World War II draft registration: 45 year old Charles Fredrick Morrison was born June 17, 1896 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He works for the Las Vegas Police Department, and he and wife Mary live at 604 Clark Avenue, Las Vegas: https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1-16533-10796-4?cc=1861144
  • Ancestry had the 1944 and 1946 Los Angeles county voter registrations for Mary E. Morrison. But Charles is not present.

At the National Archives (archives.gov) website, I checked the Army 1938-1946 Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946 Army Reserve Corps Records, and the World War II Casualties (from California) for Army, Marines, Navy, et al. Also checked the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs gravesite locator website (gravelocator.cem.va.gov). While there are some Charles Morrisons listed, could not confirm any as our western movie and serial actor.

  Although some of the data is incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) has information on Chuck Morrison: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0607108





(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above from left to right Dick Botiller's back and hat, unidentified player, Harry Carey, Francis/Frank Walker, Chuck Morrison and Bob Kortman in a scene from Carey's WILD MUSTANG (Ajax, 1935).



(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above are Harry Carey Sr. battling with Chuck Morrison in a crop from a lobby card from GHOST TOWN (Ajax, 1936). Note the jaw and teeth alignment on Morrison.



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