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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, barflies, deputies, wagon drivers, ranch hands, etc. We tend to recognize some of their faces, but have no clue as to their real names.



1931


1949
Bob Card
Full name: Robert Austin Card
1887 - 1970

He appeared in at least 105 westerns and 9 serials, and his film career ran from about 1930 through the mid 1940s.

Bob Card's sound film career ran from about 1930 through the mid 1940s, and he did mostly uncredited roles as a lawman, barfly, townsman ... and sometimes played a member of the gang or posse. Occasionally, Card did a musical role. He may have appeared in a few or many silent films, but since much of those films are lost or missing, we'll never know.

Les Adams has Bob Card identified in about 115 sound films - that number includes 105 westerns and 9 cliffhangers.

There are census records and draft registrations on Card as well as his 1970 obituary. And there's a twenty-five year gap after he exited the movie business - from about 1945 through his death in 1970. I've yet to uncover anything about his life and career during that period.

  Although some of the data is incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has information on Bob Card: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0136285/

The Family Search website (free), Ancestry.com (subscription), Newspaper Archive (subscription), California Death Index, and the Social Security Death Index (SSDI) have info on Bob Card:

  • Ancestry had Bob Cards' World War I draft registration from June, 1917: 30 year old Robert A. Card is living in Omaha, Nebraska. He reports his birth date and location as May 4, 1887 and Shellrock, Iowa. His occupation is "Barber" at a shop in Omaha. He also reports that he was an Infantry Private for two years in South Dakota.
  • 1930 census: 41 year old Robert A. Card (born Nebraska), his 36 year old wife Hazel M. (born Nebraska), and a boarder are living in Glendale, California: https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/XCFP-HC6
    Ancestry had the 1930 census takers worksheet (which was faded and difficult to read): Robert A. Card, wife Hazel M. and a boarder are renting at 1217B East Morvoro (or Marvara) Street, Glendale, California. Card's occupation appears to be "Automobile Mechanic - Garage"; and he answers "Yes" and World War I to the are you a veteran question.
  • 1940 census: 52 year old Robert A. Card (born Iowa), 46 year old wife Hazel M. (born Nebraska), 8 year old daughter Roverta [sic] F. (born California), and 7 year old daughter Elizabeth L. (born California) are living in Los Angeles: https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/K9HL-X1V
    1940 census takers worksheet: the Card family is renting at 5219 Wilkinson Avenue in Los Angeles. Card reports that he completed 8 years of schooling, his occupation is "Actor extra - Motion Picture Studio", and in 1939, he worked 13 weeks and earned $1980.00: https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-27793-4781-43?cc=2000219&wc=M9Q8-YF9:n643789087
  • 1942 World War II draft registration: Robert Austin Card was born May 4, 1887 in Shellrock, Iowa. His home address is 11318 Morrison Street, North Hollywood, California, and his contact is wife Hazel M. Card (at the Morrison Street address). Looks like Bob is living and working in Las Vegas, Nevada and his employer is Basic Magnesium Incorporated, Las Vegas ... perhaps a World War II defense plant job?: https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1-16373-5426-35?cc=1861144&wc=MMRW-1VF:n1717972550
  • The April 10, 1970 edition of the Van Nuys (California) News had an obituary for Robert A. Card. Excerpts: "Mr. Card, who died Tuesday at the age of 82, had resided in the Valley since 1937. He was a World War I veteran and had a 25-year career as a western character actor. ... survived by wife Hazel ... and two daughters ... Interment will be at Valhalla Cemetery."
  • There are records for Bob Card in the California Death Index and Social Security Death Index (SSDI) - Robert A. Card, born May 4, 1887 in Iowa, and he passed away on April 7, 1970 in the Los Angeles area: https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VP2K-PYZ



(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above from L-to-R in the front are Fred Burns, Maude Eburne, Carol Hughes and Hal Taliaferro. L-to-R on horseback are Bob Card, Ted Mapes and Jack Montgomery. Crop from a lobby card from the Roy Rogers starrer, THE BORDER LEGION (Republic, 1940). One of Maude's great roles is the feisty ranch owner in the George O'Brien HOLLYWOOD COWBOY (RKO, 1937; alternate title WINGS OVER WYOMING).



(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above from L-to-R are Chick Hannan/Hannon, Hank Worden, Lew Morphy, Bob Baker, Wally West and Bob Card in THE SINGING OUTLAW (Universal, 1938). That's Herman Hack in the back row center with his hand in the air. High in the upper right corner is Art Mix (George Kesterson).



(Courtesy of Dorothy Hack)

Members of the Santa Monica Mounted Police unit circa 1939-1940. The men in the photo include three western film veterans - from L-to-R are unidentified, Bob Card, Ralph 'Buck' Bucko, unidentified, unidentified, and Herman Hack.





Bill Patton
Full name: William B. or William P. Patton
1894 - 1951

In the sound era, he appeared in at least 73 westerns and 4 serials, and his film career ran from about 1917 through the mid 1940s.

Left is Bill Patton clean shaven and wearing his trademark hat. Below with his mustache. Both of these images are circa 1935.



(Courtesy of Ed Phillips)

Above is Bill Patton - the shirt matches the one he wears in his only talkie starring role, the poverty row ARIZONA TRAILS (Art Mix Prod./Superior, 1935) churned out by Victor Adamson, AKA Art Mix, AKA Denver Dixon.


In silents, the major western stars included William S. Hart, Tom Mix, and a few others. There were also a bunch of minor sagebrush heroes such as Buddy Roosevelt, Bob Custer, Buffalo Bill Jr. ... and Bill Patton. His hero days were over when talkies arrived, and Patton wound up doing mostly uncredited roles as a henchman, lawman, et al in B westerns through the mid 1940s. He can be spotted in sound films starring Ken Maynard, Buck Jones, Tim McCoy, the Three Mesquiteers, Gene Autry, more. Patton also shows up in Poverty Row oaters with Reb Russell, Wally Wales, Lane Chandler, others.

He did have the lead in one sound western, ARIZONA TRAILS (Art Mix Prod./Superior, 1935) for Victor Adamson/Denver Dixon. Recently, TRAILS became available on DVD and we can confirm that Patton should have said "NO!" to doing this. He was also in the cast of a couple other Adamson/Dixon productions: the lost/missing DESERT MESA (Art Mix Prod./Security, 1935) and the available THE RAWHIDE TERROR (Art Mix Prod./Security, 1934).

Les Adams has Patton identified in about 80 sound films - that number includes 73 westerns and 4 cliffhangers.

Prior to films, Patton was a rodeo performer. "Champion Rodeo Performers Seen In Screen Drama" was the headline of a 1931 newspaper article about Richard Dix's CIMARRON western for RKO. Among the names in the article: "... Bill Patton, former western star, who won the world's broncho busting championship at Brownsville, Texas, in 1911; Denver, 1916; and Miles City in 1916."

  Although some of the data is incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has information on Bill Patton: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0666538/

The Family Search website (free), Ancestry.com (subscription), ProQuest obituaries, the death certificate, and the California Death Index have info on on Bill Patton:

  • 1920 census: 24 year old William B. Patton (born Texas) and 30 year old wife Birdie J. (born Missouri) are living in Los Angeles: https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/MH7W-ZNG
    Ancestry has the 1920 census takers worksheet: William B. Patton and wife Birdie J. are renting at 1325 De Long Street, Los Angeles (appears to be an apartment as there are many families and many units listed). His occupation is "Actor - Moving Pictures".
  • 1930 census: 35 year old William B. Patton (born Texas) is a lodger in the Los Angeles home of James P. Lavalle and Nellie Lavalle: https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/XCJY-N9R
    Ancestry has the 1930 census takers worksheet: William B. Patton is one of several lodgers residing at 334 Melrose ???, Los Angeles. He is divorced and occupation is "Actor - Motion Pictures".
  • 1940 census: 55 year old William Patton (born Texas) and 33 year old wife Emily (born California) are living in Los Angeles: https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/K9CX-853
    1940 census takers worksheet: William Patton and wife Emily are renting at 5616 Lexington Avenue, Los Angeles (appears to be an apartment as there are many families and many units listed). His occupation is "Actor - Motion Pictures", and in 1939, he worked 30 weeks and earned $800.00. Emily is a maid, and in 1939, she worked 52 weeks and earned $600.00: https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-27797-3408-58?cc=2000219&wc=M9Q8-YVZ:n945924200
  • Death certificate: 57 year old William P. Patton passed away on December 12, 1951 at the Clear View Sanitarium, 15823 South Western Avenue, Gardena, California. He had resided there for two plus years. Cause of death was cerebral thrombosis. He was born in Texas on June 2, 1894; occupation was "Actor-Motion Pictures"; he was widowed; and not a military veteran. Pierce Bros. was the funeral director and burial at Valhalla Cemetery.
  • The California Death Index mirrors the death certificate - William P. Patton was born June 2, 1894 in Texas and passed away December 12, 1951 in the Los Angeles area. There was no record in the Social Security Death Index (SSDI), probably due to the family not filing for the death benefit: https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VPZM-M3B
  • The December 15, 1951 Los Angeles Times newspaper had a funeral notice: "PATTON, William ... services today at Pierce Brothers Hollywood ... Interment Valhalla Memorial Park."

The Google Newspaper archive has a June 21, 1937 Jimmie Fidler "Hollywood Shots" syndicated article in the Reading (Pennsylvania) Eagle paper. Patton discusses the broken back he suffered ten years earlier which nearly ended his career ... and his current life as a "working extra": http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=x-QxAAAAIBAJ&sjid=heIFAAAAIBAJ&pg=4273,4709924&dq=bill-patton+actor&hl=en

YouTube and the Internet Archive have the (terrible) THE RAWHIDE TERROR which you can view or download:
http://archive.org/details/RawhideTerror
http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=%22rawhide+terror%22



(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above is a photo of the title lobby card for THE RAWHIDE TERROR (Security, 1934). Note the "Victor Adamson Presents an Art Mix Production", and a photo of Adamson/Dixon is shown in the upper left. Edmund Cobb (shown center) was kinda the star, even though he's listed second below William (Bill) Desmond. Also acting as the hero was George Kesterson/Art Mix but he kinda disappears. Bill Patton (moustached, wearing dark shirt, gloves, jacket) is to the left of heroine Frances Morris. Scuttlebutt was that THE RAWHIDE TERROR was originally planned as a serial, but never came to fruition. Thus, when Victor Adamson/Denver Dixon slapped this together as a feature, continuity and logic were lost.



(From Old Corral image collection)

Above from L-to-R are Chester Gan, Bill Patton, Charles 'Slim' Whitaker, Lucille Lund, and the bare-chested Reb Russell in FIGHTING THROUGH (Willis Kent, 1934). Lucille Lund also attended Northwestern University at the same time that Russell was there.



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