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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.

Chick Hannon
(sometimes spelled Hannan)

Full name: Chester William Hannon

1901 - 1980

appeared in at least 210 westerns and 14 serials and his film and television career ran from about 1935 - 1966.

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above from L-to-R are Chick Hannon, Hank Worden, Lew Morphy, Bob Baker, Wally West and Bob Card in Baker's 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). Chick Hannon and Hank Worden were close friends, and they both left Utah to go to New York together back in the late 1920s (where they worked on Broadway with Tex Ritter in Green Grow The Lilacs), and afterwards, they went to California together.

Born 1901 in Michigan, Chick Hannon was another of the rodeo performers who capitalized on their ridin' and ropin' talents and became an actor and rider in B westerns and serials. His film and television career spanned about forty years, and he did mostly unbilled roles as a henchman, townsman, barfly, etc.

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

The Internet Broadway Database has Chick Hannan in the 1931 stage production of Green Grow The Lilacs at the Guild Theater in New York City:

The New York Public Library Digital collections has a photo of actress Ruth Chorpenning and the 30 year old Chick Hannan in the Broadway play Green Grow The Lilacs:

The Family Search website (free) and the California Death Records database have information on Chick Hannan:

  • April, 1924 passpost application of Chester William Hannon, born May 12, 1901 in Iron River, Michigan and his father is Arthur George Hannon, (born Wisconsin) and lives in Muskegon, Michigan. Hannon is accompanied by his wife Sarah Elizabeth Hannon, born October 13, 1901 in Crumpton, Maryland. They're living in New York City and sailing on/about May 4, 1924 to England for the Imperial Rodeo. There's a notation that Hannon's passport is to be sent to rodeo promoter Tex Austin in New York City:
    Passport photo of Hannon and his wife:
  • 1940 census: 39 year old Chick Hannan (born Michigan), 28 year old wife Thecla (sp?) (born Nebraska) and 1 year old daughter Patrica (sp?) (born California) live in the Los Angeles area:
    1940 census takers worksheet: Chick Hannan and family are renting at 1131 Newhall Avenue in Newhall, California, and they lived in Newhall in 1935. His occupation is "Cowboy actor - Motion Pictures", and in 1939, he worked 26 weeks and earned $2000.00:
  • You may want to go to the In Search Of ... page on the Old Corral and then to the California Death Records database. There you will find a record for: Chester William Hannan, born 5/24/1901 in Michigan, Mother's maiden name of Smith, and he passed away on 8/14/1980 in the Los Angeles area.

HannAn vs. HannOn last name variations

The names "Chick Hannan" (spelled with an A) and "Chick Hannon" (spelled with an O) can be found in a few newspaper clippings from the 1920s as well as the 1960s. Good probability that Hannan and Hannon are the same person ... and he is also our B western henchman, townsman, bit player, et al. His 1924 passport application has "Hannon" (with an O), and I'm inclined to believe that is the proper spelling of his last name.

Tex Ritter's TROUBLE IN TEXAS (Grand National, 1937) was about rodeo racketeers and had extensive rodeo footage.

Excerpt from one of the pressbook ads:

"The world champion cowboys in this exciting musical western include: Yakima Canutt, Chick Hannon, Fox O'Callahan, Harry Knight and many other equally well known, and their reckless feats of daring in the great rodeo sequences have never been equalled on the screen."

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Jack Randall is on the piano and behind him from L-to-R are Frank Hagney, unidentified player (black hat), Oscar Gahan, Chick Hannon, unidentified blonde saloon gal, Archie Ricks, and an unidentifed tall galoot in a scene from RIDERS OF THE DAWN (Monogram, 1937), Randall's first starring oater. Hagney was a henchman working for Warner Richmond. The blonde actress doesn't appear to Peggy Keys, who was the heroine in this western.

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above from left to right are Earl Dwire (face hidden), Hal Price (with beard), Lois Wilde, Jack Randall, a bearded Chick Hannon and Ernie Adams in a crop from a lobby card from DANGER VALLEY (Monogram, 1937), Randall's third starring western. Handling both the producer and director chores was Bob Steele's father, Robert North Bradbury. Hal Price was Randall's sidekick.

(Courtesy of Pat LaRosa)

Above from left to right are George Chesebro, Chick Hannon, Charles Starrett and a very old looking Bob Kortman in a lobby card from GUNNING FOR VENGEANCE (Columbia, 1946), one of the Starrett/Durango Kid entries.

(Courtesy of Ed Phillips)

Above - Ken Curtis attends to Gene Roth (Gene Stutenroth) while Roy Barcroft looks on. There are several unidentified players in the background - in the center, with checkerboard shirt and hands hanging at his side is an older Chick Hannon. From the chapterplay, DON DAREDEVIL RIDES AGAIN (Republic, 1951).

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