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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.


Tommy Coats

Full name: Thomas J. Coats

1901(?) - 1954

appeared in at least 111 westerns and 13 serials and his film career ran from about 1931 - 1951.


  Although some of the data may be incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has information on Tommy Coats: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0167673

The Family Search website has information on Tommy Coats:

The Los Angeles Times newspaper had an obituary in their Friday, June 11, 1954 edition: "Funeral services for Thomas J. Coats, 53, motion-picture actor, will be conducted at 2:30 p.m. today in Pierce Bros. Little Country Chapel, followed by interment in Forest Lawn ...". The obituary notes that he passed away on Sunday, June 6, 1954 and is survived by wife Thelma.



(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above from L-to-R are Tommy Coats, Bob Clark, Tom London, Herman Willingham, Herman Nowlin/Nolan, and Clyde Kinney in GHOST VALLEY RAIDERS (Republic, 1940), which starred Don Barry.



(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above is a handful of mid 1940s baddies and henchies --- from L-to-R are Herman Hack, Tommy Coats, Fred Graham, Bud Geary and Buck Bucko in a scene from CHEROKEE FLASH (Republic, 1945), which starred Sunset Carson.  Les Adams adds that Tommy Coats was a Republic mainstay but pops up in some of the John Wayne Lone Stars of the mid 1930s.



Barney Beasley

Full name:
Barney B. Beasley

Middle name variations:
Ballard
Barnard
Barnade

1895-1951

appeared in at least 102 westerns and 2 serials and his film career ran from about 1930 - 1944.


  Although some of the data may be incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has information on Barney Beasley: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0064018

Though the trail on Barney is a bit confusing, there are common threads among the census, draft registrations, marriage records, California Death records, etc. These are:
1) his June 20, 1895 birth date.
2) his Oklahoma birth location.
3) his Mother's maiden name was Cantrell.

The California Death Records database has a record for: Barney B. Beasley, born June 20, 1895 in Oklahoma, Mother's maiden name of Cantrell, and he passed away on June 1, 1951 in the Los Angeles area.

There's messages on several genealogy websites from Pat Beasley Bohnsack (Beasley's granddaughter). There's postings from her that he died from some sort of accident on June 1, 1951 and his full name was Barney Ballard Beasley:
http://www.cousinconnect.com/d/a/77982
http://genforum.genealogy.com/beasley/messages/1006.html

The Family Search website (free), Ancestry.com (subscription), and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs have information on Barney Beasley:

  • World War I draft registration: Barney B. Beasley, born June 20, 1895 in Blain Bottom, Oklahoma, is married, and current occupation is farmer. Note the "one eye out" mention on the registration form: https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-25078-45742-41?cc=1968530&wc=MM18-X7B:n1240599009
  • 1920 census: 25 year old Barney Beasley (born Oklahoma) and 20 year old wife Lila (born Arkansas) are living in Los Angeles. There are four others residing there, including 31 year old Mabel Chamberlain (head of household): https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/MHQN-M4T
    Ancestry had the 1920 census takers worksheet: Barney and Lila are roomers living at 1419 ??? Avenue, Los Angeles area. They report their occupations as "Actor - Motion Pictures" and "Actress - Motion Pictures", respectively.
  • July 3, 1924 marriage in Detroit, Michigan of 30 year old Barney B. Beasley (born Oklahoma and occupation actor) to 39 year old Lulu L. McLinden. Beasley's mother is listed as Maggie Cantrell: https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11678-176555-21?cc=1452395&wc=990568
  • 1930 census: B. B. Beasley (born Oklahoma) and 25 year old Julia Beasley (born Illinois) are among many roomers living in a rental unit in Los Angeles: https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/XCJB-QFQ
    Ancestry had the 1930 census takers worksheet: Barney and Julia are among many roomers living at 1431 Gordon Street, Los Angeles. They report their occupations as "Stunt actor ??? - Motion Pictures" and "Actress - Motion Pictures", respectively.
  • 1942 World War II draft registration: Beasley was born June 20, 1895 in Sansbois, Oklahoma, and is living at 954 North Vista, Los Angeles. His full name at the top of the form is Barney Barnade Beasley. But his signature appears to be Barney Barnard Beasley. His employer is listed as "Paul Simone, Vermont Ave., between Sunset and Hollywood": https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1-16386-6763-20?cc=1861144&wc=MMRW-1R5:n2068268989
  • Ancestry had the Military headstone/marker request for veteran Barney B. Beasley, born June 20, 1895 in Oklahoma, passed away June 8, 1951. Served as a cook from September 19, 1918 - March 27, 1919, and served with the 2d Prov. Co., Demobilized, Camp Kearney, California. Listed on the form is son G. D. Beasley of Avondale, Arizona and "responsible person" is Mr. M.D. Beasley, San Diego, California. Barney is interred at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, San Diego, California.
  • The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs gravesite locator is at: http://gravelocator.cem.va.gov/
    There, you will find a record for:
    BEASLEY, BARNEY B
    COOK US ARMY
    DATE OF BIRTH: 06/20/1895
    DATE OF DEATH: 06/01/1951
    BURIED AT: SECTION J SITE 90
    FT. ROSECRANS NATIONAL CEMETERY, SAN DIEGO, CA 92166
  • Ancestry.com notes that Barney's son was Gabriel Dillard Beasley (1915-1955), and his mother was Minnie Cordell Grubbs Beasley (Barney's first wife, prior to his marriages to Lulu and Julia). The Find-A-Grave website has a photo of the marker for U.S. Army veteran Gabriel Dillard Beasley who is interred at Louis B. Hazelton Memorial Cemetery, Buckeye, Maricopa County, Arizona: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=beasley&GSfn=gabriel&GSbyrel=all&GSdy=1955&GSdyrel=in&GSob=n&GRid=59694627&df=all&

Footnotes:

  • on the Oklahoma locations noted above: Blain Bottom (Blaine Bottom) and the Sans Bois Mountain range are in Haskell County and located in southeastern Oklahoma.
  • the bulk of Beasley's film appearances occurred prior to 1938. After that, he only worked in about 15 movies, and that included no films in 1939 and only one in 1940. Was he injured or ill ... or tired of the bit/henchie roles. And who was that "Paul Simone, Vermont Ave., between Sunset and Hollywood" when Barney filled out his WW2 draft registration? In the 1940 census, there are two Paul Simones in the Los Angeles area - one was an undertaker and the other a painting contractor. Neither had residences on Vermont Avenue. (That isn't surprising as the Paul Simone address on Beasley's draft registration was probably a business location).



(Courtesy of Jack Jones)

Above - Barney Beasley in a crop/blowup from a cast and crew shot from the short, THE SUNDOWN TRAIL (William Pizor/Imperial, 1934), which starred Wally Wales.



(Courtesy of Carol Murray and her "Jack Hendricks Photo Album")

Above - a crop/blowup of Beasley from a production still from Tom Tyler's THE LARAMIE KID (Reliable, 1935).



(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 Les Adams)

Above from L-to-R are Al Hoxie, unidentified player, Yakima Canutt, Barney Beasley, Wally Wales, Sherry Tansey and Peggy Djarling in a scene from CARRYING THE MAIL (William Pizor/Imperial, 1934), one of the several two to three-reel (20 minutes to a half hour) oaters churned out by producer William Pizor in the mid-1930s. The Pizor/Imperial series marked the end of Wally Wales' starring career --- a year or two later, he changed his name to Hal Taliaferro and became a prolific sidekick and supporting player in scores of A and B grade westerns and serials into the 1950s.



(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above from L-to-R are lawmen Barney Beasley and Bill Cody about to meet up with Bud Pope, Buck Morgan (moustache) and an unidentified baddie in a still from Cody's THE CYCLONE RANGER (Spectrum, 1935).





Archie Ricks

Full name: Archie Vernon Ricks

1896-1962

appeared in at least 70 westerns and 4 serials and his film career ran from the 1920s - 1945.

On the left is Ricks with his normal whisker growth. If he's in a closeup, you can identify him by his hooked nose.


Archie Ricks was an unbilled/uncredited townsman or gang member with little screen time and no dialog. I do recall one B western in which Ricks had a meaty role - this was the Tex Ritter HITTIN' THE TRAIL (Grand National, 1937) with Archie as the "Tombstone Kid" and helping Tex battle Earl Dwire.

  Although some of the data may be incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has information on Archie Ricks: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0725568

The Family Search website has information on Archie Ricks:

The California Death Records database has a record for: Archie V. Ricks, born 2/29/1896 in California, Mother's maiden name of Wilson, and he passed away 1/10/1962 in the Los Angeles area.



(From Old Corral image collection)

Above, from L-to-R are Lucile Browne, William Farnum, Bob Steele, Archie Ricks, James Flavin, and George Hayes (in his days prior to becoming 'Windy' or 'Gabby') in a lobby card from THE BRAND OF HATE (Hackel/Supreme, 1934). James Flavin and Lucile Browne were husband and wife in real life and were married in 1932.



(Courtesy of Dorothy Hack)

Above from left to right are Archie Ricks, Herman Hack, Kit Guard and Bob Steele in a scene from Steele's KID COURAGEOUS (A. W. Hackel/Supreme, 1934).



(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 Hannan/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 are a covey of no-goods from the lost/missing Jack Randall oater RIDERS FROM NOWHERE (Monogram, 1940). Randall, the brother of Three Mesquiteers star Bob Livingston, would do one more western after RIDERS FROM NOWHERE and then his starring series was over. From left to right are: Jack Evans, Jack Hendricks, Archie Ricks, Charlie King, unidentified face, Carl Mathews, Herman Hack and Ben Pitti.



(Courtesy of Minard Coons)

Above from left to right are George Chesebro, Ray 'Crash' Corrigan, Budd Buster (top hat), Jimmy Aubrey, Archie Ricks and Herman Hack in a saloon scene from the Range Busters BOOT HILL BANDITS (Monogram, 1942). The partial face behind Corrigan's left shoulder is Richard Cramer doing barkeep duty.



(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above from left to right are Marjorie Manners, Archie Ricks, Ray Jones, Buster Crabbe, unidentified man and woman, Frank Hagney, unidentified woman, I. Stanford Jolley (with the six-shooter), and on the far right is Benny Pitti. Production still from Crabbe's BLAZING FRONTIER (PRC, 1943). Don't be fooled by the badge on Hagney as he and Stan Jolley are the gang leaders in this Billy the Kid yarn.



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