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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.


Lew Morphy
Full name: Lewis Harris Morphy
1904-1958
appeared in at least 80 westerns ... and counting. His film career ran from about 1931 - early 1950s.


Ken Jones, co-author of Heroes, Heavies and Sagebrush provides the following biographical info: Lewis Harris Morphy was a movie stuntman, sometime actor and an expert marksman.  He once toured rodeos and the vaudeville circuits with a shooting act.  He started his stage career under the name of Cheyenne Sharpshooter Murphy.  One of his acts was to shoot chalk cigarettes and candles from the mouths of pretty girls on the stage.  He gradually drifted into movie stuntwork and could be seen in many western films as a henchman or a face in the crowd.  On November 7, 1958 Morphy shot and killed his wife, Kaye, former speedboat champion, and her mother in the couple's Laurel Canyon home.  Spared when Murphy ran berserk was his father-in-law and 2 children.  He called a friend and told him what he had done then went to the bedroom and shot and killed himself.  Morphy was known to have a violent temper and had become increasingly despondent since the death of his mother and was also brooding over the financial failure of a resort he owned in Tennessee.

The Unsung Joe website has a writeup on Lew Morphy and his wife "Boots" ... and the tragic ending of their lives in 1958: http://morethanyouneededtoknow.typepad.com/the_unsung_joe/2009/04/index.html

  Although some of the data may be incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has information on Lew Morphy: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0606186

There were a few traces on Lew Morphy at Family Search (free), Ancestry.com (subscription), the Newspaper Archive and the California Death Records database:

  • 1920 census: the family is listed under the name Murphy, not Morphy. 46 year old Eugene Murphy [sic] (born Louisiana), 44 year old Mabel H. (born New York), 21 year old daughter Gladys (born New York), and 15 year old son Lewis H. Murphy [sic] (born New York) reside in Thonotosassa, Hillsborough County, Florida: https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MNYL-RM5
  • August 17, 1935 Florida marriage license of Lewis Morphy to Althea Cloud in Tampa, Florida: https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1-18031-6345-85?cc=1803936
  • 1938 California Voter Registration: Lewis H. Morphy, actor, and Althea V. Morphy, actress, are living at 1721 North Western Avenue in Los Angeles.
  • 1940 California Voter Registration: Lewis H. Morphy, actor, is living at 1721 North Western Avenue in Los Angeles. There's no Althea V. Morphy on this listing.
  • 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: Lewis M. Morphy, born 8/18/1904 in New York, Mother's maiden name of Harris, and passed away 11/7/1958 in the Los Angeles area.
  • The June 12, 1954 Los Angeles Times newspaper had a funeral notice for Morphy's mother Mabel Harris Morphy. Excerpt: "... mother of Gladys Newman ... and Lewis Morphy of Hollywood."

E-mail the Old Corral webmaster if you'd like copies of several newspaper articles on the death of Morphy, his wife and mother-in-law. That tragic event was front page news in several California newspapers. Articles also mention: "As a stuntman in motion pictures, he (Morphy) was a stand-in for comedian Pat Buttram in Gene Autry films."



(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 Les Adams)

Above from L-to-R are William Desmond, Tom Smith, Charles Starrett and Lew Morphy in DOWN RIO GRANDE WAY (Columbia, 1942).



(From Old Corral image collection)

Johnny Mack Brown and Raymond Hatton (with shotgun) have the drop on Marshall Reed (black shirt) and Terry Frost (red shirt) in a lobby card and a crop/blowup from GENTLEMAN FROM TEXAS (Monogram, 1946). Left to right in the background are Steve Clark (suit) and Lew Morphy (behind JMB's horse).





Herman Nowlin/Herman Nolan
Full name: Herman Franklin Nowlin
1892-1951
appeared in at least 44 westerns and 1 serial, and his film career ran from about 1930 through the early 1950s.


Another B western background player was Illinois born Herman Nolan/Nowlin. Most of his film appearances were uncredited roles as a deputy, henchman, townsman, etc.

  Although some of the data may be incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has information on Herman Nowlin: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0634276

The Family Search website (free), Ancestry.com (subscription), newspapers, California Death Records database and the death certificate provide moreinformation on Herman Nolan/Nowlin:

  • 1900 census: 27 year old Newton E. Nowlin, his 24 year old wife Minnie A., and 8 year old son Herman F. are living at the Osage Indian Reservation, Osage, Oklahoma Territory: https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MMG5-529
    1900 census takers worksheet: father Newton was born in Illinos while Minnie and Herman were born in Indiana. Newton's occupation is "Farm Laborer". They are renting: https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11599-129324-35?cc=1325221
  • World War I draft registration: 25 year old Herman Franklin Nowlin was born January 16, 1892 in Indian Territory in Oklahoma. He is married; home address is 3619 Ind ave (probably Indiana Avenue), Chicago, Illinois. Occupation was "Riding Horses for English" ... followed by several names including "L. M. Newgass" ... followed by a location of "U. S. Chicago": https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-26305-12326-74?cc=1968530
    Footnote: L. M. Newgass (and his L. M. Newgass Company) was a noted horse trader, broker, and trainer with headquarters in Chicago and an auction location at Chicago's Union Stock Yards.
  • 1930 census: 38 year old Herman F. Nowlin (no birthplace listed), his 31 year old wife Lula E. (no birthplace listed), and 11 year old son Van (no birthplace listed) reside in Los Angeles: https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XC87-VHG
    Ancestry had the 1930 census takers worksheet: the Nowlin family owns their home at 2725 Clearwater Street, Los Angeles. Herman is not a veteran; his occupation is "Actor - Moving Pictures". Herman was born in Illinois while Lula and son Van were born in Indiana.
  • 1940 census: 48 year old H. F. Nowlin, 41 year old wife Lula (born Indiana) and 21 year old son Van Nowlin (born Indiana) are living in Los Angeles: https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/K9CD-QRS
  • 1940 census takers worksheet: Nowlin, wife Lulu and son Van own their home at 2725 Clearwater, Los Angeles, and they lived there in 1935. Nowlin reports his birth location as Oklahoma, occupation is "Actor - Motion Pictures", and in 1939, he worked 14 weeks and earned $2500.00: https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-27797-1677-52?cc=2000219&wc=MMYH-NSW:n1861848394
  • 1942 World War II draft registration: Herman Franklin Nowlin reports his birth date and location as January 16, 1892 and Assumption, Illinois. His address is 2725 Clearwater Street in Los Angeles, and his employer is General Motors Corp. Plant Protection Dept., South Gate Calif.: https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1-16368-29892-61?cc=1861144&wc=MMRW-15R:n1652918836
  • Death certificate: 59 year old Herman Franklin Nowlin was born January 16, 1892 in Illinois; his parents were Newton Nowlin and Minnie Freeman; and he was not a military veteran. He passed away on September 2, 1951 at his home at 2725 Clearwater Street, Los Angeles. There was an autopsy and the cause of death was myocardial infarction and atherosclerosis. Death certificate informant was his wife, Lula E. Nowlin. Burial at Forest Lawn Cemetery.
  • You may want to go to the In Search Of ... page on the Old Corral and then to the California Death Records database which mirrors the death certificate: Herman Franklin Nowlin, born 1/16/1892 in Illinois, Mother's maiden name of Freeman, and he passed away in the Los Angeles area on 9/2/1951.
  • A funeral notice in the September 5, 1951 Los Angeles Times newspaper reads in part: "Masonic funeral services for Herman F. Nowlin, 59, veteran cowboy actor, will be conducted by Forest Lawn Mortuary tomorrow ..."

Jim Tipton's Find A Grave website notes that Herman Franklin Nowlin/Herman Nolan is interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale, California: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=85479436



(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 from L-to-R are Herman Nowlin/Nolan, Eddie Dew and Bud Osborne in a scene from RIDING THE WIND (RKO, 1942), which starred Tim Holt.





Pascale Perry
Real name: Harvey Pascale Poirier
1886 or 1888 - 1953
appeared in at least 96 westerns and 8 serials, and his film career ran from about 1931 - 1949.


Born in Canada, Harvey Pascale Poirier became "Pascale Perry" in his days on stage and vaudeville in the 1910s-1920s. And he continued that persona when he began doing movies circa 1931. In a film career that spanned about twenty years, he was another of the B western background performers who did mostly uncredited roles as a ranch hand, henchman, townsman, barfly, lawman, etc.

As mentioned, Perry worked for years on the vaudeville circuit doing a sharp-shooting and roping act. Below is a description of Pascale Perry and Co.'s traveling western "Frontier Sports" show from the theater section of a 1922 newspaper:


from a 1922 newspaper

  Although some of the data may be incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has information on Pascale Perry: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0675243

The Family Search website (free), Ancestry.com (subscription), California Death Records database, newspaper funeral notice and the death certificate provide more on Pascale Perry. Note the several different birth years - 1886, 1888, and 1895 as well as the change of his birth location from Canada to Arizona.

  • 1910 census: 50 year old Hector Poirier (born Canada), 48 year old wife Lazarime [sic] (born Canada), 22 year old son Halvey [sic] (born Canada), and a boarder are living in Detroit, Wayne County, Michiganhttps://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MLTF-27T
    Ancestry had the 1910 census takers worksheet: Halvey [sic] Poirier is listed as an "alien" (meaning not a U.S. citizen) and the family came to the U.S. circa 1890. His occupation is "Actor - Western Troop". All three Poiriers have their birth location as "Canada-French".
  • World War I draft registration: 32 year old Harvey Pascale Poirier is living in Detroit, Michigan. Birth date is October 22, 1886 and he was not born in the U.S. but is a naturalized citizen. Occupation is "Performer Show"; he works for Gus Hornbrook, New York City; and place of employment is "following fairs": https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-26486-14162-42?cc=1968530&wc=M9SG-7MR:1115519209
    Various newspapers as well as Variety and Billboard trade publications note that Gus Hornbrook worked for P. T. Barnum, and later, he formed his own wild west show and toured for many years at fairs, rodeos, et al in the U.S. and overseas. Google has some info on Gus Hornbrook: https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=%22gus%20hornbrook%22&start=20
  • 1940 census: 51 year old Pascale Perry (born Arizona) and 39 year old wife Lilian M. (born Illinois) reside in Los Angeles: https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/K9HL-XYQ
  • 1940 census takers worksheet: Perry and wife Lillian M. are renting at 5247 1/2 Corteen (sp?) Place in Los Angeles and resided in the Los Angeles area in 1935. His occupation is "Actor - Motion Picture studios", and in 1939, he worked 14 weeks and earned $1600.00: https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-27793-4772-42?cc=2000219&wc=MMYH-F6K:n643789087
  • 1942 World War II draft registration: Harvey Pascale Poirier is living at 10735 Aqua Vista in North Hollywood, California. He lists his birth date and location as October 22, 1888 in Maricopa County, Arizona, and his employment is "Motion Picture Actor": https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1-16371-1919-33?cc=1861144&wc=MMRW-1VG:1468258342
  • Death certificate: 57 year old Harvey Pascale Poirier was born October 22, 1895 in Arizona; occupation "Actor - Motion Picture"; parents were Hector Poirier and Lazarine Chabat; and he was not a veteran. He passed away at his home at 5104 Denny Avenue, North Hollywood, California on July 11, 1953. Cause of death was congestive heart failure. Death certificate informant was his wife, Myrtle L. Poirier. Pierce Bros. was the funeral director and cremation at Chapel of the Pines.
    In March, 1954, an affidavit to correct the death certificate was filed to revise his name from "Harvey Pascale Poirier" to "Harvey Pascale Poirier also known as Pascale Perry".
  • You may want to go to the In Search Of ... page on the Old Corral and then to the California Death Records database which mirrors the death certificate. There you will find dual records - one for Harvey Pascale Poirier and another for Pascale Perry. The other information is the same - he was born October 22, 1895 in Arizona, Mother's maiden name of Chabat, and he passed away on July 11, 1953 in the Los Angeles area.
  • A funeral notice in the July 13, 1953 Los Angeles Times newspaper reads in part: "POIRIER, Harvey Pascale. Pascale Perry, of 5104 Denny Avenue, North Hollywood, aged 64 years, passed away at his home July 11, survived by his wife Myrtle L. Poirier and stepson ... Services Tuesday, July 14 at ... Pierce Brothers, Van Nuys ... interment Glenhaven Memorial Park."

Jim Tipton's Find A Grave website notes the Harvey Pascale Poirier/Pascale Perry is interred at Chapel of the Pines (and that appears to be in error as the newspaper funeral notice mentions Glenhaven Memorial Park): http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=115590885



(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above from L-to-R are Jack Ingram, Pascale Perry, Fred Kohler, Jr., Tom Tyler, Tom Chatterton, Sam Lufkin (bartender) and Al Taylor in a scene from the Three Mesquiteers RAIDERS OF THE RANGE (Republic, 1942).



(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above from left to right are Jess Cavin, Rex Lease, Pascale Perry, Earle Hodgins and Bob Wilke in a crop from a lobby card from the Sunset Carson FIREBRANDS OF ARIZONA (Republic, 1944).



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