To Henchie Homepage            Go to next page


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.



(Courtesy of Wes Baker)

In this scene from RIDERS OF THE DESERT (Sono Art-World Wide, 1932), Silver Tip Baker has the stage and team runnin' full speed while Bob Steele has the drop on him.



(Courtesy of Wes Baker)
"Silver Tip" Baker

Full name: Floyd Michael Baker

1886 - 1943

Special thanks to Wes Baker for the photos and information on his Mother and Father, Mabel and Floyd "Silver Tip" Baker.

Floyd 'Silver Tip' Baker was another of the background performers in the B-western, and his moniker is derived because of his long, gray/white moustache. He was among the talented few that could handle a team of horses and stagecoach at full speed.

The spelling of Floyd Baker's nickname has several variations - "Silver Tip" or "Silvertip" or "SilverTip". I asked Wes Baker about the correct spelling, and he said "Silver Tip" (that's Silver space Tip).

His initial movie roles began in the 1920s. Prior to that, he (and wife Mabel) performed with the Miller Bros. 101 Ranch show and the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show.

Les Adams has Baker identified in about 110 sound era films, with his last appearance occurring in a 1944 release. Of those film appearances, 103 are westerns and five are chapterplays.

According to the death certificate, Floyd Silvertip Baker was born April 18, 1886 in San Antonio, Texas. He passed away on March 15, 1943 at Cedars of Lebanon Hospital, Los Angeles, and cause of death was pancreatic cancer. Funeral director was Pierce Bros., Hollywood, and burial at Valhalla Cemetery. The California Death Index mirrors the death certificate: Floyd Silvertip Baker was born 4/18/1886 in Texas, Mother's maiden name of Garvin, and he passed away on 3/15/1943 in California.

  Although some of the data is incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has information on Silver Tip Baker - note that the IMDb does include a few films for Baker long after his passing: http://us.imdb.com/name/nm0048931/

A website on the Miller Bros. 101 Ranch includes mention of both Silver Tip and Mabel circa 1925-1926: http://www.kaycounty.info/101_ranch/blist.htm





(Courtesy of Wes Baker)

Above is Mabel Welker Baker, saddle bronc and trick rider who worked for the Miller Bros. 101 Ranch Wild West Show. Mabel was born in Kansas in 1896 and married Silver Tip when she was in her late teens. Wes mentioned that his Mother also worked as a double riding in movies.



(Courtesy of Wes Baker)

In the above photo, Silver Tip and Mabel are publicizing the film UNDER TWO FLAGS at the "Kinema" theater, and based on their ages, this has to be from the silent days. There were several silent versions of UNDER TWO FLAGS: a 1915 version from Biograph, a 1916 Fox film starring Theda Bara, and Universal released their version in 1922. The livery stable sign on the above left shows an address of 839 E. 4th Street and telephone numbers of PICO 3620 and PICO 3126. The Foster and Kleiser sign on the right includes "7th at Broadway".

Thanks to Richard Van Dusen for providing more info on the location in the above photo. Richard writes: The address 7th and Broadway is the State theatre in Los Angeles, California. It opened around 1921. You can look it up in the Los Angeles conservancy web site or by looking at theatres on Broadway in Los Angeles. It has entrances on both Broadway and 7th street. I went by the former stable ... the building appears to be a warehouse ... 839 does not exist ... 843 is the nearest building to it, but it sits back from the street with a parking lot in front and is sort of attached to a building that could have been where the stable was. The building with the sign in the window is now a garage. The Pico phone exchange is almost certainly a Los Angeles prefix. Governor Pio Pico was a well known citzen of Los Angeles for years and the Pico House is a very prominent landmark less than a mile from where the stables were.




(Courtesy of Wes Baker)

One of Baker's earliest film appearances was in the chapterplay IN THE DAYS OF BUFFALO BILL (Universal, 1922). Baker is on the far right as General Dodge. In the blowup, Duke Lee (left with long hair, moustache and chin whiskers) is Buffalo Bill and that's Art Acord (hatless and wearing a buckskin jacket). The heroine with Acord is probably Ruth Royce.



(Courtesy of Wes Baker)

Above left is Silver Tip Baker and Louise Carver with their hands up. Exiting the coach is heroine Gertrude/Gertie Messenger, and Bob Steele is on the far right. Scene from Steele's RIDERS OF THE DESERT (Sono Art-World Wide, 1932). Gertude had a brief marriage to ace stuntman Dave Sharpe.



To Henchie Homepage            Go to next page