|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.|
|Special thanks to Ted Osborn for authoring the following profile on Tex Terry.|
Tex Terry - clean shaven
|Edward Earl 'Tex' Terry, the "bad man of the movies", was hit, knocked over cliffs, and thrown off buildings more times than he could remember. He was known in B-western movies as a heavy. Tex once told an interviewer: "It was my big eyebrows. They made me a natural villain so I was always the bad guy. I never wanted to become a star. I preferred to be a character actor because I got in more movies that way".|
Tex was born on August 22, 1902, in Parke County, Indiana, near the town of Coxville. At age eleven, he learned to use a whip to drive mules while working in the nearby coal mines. He used this skill many times in his career, especially in his role as "Brizzard" in THE OREGON TRAIL (20th Century Fox, 1959) opposite Fred MacMurray. In terms of camera time and dialog, THE MAVERICK QUEEN (Republic, 1956) with Barbara Stanwyck and Barry Sullivan was probably Tex's second busiest movie (behind THE OREGON TRAIL), and I'd recommend it for would-be Tex fans. In addition to MacMurray, Stanwyck and Sullivan, Tex worked alongside some other A list stars including Alan Ladd and Randolph Scott. Rumor is that Tex also did some whip work in a Douglas Fairbanks silent.
His work at Republic pictures included westerns and serials, and he can be spotted in oaters starring Don Barry, Sunset Carson, Allan Lane, Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, Rex Allen, Bill Elliott, Forrest Tucker and Rod Cameron. Although he was often uncredited in his films, Tex had a distinctive look and style that makes him easy to spot (his look often included a full face beard). He also appeared in many television westerns like WAGON TRAIN, DEATH VALLEY DAYS, THE LONE RANGER, and GUNSMOKE.
In 1964, Tex married his long-time friend and Hollywood agent, Isabel Draesemer, who managed the early careers of Buddy Ebsen and Hugh O'Brian. Isabel is most noted for her discovery of Hollywood icon James Dean. In 1972, Tex and Isabel returned to Coxville, Indiana. And in 1979, they opened "Tex's Longhorn Tavern". Here, Tex would regale patrons with wonderful stories about his days in Hollywood. It was here, too, where everyone would understand just how genuinely nice the "bad man" was in real life. Every August, on the occasion of his birthday, Tex and wife "Izzy" would have a party. Everyone in the area, both young and old, was invited to celebrate, listen to his Hollywood tales, and watch his old movies. Tex was also a big hit with area schools where he loved to perform his whip and roping act on stage and talk about his glory days in films. Tex was a local hero and celebrity for THE OREGON TRAIL (20th Century Fox, 1959) with Fred MacMurray. I'm told by Tex's nephew Harold Terry that they packed 'em in at the Ritz Theater in Rockville, Indiana when they showed that film.
On the afternoon of May 18, 1985, Tex died at his home from a heart attack. Appropriately, the old cowboy was laid to rest up on the hill in the Coxville cemetery, very near the place where he'd been born 82 years earlier. Isabel, his beloved wife of 21 years, joined him there in April of 2002.
Update from Ted Osborn: Tex's old Longhorn Tavern (renamed Rock Run Cafe), in Coxville, Indiana, no longer stands. It was totally destroyed by fire in December, 2016. There are no plans to rebuild and the site now has been dozed and storage containers now rest on the site. A tragic loss for us in the area. It was a good place to visit and dine right up to the end.
Although some of the data is incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has information on Tex Terry: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0856084/
Ted Osborn, who wrote the above profile on Tex, has a very large website devoted to this "bad man of the movies". The site includes dozens of images: http://www.texterry.com/
Ted also provided the write-up and images on Tex Terry for Jim Tipton's Find-A-Grave website. The large grave marker for Terry includes the notation "BAD MAN OF THE MOVIES": https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/11480144
(Courtesy of Ted Osborn)
Above is the gang facing Sunset Carson in ALIAS BILLY THE KID (Republic, 1946). From L-to-R in the above lobby card are Tom London, Peggy Stewart, Russ Whiteman and the bearded Tex Terry.
(From Old Corral collection)
Above is the band of gold thieves in EL PASO KID (Republic, 1946), another in the Sunset Carson series. From L-to-R are Bob Filmer, Tex Terry (with a beard and kneeling), Zon Murray and Jack Sparks on the far right.
(From Old Corral collection)
Above standing are Frank McCarroll (left) and a clean shaven Tex Terry (right) with six-guns leveled at Gene Autry. At the desk is Charles Evans. Lobby card from TWILIGHT ON THE RIO GRANDE (Republic, 1947). This was one of five films that Gene did for Republic after he returned from World War II duty. He then left Republic, formed his own production company, and released new films through Columbia.
(From Old Corral collection)
Above in the top row, from L-to-R are B-western heavy/henchman Tex Terry, Pat Starling, William Boyd and Bob Nolan. Bottom row from L-to-R are Roy Rogers, a mystery lady named "Mrs. Peters", and Spade Cooley. Patricia/Pat Starling did a few westerns, including a Jimmy Wakely and four of Sunset Carson's later films which were NOT at Republic Pictures. This photo is from the 'Western Hall of Fame Hoss Opera' at the Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles on November 28, 1948. It was organized by Tim Spencer (Sons of the Pioneers) and singer/song writer Cindy Walker ("You Don't Know Me" and more, including nearly all of the Bob Wills songs in the Russ Hayden films).
October, 2011: Joe Hyatte is the owner of the Rock Run Cafe and Bakery in Parke County Indiana (formally owned by movie badman/henchman Tex Terry who called it "Tex's Longhorn Restaurant"). Tex had sold the restaurant to Joe's parents, and the property included a bunch of movie memorabilia as Tex had saved just about everything from movie days. "Mrs. Peters" was Dorothy Peters and she was married to Tex before he married his agent Isabel Drasemer.
Calin Coburn (Bob Nolan's grandson) and Elizabeth Drake McDonald have created a fantastic website on Nolan and the Sons of the Pioneers. There's a webpage with all kinds of details, images, and copies of the program and the purpose of the event was a fundraiser to create a Western Hall of Fame museum. That museum didn't happen, nor did they do another 'Hoss Opera' in 1949: http://bobnolan-sop.net/Special%20Features/Photo%20of%20the%20Month/2009/05%20May%20-%20Hoss%20Opera.htm