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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, barflys, deputies, wagon drivers, ranch hands, etc. We tend to recognize some of their faces, but have no clue as to their real names.

(Image courtesy of Jack Tillmany)

Crop/blowup of Kit Guard from the image below.
Kit Guard

Real name: Christen Klitgaard

1894 - 1961

Born in Denmark in 1894, Kit Guard was a fairly prolific silent era comedian who teamed up with Al Cooke (1882-1935) in a bunch of comedy shorts and a few features for Film Booking Office (FBO).

With the arrival of sound, Guard's starring days ended and he moved into bit/supporting roles, most of which were uncredited/unbilled. I tend to remember him costumed with a white apron and portraying bartenders and waiters ... or wearing a bowler/derby hat in gangster or boxing films.

Guard's Hollywood career spanned about thirty five years, from the mid 1920s through 1958, and he worked in about 350 silent and sound films. In the sound era, Les Adams has Guard identified in about 50 westerns and 14 serials. One of his meatier B western roles was portraying boxing champ "Spike" who battles Bob Steele in THE FIGHTING CHAMP (Monogram, 1932). He also played Steele's sidekick in the mediocre EL DIABLO RIDES (Metropolitan, 1939).

Guard passed away from cancer on July 18, 1961 at the Motion Picture Home and Hospital in Woodland Hills, California.

The Family Search website (free), California Death Records database, and the death certificate provide additional information on Kit Guard:

  • August 1, 1924 Los Angeles county marriage license of 30 year old Kit Guard (born Denmark) to 24 year old Nell Griffith Sullivan:
  • 1930 census: 36 year old Kit Guard (born Denmark) is divorced. He is a lodger living in the household of George S. Maskatel in Los Angeles:
  • 1940 census: 45 year old Kit Guard (born Denmark) is a lodger living in the Los Angeles household of 52 year old Mae Carter and her 32 year old daughter Hazel Bowers:
  • 1940 census takers worksheet: Kit Guard is a lodger living at 632 North Plymouth, Los Angeles, and he lived in the Los Angeles area in 1935. He reports he is widowed, occupation is "Actor - Moving Picture", and in 1939, he worked 22 weeks and earned $500.00:
  • World War II draft registration: Kit Guard reports his birth date and location as May 5, 1894 in Hals, Denmark and employer is Central Casting Bureau. His contact is wife Hazel Guard, and they reside at 632 North Plymouth Blvd in Los Angeles. I'm assuming that wife Hazel Guard is the Hazel Bowers in the 1940 census:
  • Death certificate: 67 year old Christen Klitgaard, AKA Kit Guard, passed away on July 18, 1961 at the Motion Picture Country Home. Cause of death was stomach cancer. He was born May 5, 1894 in Denmark; occupation was "Actor-Motion Pictures"; he was divorced; a World War I veteran; and his home address was 5162 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles. Pierce Bros. was the funeral director and burial at Valhalla Cemetery. Death certificate informant was Sven Klitgaard, San Mateo, California (Sven was one of Kit Guard's four brothers).
  • 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: Kit Guard, born 5/5/1894, and he passed away in the Los Angeles area on 7/18/1961.
  • I have several newspaper death notices for Kit Guard: he served in the Rainbow Division during World War I; he and his four brothers migrated to the U. S. circa early 1900s and settled in San Francisco; he was survived by his four brothers, but there was no wife, children or grandchildren mentioned.

  Although some of the data is incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) has information on Kit Guard:

There's a cast shot on Flickr of Betty Hutton, Kit Guard, Ernie Adams, William Farnum, and some other familiar faces from THE PERILS OF PAULINE (Paramount, 1947) at:

(Courtesy of Dorothy Hack)

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

(From Old Corral image collection)

In the above lobby card from KID COURAGEOUS (Hackel/Supreme, 1934) are, from left to right, Jack Cowell, Kit Guard (wearing derby) and Bob Steele. Two unidentified players in the background.

(From Old Corral image collection)

Above - Tim McCoy has a wrist lock on Kit Guard. Lobby card from CODE OF THE RANGERS (Monogram, 1938), one of the better oaters done by McCoy during the second half of the 1930s.

(Courtesy of Fabian Cepeda)

Above from left to right are Kit Guard, William Boyd, Andy Clyde, Bob Burns, big and burly Bill Nestell, and Jack Casey in the Hopalong Cassidy LEATHER BURNERS (United Artists, 1943).

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