|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.
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). Prior to getting their own FBO starring series, Guard and Cooke were featured in dozens of FBO two-reelers that starred Alberta Vaughn.
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 with a white apron and portraying a bartender or waiter ... 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 him identified in about 50 westerns and 14 serials. One of his meatier B western roles was portraying boxing champ "Spike" who does battle with 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), newspaper obituaries, California Death Index, and the death certificate provide additional information on Kit Guard:
Although some of the data is incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has information on Kit Guard: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0345300/
YouTube has the short "Sherlock's Home" (FBO, 1924), one of the "Telephone Girl" series which starred Alberta Vaughn ... and featured Al Cooke and Kit Guard: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PKoY1rR1-R8
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: http://www.flickr.com/photos/castlekay/3648461284/
Above - two-page tradepaper ad from 1927 for Kit Guard and his moustached partner Al Cooke in their first full length comedy for Film Booking Office (FBO).
(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)
Above from from left to right are Jack Cowell, Kit Guard (wearing derby) and Bob Steele. Two unidentified players in the background. Lobby card from Steele's KID COURAGEOUS (A. W. Hackel/Supreme, 1934)
(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).