To Henchie Homepage

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.

The Dillard Brothers - Art and Bert/Burt

Art Dillard

Full name: Charles Arthur Dillard

1907 - 1960

appeared in at least 225 westerns and 26 serials, generally portraying a henchman, stage guard, deputy, etc.

Art Dillard

  Although some of the data may be incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has information on Art Dillard:

(Courtesy of Minard Coons)

Above from L-to-R are Max Terhune, Bud Osborne, unidentified player, Art Dillard, and Ray Corrigan in the Three Mesquiteers' RIDERS OF THE BLACK HILLS (Republic, 1938). Dillard can also be seen on many episodes of the GENE AUTRY, ROY ROGERS, WILD BILL HICKOK and KIT CARSON TV shows up through about 1952.

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above from L-to-R are Art Dillard, Lee Reynolds and 2/3 of the face of Forest Burns in a scene from SANTA FE UPRISING (Republic, 1946), one of the Red Ryder yarns starring Allan Lane.

Lila Ashear did some sleuthing and was able to locate various information on Art and Bert/Burt Dillard:

  • Parents of Charles A. Dillard and Bert/Burt Dillard are Samuel B. Dillard and Roberta Lee Scott.

    1910 census: Hill County, Texas, dated May 2-3, 1910
    Sam Dillard - 31 years old - Married 9 years, born Alabama, farmer
    'Bob' Dillard (wife) - 28 years old, married 9 years, born Texas, 5 children born, 5 living
    Robert Dillard (son) - 9 years old, born Texas
    Jeff Dillard (son) - 7 years old, born Texas
    Gretchen Dillard (daughter) - 5 years old, born Texas
    ARTHUR DILLARD (son) - 3 years old, born Texas
    BARTON DILLARD (son) - 1 year 1 month old, born Texas (would indicate March or April 1909 birthdate)

    1920 census: Jones County, Texas, dated March 10-11, 1920
    Samuel B. Dillard - 40 years old
    Roberta Lee Dillard - 37 years old
    Jeff Dillard - 17 years old
    Bessie - 15 years old
    ARTHUR - 12 years old
    BARTON - 10 years old
    Ruthie - 8 years old
    Claudie - 5 years old
    Jessie (daughter) - 6 months old

  • Bert/Burt Dillard is listed in 1910 and 1920 censuses as "Barton", and in the 1940 Los Angeles Voter Registration as Burt C Dillard, living on Hattaras Street, and listed as "stunt man".

  • There is a July, 1945 Abilene, Texas newspaper article regarding a new theater in Lawn, Texas, and visitors for the opening included Art Dillard and his wife. Some quotes from the article:
    "a local and well known boy, Art Dillard ..."
    "is the son of Mr. and Mrs. S. B. Dillard who lived in Rogers community 25 years ..."
    "he learned how to do all the tricks of the trade on the local ranch of his parents, and has been a stunt man in Hollywood for several years."
    "His brother, Jack Dillard, ranching in Rogers community, worked as stunt man in Hollywood for two years beginning in 1935 ..."
    "A third brother, Bert Dillard, is now in Hollywood carrying out the family tradition as stunt man."

  • Funeral Arrangements listed in Los Angeles Times for Burt C Dillard, Sr., June 24, 1960 publication. Indicates that Forest Lawn is handling the arrangements.

    I did contact Forest Lawn and they responded with "Unfortunately, the only information we have on file is that Mr. Burt Cefus Dillard was transported to Mission Cemetery, San Fernando, California for interment."

  • California Death Records database has a record on: Charles A. Dillard, born 2/20/1907, Mother's maiden name of Scott, and he died in the Los Angeles area on 3/30/1960. Nothing found in the California Death Records database on Bert/Burt/Barton Dillard (which MAY mean he passed away in another state, but was interred in California).

  • The Internet Movie database listed Burt's real name as "Rufellow Dillard" and that appears to be in error. I found a "Rufellow Dillard" (son) listed in the 1910 Census, age 3/12 (3 months old), living with his father Cary and mother Katie. However, in the 1920 Census "Rufellow" Dillard (son) morphed into "Ruth Ella Dillard", daughter. This is why it is necessary to chart family members through various years (and census takers). Since I find absolutely no other evidence of a "Rufellow" Dillard, I think we might be able to assume "Ruth Ella" a far more reasonable take on the name.

  • As for "Jack" Dillard in the 1945 newspaper article, I can't tell for certain but think that "Jack" was Claude Ray Dillard, youngest brother of Art. He was born in 1914 in Texas and died in Los Angeles County, California in 1982. Art and Burt had two other, older brothers named Jeff and Robert.

Lila Ashear connected with Jennifer Stubbs, Reference Librarian at the Ruidoso (New Mexico) Public Library who located Burt Dillard's obituary in the Friday, June 24, 1960 issue of the The Ruidoso News newspaper. Ye Old Corral webmaster can send to you if you wish. A summary of his obituary follows:

"Autopsy Is Held In Death Of Man At Race Track"
"Burt Dillard, Sr., aged 55, was found dead in bed at his living quarters at Ruidoso Downs early Sunday, and an autopsy was ordered ...
... the autopsy revealed death was due to a heart condition.
... he was survived by one son, Burt, Jr., of North Hollywood, Calif.
Funeral services and interment for Dillard were to be held in North Hollywood where his body was shipped this mid-week.
Dillard was a pioneer trainer, and one of the first sponsors of Ruidoso Downs Race Track.
Dillard was born in Texas in 1905. Following his retirement in Hollywood, Calif., he was employed from time to time as a character actor and bit player in the motion picture industry. He was at the time of his death preparing one of his horses for entry in this year's Ruidoso Downs racing season."

Ye Old Corral webmeister did some further research on the Dillard brothers.

I did not find the 1940 census on Art Dillard, but I did find Burt and family in the 1940 census:
31 year old Bert [sic] C. Dillard (born Texas), 29 year old wife Rose M. (born Louisiana), 7 year old son Burt C. (born California), 6 year old daughter Helen (born California) and 1 year old daughter Catherine (born California). The family is renting at 11301 Hatteras Street, Los Angeles. Bert's occupation is "Stunt man - Studio Motion Pictures" and in 1939, he worked either 10 or 18 weeks and earned $500.00.
1940 census:
1940 census takers worksheet:

Death certificate on 53 year old Charles A. Dillard. He was born February 20, 1907 in Texas to Sam Dillard and R. L. Scott (both born Texas). His occupation was "Stuntman - Self Employed - Motion Pictures". Dillard passed away from an acute coronary occlusion on March 30, 1960 at his home. Wife Ann M. Dillard was the death certificate informant and they lived at 16258 Valerio Street, Van Nuys, California. Burial at San Fernando Mission cemetery.

The California Death Index mirrors the death certificate - Charles A. Dillard was born February 20, 1907 in Texas, mother's maiden name of Scott, and he passed away March 30, 1960 in the Los Angeles area:

Jim Tipton's Find A Grave website indicates that:

Charles Arthur 'Art' Dillard and wife Ann are interred at San Fernando Mission Cemetery, Mission Hills, Los Angeles County, California:

Unknown interment location for Barton Cefus 'Bert' Dillard:

Bert/Burt Dillard
Bert/Burt Dillard

Full name: Burt C. Dillard, Sr.
Probably Barton Cefus Dillard

1909 - 1960

appeared in at least 69 westerns and 7 serials, generally portraying a henchman, stage guard, deputy, etc.

  Although some of the data may be incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has information on Bert/Burt Dillard:

(From Old Corral image collection)

Above - John Wayne has the drop on Jay Wilsey (blue coat), Le Roy Mason (kneeling) and Burt Dillard in a re-release lobby card from TEXAS TERROR (Lone Star/Monogram, 1935).

(Image courtesy of Les Adams)

Above from left to right are Charles 'Slim' Whitaker and Jack Ingram (behind bars), Burt Dillard and Al 'Fuzzy' St. John in a scene from the Buster Crabbe/Billy the Kid adventure THE MYSTERIOUS RIDER (PRC, 1942).

To Henchie Homepage