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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.


In Search of the Bucko Brothers - Roy Bucko and Ralph 'Buck' Bucko
Real names:
Roy Francis Bouckou (1893-1954)
Rudoph Hunter Bouckou (1891-1962)



For years, I searched for any information on the Bucko brothers, two prolific B western henchies and background players whose movie careers began circa 1925.

In their silent and early sound film appearances, the brothers were frequently employed in Ken Maynard and Buck Jones oaters. Later, they did scores of movies for Republic Pictures, portraying gang members, barflys, townsmen, posse members, etc. with Autry, Rogers, the Three Mesquiteers, more. Using the "People Working Together" search function at the Internet Movie Database, we find that the brothers worked together in about 150 features and serials.

Information on the Buckos was sparse, but I did locate a November, 1934 article: "A misderected leap from a collapsing tower today placed three movie 'stunt men' on the hospital list. Jack Padjan suffered a broken leg, 'Buck' Bucko a broken nose and lacerations, and Jimmy Dime severe injuries ...". There was no mention of the film name, but good probability is that it was the Gary Cooper LIVES OF A BENGAL LANCER which was released by Paramount in January, 1935.

From brief biographies as well as the Internet Movie Database (IMDb), indications were that their birth/legal name was B O U K O U (not B U C K O). Alas - not much luck using that name variation.

I finally hit "pay dirt" with the 1940 census. The spelling of their last name is:     B O U C K O U

The Family Search website and Ancestry.com have early info on Roy, Ralph, and the Bouckou family. Census records have them living in Arbuckle township, Colusa county, California which is at the top of the state, north of San Francisco and Sacramento. Father Rudolph E. Bouckou was a fruit farmer and maintained an almond orchard. During their teen years, the brothers were laborers on their home farm.

  • 1900 census summary and census takers worksheet - father and mother are 39 year old Rudolph E. Bouckou (born California; occupation "Farmer"), his 32 year old wife Annie M. Bouckou (born California), 9 year old son Rudolph H. (born California), 7 year old son Roy F. (born California), and 1 year old daughter Beulah A. (born California) reside in Arbuckle township, Colusa county, California: https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/M9PC-8L5
  • 1910 census summary and census takers worksheet - parents are 48 year old Rudolph Bouckou (born California; occupation "Farmer - Fruit farm"), his 41 year old wife Annie M. Bouckou (born California), 18 year old son Rudolph (born California; occupation "Laborer - Home farm"), 16 year old son Roy (born California; occupation "Laborer - Home farm"), and 10 year old daughter Beulah (born California) are living in Arbuckle township, Colusa county, California: https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/MV2D-5Y9
  • 1920 census summary and census takers worksheet - 58 year old father Rudolph (occupation "Orchardist - Almond orchard"), 48 year old wife Annie, and 20 year old daughter Beulah A. still live in Arbuckle township, Colusa county, California, but both of the brothers are gone: https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/MH3J-WQ4
  • 1930 census summary and census takers worksheet - mother Annie is widowed. She and daughter Beulah are still in Colusa county, California: https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/XCXG-S4S
  • Ancestry.com had the 1932 and 1934 Los Angeles Voters registration - Roy Francis Bouckou, Rudolph Hunter Bouckou, sister Beulah A. Bouckou, and mother Annie M. Bouckou are living together at 740 1/2 Cahuenga Boulevard, Los Angeles.
Wikipedia has info on Arbuckle, Colusa county, California: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arbuckle,_California




1933


1945
Roy Bucko

Real name:
Roy Francis Bouckou

1893 - 1954


Roy Bucko's Hollywood career amounted to about 400 films beginning in mid 1920s silents and continuing through 1954, the year in which he died. Most of his roles were unbilled / uncredited as a henchman, townsman, rider, barfly, etc.

He was married twice and had a son and daughter with his first wife.

Roy passed away from heart problems at his North Hollywood home on August 6, 1954.

The Family Search website (free), Ancestry.com (subscription), Newspaper Archive website (subscription), California Death Index, and death certificate provide more on Roy Bucko and family:

  • Family trees on Ancestry.com indicate that Roy's first wife was Ivy Curtis (1890 - 1968) and they had two children, Leroy Truman 'Roy' Bouckou (1915 - 1962) and Eva Anita Bouckou (1916 - 1998).
  • 1917 World War I draft registration - 24 year old Roy Francis Bouckou is a farmer. He has a wife and two children, and they reside in Arbuckle, California. He lists his birth date and location as August 22, 1893 and Elk Creek, California: https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-26182-9390-64?cc=1968530&wc=MM1Q-PZY:n1425092685
  • At the time of the 1930 census, first wife Ivy was divorced from Roy Bouckou and was married to Harley D. Hoag. Renting at 944 Cedar, Fort Bragg, Mendocino county, California are 26 year old Harley D. Hoag (born Missouri; occupation "Salesman - lumber yard"), his 30 year old wife Ivy (born Missouri), 1+ year old son Harley Hoag Jr. (born California), 13 year old stepson Truman Bouckou (born California) and 11 year old stepdaughter Eva A. Bouckou (born California): https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XCDZ-TC3
  • Ancestry.com had the 1932 and 1934 Los Angeles Voter registrations - Roy Francis Bouckou, Rudolph Hunter Bouckou, sister Beulah A. Bouckou, and mother Annie M. Bouckou are living together at 740 1/2 Cahuenga Boulevard, Los Angeles.
  • Ancestry.com had the February 19, 1940 Yuma county, Arizona Marriage license for 46 year old Roy Frances Bouckou (born California; occupation "Actor") and 36 year old Reba Mae Beurnhan (born North Carolina).
  • 1940 census summary and census takers worksheet - 47 year old Roy F. Bouckou (born California; occupation "Actor - Motion Pictures"), 38 year old wife Rheba M. (born North Carolina) and 24 year old son Roy T. (born California; occupation "Night Dispatcher - Screen Actors Guild") are renting at 811 1/2 Cahuenga Boulevard, Los Angeles. In 1939, Roy worked 26 weeks and earned $2800.00: https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/K9CX-FXV
  • 1942 World War II draft registration - Roy Francis Bouckou was born August 22, 1893 in Colusa county, California. He and wife Reba live at 6001 Waring Avenue, Los Angeles. Roy's occupation is "Free lancing, various studios": https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1-16386-56395-18?cc=1861144&wc=MMRW-1RY:n931865833
  • Death certificate: 60 year old Roy Francis Bouckou was born August 22, 1893 in California; occupation was "Actor-Motion Pictures"; and he passed away at his home at 7811 Bellaire, North Hollywood. The death certificate notes that he was "Found August 6, 1954" which is his date of death. There was an autopsy and cause was coronary arteriosclerosis and thrombosis. Death certificate informant was wife Rheba M. Bouckou. Pierce Bros. was the funeral director and burial at Valhalla Memorial Park.
  • The California Death Index mirrors the death certificate - Roy Francis Bouckou was born August 22, 1893 and passed away in the Los Angeles area on August 6, 1954: https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VP7G-PLM
  • The August 12, 1954 edition of the Van Nuys (California) News had an article on Roy's passing. Excerpts: "Funeral services were held Monday for Roy Bouchou [sic], veteran film actor ... used the name Roy Bucko in the movies..." Survivors were wife Rheba, son Roy Jr., daughter Eva Anita Wintergreen, sister Beulah, brother Buck, and two grandchildren.

  Although some of the data may be incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has information on Roy Bucko: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0118771/


Ralph 'Buck' Bucko

Real name:
Rudoph Hunter Bouckou

1891 - 1962

1931


1943


Ralph 'Buck' Bucko's Hollywood career amounted to about 300 films beginning in mid 1920s silents and ending in late 1950s - early 1960s movies and TV programs. Most of his roles were unbilled / uncredited as a henchman, townsman, rider, barfly, etc.

Buck was active in efforts to unionize / organize the bit players, stunt performers, riders, etc. The Riding Actors' Association of Hollywood was formed in the mid 1930s and Buck was a member, officer, and the 1936 vice president of the group. And in the 1940 census, his occupation was "Clerk - Actors Union".

He was a bachelor, and passed away from a heart attack on August 6, 1962 while on a visit to Yakima, Washington.

The Family Search website (free), Ancestry.com (subscription), Social Security Death Index (SSDI), and ProQuest obituaries provide more on Ralph 'Buck' Bucko:

  • 1930 census summary and census takers worksheet - Rudolph H. Bouckon [sic] (born California; ) is one of many roomers living at 1636 Cahuenga Avenue, Los Angeles, California. He is single and occupation is "Actor - Studio": https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XCVM-WM2
  • Ancestry.com had the 1932 and 1934 Los Angeles Voters registration - Roy Francis Bouckou, Rudolph Hunter Bouckou, sister Beulah A. Bouckou, and mother Annie M. Bouckou are living together at 740 1/2 Cahuenga Boulevard, Los Angeles.
  • 1940 census summary and census takers worksheet - owning their home at 726 Cahuenga, Los Angeles, California are 48 year old Rudolph Bouckon [sic] (born California; occupation "Clerk - Actors Union") and his 38 year old sister Beulah (born California). In 1939, he worked 52 weeks and earned $1700.00: https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K9CX-LB3
  • 1942 World War II draft registration - Rudoph Hunter Bouckou was born November 16, 1891 in Colusa county, California. His contact is sister Beulah, and his occupation is "Screen Actors Guild". He was living with Beulah - or Beulah was living with him - at 726 North Cahuenga, Los Angeles: https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1-16386-56767-62?cc=1861144&wc=MMRW-1RY:n931865833
  • Social Security Death Index (SSDI) had a record for Rudoph Bouckou, born November 16, 1891, passed away August, 1962, and his last residence was California: https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:V9T4-6W5
  • Found no record in the California Death Index for Ralph ... which indicates he passed away in a different state. And that was confirmed in the August 13, 1962 Los Angeles (California) Times newspaper. Excerpts: "Services for Buck Bucko, 70 ... at Pierce Bros. mortuary ... Interment in Valhalla Cemetery." "... died of a heart attack last Monday while visiting in Yakima, Wash.".
    (The funeral was on Monday, August 13, 1962 and his passing on "last Monday" would be August 6, 1962. The notice mentioned that he still lived at 726 North Cahuenga, Los Angeles, and sister Beulah was next of kin (same as his World War II draft registration and 1940 census)).

  Although some of the data may be incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has information on Ralph 'Buck' Bucko: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0118769/




(Courtesy of Dorothy Hack)

Members of the Santa Monica Mounted Police unit circa 1939-1940. The men in the photo include three western film veterans. From left to right are unidentified, Bob Card, Ralph 'Buck' Bucko, unidentified, unidentified, and Herman Hack.



(Courtesy of Les Adams)

In the above still and crop/blowups, Ken Maynard is prone among an entire regiment of henchies in THE FIDDLIN' BUCKAROO (Universal, 1933). From L-to-R are Slim Whitaker, Bud McClure, Frank Ellis (face in shadows), Roy Bucko (with Maynard's pearl handled six-shooter in his belt), Hank Bell (with Maynard's other pearl handled six-shooter in his belt), Jack Kirk (face in shadows), unidentified player (tall hat), Fred Kohler, partial face of unidentified guy, and Buck Bucko.This was one of about 150 films in which both Bucko brothers were employed.



(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above from left to right are Marion Shilling, Rocky Camron/Gene Alsace, Roy Bucko, Ed Carey, Lew Meehan and Buck Bucko in GUNSMOKE OVER THE GUADALUPE (Willis Kent, 1935), Camron's only starring oater and he was billed in this film as 'Buck Coburn'. This was another film in which both Buckos had roles.



(Courtesy of Ed Tabor)

Above from left to right are Roy Bucko, Al Bridge, Marion Weldon, Art Mix (George Kesterson) and Blackie Whiteford in a scene from DODGE CITY TRAIL (Columbia, 1936), which starred Charles Starrett.



(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above from left to right are Herman Hack, Tommy Coats, Fred Graham, Bud Geary and Buck Bucko in a scene from CHEROKEE FLASH (Republic, 1945) which starred Sunset Carson.



(Courtesy of Wes Baker)

Silver Tip Baker is on the far right standing, and kneeling on the far right is Ralph 'Buck' Bucko. And No! - that's not Tim McCoy standing on the far left. Other faces are unidentified. Undated photo is probably from one of the Chuck Wagon Trailers ("old timers") gatherings which were held each year.



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