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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 many years, I've 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 is 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" in the 1940 census. The spelling of their last name is:     B O U C K O U

The Family Search website has early info on Roy and Ralph and the Bouckou family:

Roy Bucko

Real name:
Roy Francis Bouckou


in at least 232 westerns and 17 serials

The Family Search website (free), Newspaper Archive website (subscription), California Death Records database, and his death certificate provide more info on Roy and family:

  • 1917 World War I draft registration: 24 year old farmer Roy Francis Bouckou has a wife and two children, and they reside in Arbuckle (sp?), California. He lists his birth date and location as August 22, 1893 and Elk Creek, California:
  • 1940 census: 47 year old Roy F. Bouckou (born California), 38 year old wife Rheba M. (born North Carolina) and 24 year old son Roy T. (born California) are living in the Los Angeles area:
  • 1940 census takers worksheet: the Bouckou family live on 811 1/2 Cahuenga Boulevard in Los Angeles. Roy's occupation is "Actor - Motion Pictures", and in 1939, he worked 26 weeks and earned $2800.00. Son Roy's occupation is "Night Dispatcher-Screen Actors Guild", and in 1939, he worked 52 weeks and earned $2400.00:
  • 1942 World War II draft registration: Roy Francis Bouckou lists his birth date and location as August 22, 1893 in Colusa County, California. His wife's name is Reba (not Rheba), and they live at 6001 Waring Avenue in Los Angeles. Roy's occupation is "Free lancing, various studios":
  • 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 Records database mirrors the death certificate: Roy Francis Bouckou, born August 22, 1893, and passed away in the Los Angeles area on August 6, 1954. I did not find a corresponding record in the Social Security Death Index (SSDI).
  • 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, veteran film actor ... used the name Roy Bucko in the movies..." Survivors were wife Rheba, son Roy Jr., daughter Eva Anita Wintergreen, sister Beula, 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:

Ralph 'Buck' Bucko

Real name:
Rudoph Hunter Bouckou


in at least 185 westerns and 12 serials

The Family Search website (free), Social Security Death Index (SSDI), and ProQuest obituaries have info on Ralph:

  • 1942 World War II draft registration: Rudoph Hunter Bouckou lists his birth date and location as November 16, 1891 in Colusa County, California. He sister Beulah is his contact, and his occupation is "Screen Actors Guild". He is living with Beulah - or Beulah is living with him - at 726 North Cahuenga in Los Angeles:
  • You may want to go to the In Search Of ... page on the Old Corral. I did not find Ralph in the California Death Records database. There was a record in the Social Security Death Index (SSDI): Rudoph Bouckou, born November 16, 1891, passed away August, 1962 and his last residence was California.
  • There was an obituary in the August 13, 1962 Los Angeles 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 the previous Monday would be August 6, 1962. The notice mentioned that he still lived at 726 North Cahuenga in Los Angeles and sister Beulah was next of kin (same as his World War II draft registration).

  Although some of the data may be incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has information on Ralph 'Buck' Bucko:

(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 left to right are Slim Whitaker, Bud McClure, Frank Ellis (face in shadows), Roy Bucko, Hank Bell, Jack Kirk (face in shadows), unidentified player, Fred Kohler and Ralph '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 employing both Buckos.

(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. Photo probably from one of the Chuck Wagon Trailers ("old timers") gatherings which were held each year.

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