The Motion Picture Herald and Boxoffice polls were conducted from about the mid 1930s through the mid 1950s. With a few exceptions, the annual results would list the 'Top Ten' (or 'Top Five') cowboy film stars. In most cases, the winners were what you would expect --- Autry, Rogers, Holt, Starrett, Hoppy, etc. Hoot was ranked during two years. However, it should be noted that the polls did not begin until the mid 1930s, which was well past his prime film-making days at Universal.
|Popularity Rankings of Hoot Gibson|
|Year||Motion Picture Herald
(Image courtesy of Dennis Davis)
Many thanks to Dennis Davis for the above family photo. Dennis writes: "My mother recently passed away and was the family historian with many pictures which I've been reviewing for family CD's. One of the pictures was Hoot Gibson's parents. Hoot's mother (Ellie Carter) was my grandfather's (Albert H. Carter) sister. It does look like Hoot got most of his looks from my great aunt."
(DENNIS - your old e-mail address is no longer working. Shoot the Old Corral webmaster an e-mail please.)
(Image courtesy of Les Adams)
|Les Adams writes about this image and Hoot's endorsement and tie-in to Bost Tooth Paste: this still was on display in drug and department stores and magazine ads in the Spring and Summer of 1935. It was on behalf of Bost (not Best) Tooth Paste and was used in a contest with first prize being a guest of Hoot Gibson for a week during the time of his annual Hoot Gibson Rodeo at his Saugus Ranch (in California) on the dates of September 1-2. Open to all boys and girls under the age of 15 and entry deadline was August 5. They were to fill in the last line of this jingle:|
Hoot Gibson is my favorite star
His acting can't be beat.
But Bost Tooth Paste is sure by far
(Fill in last line)
Mail in with an empty large size carton (or facsimile drawn by hand) of Bost Tooth Paste. Connected with the showing of SUNSET RANGE (First Division, 1935).
(Courtesy of Melody Waters)
Above - musician and singer Vernon Scott 'Ozie' Waters is wearing the buckskins on the far left and guest Hoot Gibson is sitting at the desk during a break on Ozie's KBTV show, Denver, Colorado, circa 1954. In the top left of the photo, you can see where the wall ends on the set. The microphone is in the upper right. Ozie Waters had a Junior Ranger club on KBTV and there were 40,000 kids who were members and got an official card. Ozie Waters and his Colorado Rangers did musical support from about 1944-1950 in a dozen or more oaters - he worked with Charles Starrett at Columbia and William Boyd in the Hopalong Cassidy releases via United Artists.
I do have a newspaper obituary on Hoot. It notes that he had been under treatment for cancer for about five years, and had a series of abdominal surgeries beginning in 1960. His most recent surgery was January 8, 1962, and afterwards, he returned to his Las Vegas home. During the Summer, his condition worsened and he passed away on August 23, 1962 at the Motion Picture Home in Woodland Hills, California. If anyone wants a copy of the obituary (in jpg image format), shoot the Old Corral webmaster an e-mail.
You may want to go to the In Search Of ... page on the Old Corral, and then to the Social Security Death Index. There you will find a record for: Hoot Gibson, Social Security number issued in NY, born on 6 August, 1892, and passed away August, 1962. Strange - it shows the "death state" as Nevada. The California Death Records database has a record for Hoot R. Gibson, born 8/6/1892 and passed away on 8/23/1962 in the Los Angeles area.
Over the past ten years, I've received several e-mails advising that Gibson was born and/or raised in Herman, Nebraska (not Tekamah, Nebraska). (The Nebraska State Historical Society lists Tekamah, Nebraska as Gibson's birthplace.)
A few years back, I communicated with the Pendleton Roundup regarding movie cowboys that performed at their event and in particular, I was searching for info on Ken Maynard. Excerpts follow from a couple e-mails from them: "I just looked up the contestant list and I couldn't even find his name (Ken Maynard) on that. Hoot Gibson won the Round-Up All Around in 1912. Yakima Canutt won the All Around in 1919 and 1920 as well as 1917 and 1923."
Gibson was one of the few western movie performers who really didn't do much TV work. However, he did appear in the March, 1955 I MARRIED JOAN episode titled "The Cowboy". I do have a newspaper TV section from Ed Tabor which has a large (poor quality) image of comedian Joan Davis and Gibson during the filming of that show.
Rick Albright checked for Hoot Gibson in the census records as well as the draft registration. He found:
3 April 1930, 816 N. Bedford Drive, Beverly Hills, Los Angeles County; Line 92, Sheet 2B.
Edward R. GIBSON, 36, divorced, married at age 20, owns home/value $5,000, born Nebraska, parents ditto, actor/motion pictures.
Elizabeth M. BRONSON, 67, mother-in-law, widow, married at age 18, born New York, parents, ditto. And two servants.
(Interesting that he was divorced but had his former mother-in-law living with him.)
DRAFT REGISTRATION (in addition to vital stats, address and employer, they also were asked about dependents and reasons they might not be able to serve in the Army):
EDMUND RICHARD GIBSON, age 24, 1307 Hawthorne, Glendale, CA. Born 6 Aug 1892 in Tekamah, NE; actor, Universal Film Corp., Universal City, CA; married with wife and mother, a few broken bones, blue eyes, light hair; card is dated 5 June 1917.
It's always interesting to click through excerpts of newspaper headlines and clippings at the Google newspaper archives at: http://news.google.com/newspapers
While some of the articles are free, many go to newspaper websites where you have to pay to retrieve the full article. The following link will take you to a mix of free and pay article headlines from Gibson's early career as well as the Hoot's medical problems and hospital stays in the 1960s: http://www.google.com/search?q=%22hoot+gibson%22&tbs=nws:1,ar:1&source=newspapers