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Evalyn Knapp
Real name: Pauline Evelyn Knapp
1908 - 1981



(From Old Corral image collection)

Sol Lesser's Principal production outfit churned out George O'Brien westerns for Fox ... he did the CHANDU serial with Bela Lugosi ... and was later involved in the Tarzan film series.  In the late 1930s, he tried bandleader and singer Smith Ballew in a short-lived western series released through 20th Century Fox. Above - Evalyn Knapp is chatting with Ballew in a lobby card from HAWAIIAN BUCKAROO (Principal/20th C Fox, 1938).


A native of Kansas City, Missouri, Evelyn Knapp did about 50 films from about 1930 until the early 1940s, and these were a mixture of westerns, mysteries, drawing room comedies, starring roles, bit parts ... and even a serial.  Her first name was changed from Evelyn to Evalyn during her early Hollywood days when she toiled for Warner Bros.

Her brother was orchestra leader Orville Knapp, who had a reasonably successful "sweet" band during the 1930s but he was killed in a 1936 plane crash.

Evalyn made a couple films with singer/bandleader Smith Ballew, including the western RAWHIDE (Principal/20th C Fox, 1938) which co-starred New York Yankee first baseman Lou Gehrig.  She also was the feminine lead in the Nat Levine/Mascot production of IN OLD SANTA FE (1934) with Ken Maynard, and the star of THE PERILS OF PAULINE (Universal, 1934) cliffhanger.

In the first half of the 1930s, Tim McCoy was doing westerns at Columbia Pictures, and the studio decided to alter the formula and change his films to non-western mysteries and adventure yarns.  Evalyn was McCoy's leading lady in several of those non-westerns.

  Although some of the data is incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) has information on Evelyn Knapp: http://us.imdb.com/name/nm0460477/

Jerry Murbach's Doctor Macro website has a 1930s image of Knapp: http://www.doctormacro.com/Movie%20Star%20Pages/Knapp,%20Evalyn-Annex.htm



(From Old Corral image collection)

Above from L-to-R are Jack Rockwell, H. B. Warner, Ken Maynard, Evalyn Knapp and Kenneth Thomson.  IN OLD SANTA FE (Mascot, 1934) was one of Ken Maynard's better westerns and he did sing a tune or two ... I mean lip synch a song or two.  Thx to Shoot-Em-Ups co-author Les Adams, who notes that Ken didn't do the singin' in this film, but he was dubbed by none other than Bob Nolan of Sons Of The Pioneer fame.  Les also mentioned that the player between Maynard and Warner is William (Bill) McCall.  IN OLD SANTA FE is generally remembered as the movie singing debut of Gene Autry (with his pal "Smiley" Burnette)



(Courtesy of Les Adams)



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