Back to prior page

(Courtesy of Andy Southard)

Above is Nadine Ruth Jane Mix (1912-1977), the older of Tom Mix's two children (both daughters).

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above is the cover of the pressbook for FIGHTING PIONEERS (Resolute, 1935), one in a brief series featuring Ruth and Buzz Barton and starring Rex Bell. Note the proclamation at the top of the pressbook: "The Three Aces of the Saddle Ride Again !" and the photo insets at the top are from L-to-R, Ruth, Rex Bell and Buzz Barton.
Ruth Mix

Full name: Nadine Ruth Jane Mix

1912 - 1977

Ruth Mix was the real-life daughter of silver screen legend Tom Mix, and was born in Oklahoma on July 13, 1912 Mix and his third wife, Olive Stokes Mix. She was doing silent films in the mid 1920s, and purportedly worked on Broadway and the vaudeville circuit.

Ruth had a brief Hollywood career which spanned a dozen or so film roles over a ten year period that began around 1926. She did sound westerns with Wally Wales (Hal Taliaferro) and Hoot Gibson but is probably best remembered as the female lead in a quartet of 1934-1935 oaters starring Rex Bell for Resolute as well as a trio of cliffhangers for Stage and Screen - THE BLACK COIN (1936), (THE AMAZING EXPLOITS OF) THE CLUTCHING HAND (1936), and CUSTER'S LAST STAND (1936).

In a November, 1937 newspaper blurb, there is a mention of Grand National doing films with Tex Ritter and Ken Maynard (and that happened) as well as a cowgirl series starring Ruth (that didn't occur).

After completing her Hollywood career, she joined her father's circus and wild west show. The Mix circus went bust and their last performance was in Pecos, Texas on September 10, 1938. At the time, show manager Dail Turney and Ruth were running the operation as Mix was in Europe doing a theater tour and trying to drum up business.

There were several unsuccessful marriages. She got a New York state annulment in 1932 from actor Douglas Gilmore (they eloped to Arizona in 1930 when she was only seventeen). And there were marriages and divorces from rodeo promoter John A. Guthrie and circus performer and rodeo champion Harry Knight. When married to Knight, they lived in Casa Grande, Arizona. There is another marriage for Ruth mentioned in the Olive Stokes memoirs/book: "The death of the circus brought a new life for Ruth. She found time to think over a proposal of marriage from an old suitor, Sheriff Howard Crags, of Raymondville, Texas. They were married, and she and her husband settled on his ranch in the Rio Grande Valley. She was there when Tom came home from Europe."

After the Mix Circus failure, Ruth continued to do appearances in rodeos and wild west shows. I do have an August, 1939 article about her being the featured performer in the wild west rodeo at the New York Worlds Fair (and the article mentions her former husband, Harry Knight).

Ruth married William Hickman Hill in the early 1940s and they resided in the Corpus Christi, Texas area and raised a family. Hill died in 1976 and Ruth passed away on September 1, 1977. There were three children born to Ruth and William Hickman Hill: Tomasita Hickman Hill was born 4-6-1943, William Hickman Hill II on 9-8-1944, and Gordon Russell Hill on 11-26-1946.

You may want to go to the In Search Of ... page on the Old Corral and then to the Social Security Death Records (SSDI). There you will find a record for: Ruth Hill, born July 13, 1912, and passed away September 1, 1977 in the Corpus Christi, Texas area.

  Although some of the data is incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) has information on Ruth Mix:

Jim Tipton's Find A Grave website has a picture of the grave marker as well as the obituary/funeral notice for Ruth Mix Hill who is interred Buena Vista Park, Brownsville, Texas:

The Silent Film Sources website had an interesting group of articles on Tom Mix (excerpted from the 1957 memoirs by his wife Olive Stokes Mix). That website is no longer operational, but the Wayback Machine at the Internet Archive has a copy of the site at:
The sections devoted to Tom, Ruth and the Circus, as well as Ruth's marriage to Sheriff Howard Crags, of Raymondville, Texas, are at:

There's some info on Ruth Mix's ex-husband Harry Knight (1907-1989) who hailed from Canada and was a bronc rider and rodeo champ:
Knight managed Gene Autry's Flying A Rodeo:
There's a photo of Knight at the ProRodeo Hall of Fame webswite:

(Courtesy of Donn & Nancy Moyer and the Jeannie Blair collection)
(Courtesy of Donn & Nancy Moyer and the Jeannie Blair collection)

Above right - a July, 1938 newspaper ad for a performance in Charles City, Iowa, and the admission price at that time was 60¢ for adults and 25¢ for children. In the fine print at the bottom, you'll see a mention of Ruth Mix along with 'Agee's Australian Hackneys' - Agee is Johnny Agee, renowned horse trainer. Bud Norris adds that soon after Mix's death, Johnny Agee - and his horses - went to work for Gene Autry. A couple months after this performance, the Mix Circus went belly-up.

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above from left to right are Buzz Barton, Rex Bell, Ruth Mix, and Stanley Blystone in a scene from Bell's SADDLE ACES (Resolute, 1935).

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above is Ruth (as 'Wa-No-Na'), and on the right is Chief Thunder Cloud (Victor Daniels) in FIGHTING PIONEERS (Resolute, 1935), one of a quartet of sagebrush adventures starring Bell, Mix and Buzz Barton.  On the left edge is Chief Standing Bear (as 'Black Hawk') and far right is Guate Mozin (as 'Crazy Horse').

(From Old Corral image collection)

(From Old Corral image collection)

Above - photo of a lobby card for GUNFIRE (Resolute, 1935), and in the inset are from L-to-R, Buzz Barton, Ruth Mix and Rex Bell.

(From Old Corral image collection)

Above - Ruth with Rex Bell in a still from SADDLE ACES (Resolute, 1935).

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above from left to right are Dave O'Brien, Ralph Graves, Roger Williams and Ruth Mix in a scene from the cliffhanger THE BLACK COIN (Stage & Screen, 1936).

Back to prior page