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Saddle Pals & Sidekicks
The Juvenile Helpers



Above, Robert 'Bobby' Blake was 'Little Beaver' to both Bill Elliott and Allan Lane in their 1940s Red Ryder westerns. Shown with Blake is Alice Fleming who played the Duchess in many of the Ryder films. Blake, whose real name is Michael Gubitosi was born in New Jersey in 1933. He was one of the 'Our Gang' kids at MGM and in later life, the star of the BARETTA TV detective show. His best film role is that of murderer Perry Smith in IN COLD BLOOD (1967).

There was an 'official' Robert Blake website, but the site disappeared soon after the murder of Blake's wife.

Although some of the data is incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) has information on Blake: http://us.imdb.com/name/nm0086706/



(From Old Corral image collection)

In all 23 Red Ryder features that were churned out by Republic, Robert 'Bobby' Blake played Little Beaver and rode 'Papoose'. Above is Blake with Bill Elliott.



(From Old Corral image collection)

Above - Elliott and Robert 'Bobby' Blake as sidekick Little Beaver in a lobby card from CALIFORNIA GOLD RUSH (Republic, 1946).




Above, Don Barry and Tommy Cook in a publicity still during their time in THE ADVENTURES OF RED RYDER serial from 1940. Cook was born in 1930 and was the first 'Little Beaver' and a busy child actor. However, he had far more work and exposure doing a bunch of California-based radio programs of the 1940s through early 1950s: he was one of the actors that portrayed Chester A. Riley's son 'Junior' on THE LIFE OF RILEY radio series; he was one of several actors who played Blondie and Dagwood's son Alexander on the BLONDIE radio show; and he portrayed Little Beaver for about five years on the RED RYDER program. He left acting in the early 1950s and became a tennis pro, and still is involved in arranging tennis matches. Cook showed up in CHIPS and HART TO HART TV episodes portraying, what else, a tennis pro and umpire, respectively. He did another tennis pro portrayal in the Doris Day/Rock Hudson flick SEND ME NO FLOWERS (1964).

Although some of the data is incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) has information on Cook: http://us.imdb.com/name/nm0177320/




(From Old Corral image collection)

Above from L-to-R are Betty Miles, Tom Keene, Sugar Dawn and Frank Yaconelli from one of Keene's early 1940s Monogram westerns. (Sugar Dawn was at Monogram in the early 1940s, and Twinkle Watts was the youngster at Republic around the same time.) Below is Tom London chatting with Sugar in a scene from DYNAMITE CANYON (Monogram, 1941), another entry in the Keene series. Notice the word 'Sugar' embroidered on her shirt pocket.


(Courtesy of Les Adams)



(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above, Ritter on White Flash and Sugar Dawn on her pony 'Chiquita' in PALS OF THE SILVER SAGE (Monogram, 1940).

The Internet Movie Database (IMDb) notes that she was born in 1931, in Bay Area, California.


Although some of the data is incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) has information on Sugar: http://us.imdb.com/name/nm0206034/



(Courtesy of Bill Sasser)
Sugar Dawn Tower was a guest at the July, 2003 Charlotte, North Carolina Western Film Fair.




(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above - Allan Lane is sandwiched between Twinkle Watts on the left and Linda Stirling on the right, circa 1944. The juvenile ice skating star was the young helper to Don Barry at Republic, and when that series ended, she went to work with Lane in his series of six releases for 1944-45.

Although some of the data is incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) has information on Watts: http://us.imdb.com/name/nm0915250/



(From Old Corral image collection)

Above is the title lobby card from OUTLAWS OF SANTA FE (Republic, 1944) which featured Helen Talbot and youngster Twinkle Watts, both of whom were under term player contracts at Republic. Released in April, 1944, OUTLAWS was the last of Don Barry's series westerns at Republic.


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