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When the Crabbe series ended in 1946, St. John saddled up with the bullwhip-cracking, black garbed, Al 'Lash' LaRue. LaRue had been featured in three of PRC's Eddie Dean Cinecolor westerns and was promoted into his own starring series. Lash and Al were together in 20 oaters released from 1947 - 1952. The first eight were PRCs, and then Lash and Fuzz did a dozen more for producer / director Ron Ormond and his Western Adventure production company.

Paul Dellinger authored the Old Corral biography on Lash, and included some LaRue comments on St. John:



1950 personal appearance theater ad ... with a spelling error.
When the LaRue series in 1952, Al was about sixty years old and his movie career was over. He kept busy doing personal appearances and was often accompanied by wife June.

Yvonne June St. John suffered from cancer and congestive heart failure and passed away on September 17, 1957 at their home at 12919 1/2 Bloomfield Street, Los Angeles. Later, Al married Florence 'Flo Bell' Moore and they resided in Homosassa Springs, Florida.

Al was touring with Doc Tommy Scott's Wild West show and was scheduled for a personal appearance at the American Legion Club in Vidalia, Georgia. He was at a motel / hotel in Lyons, Georgia, about six miles from Vidalia, and passed away there from a heart attack on January 21, 1963. More details on his death on a later webpage.

I was in Arizona at a business conference in 1980 and visited Buster Crabbe. I remember him chuckling about how his 1932 Olympic gold medal got him into films ... the busy and chaotic shooting schedules for the serials and PRC westerns ... that he thought he was reasonably decent actor ... he reminisced about Charles 'Ming' Middleton, calling him "Charlie Middleton" and that he was a "nice man" .... and he also chuckled that people still remembered him from the Flash Gordon serials. When I asked about Al St. John, Buster laughed, broke into a big smile, and related how wonderful it was to work with Al and how they got along so well together. There was never a problem with Al and alcohol during filming. But off-hours, Al liked to imbibe.

Another bit of scuttlebutt about 'Fuzzy' - when Crabbe was getting ready to do his CAPTAIN GALLANT OF THE FOREIGN LEGION TVer of the mid 1950s, he wanted 'Fuzzy' St. John as his helper.

Alan Williams e-mailed with more on that Al St. John vs. Fuzzy Knight CAPTAIN GALLANT question: "Buster was interviewed in that great book by Gary Grossman, Saturday Morning TV: Thirty Years of the Shows You Waited All Week to Watch (1988), and basically said that he had gotten his old pal Al an audition with the producers, but unfortunately had shown up after imbibing a little too much, as Al was known to do, and blew the audition. That's when they reached out to Fuzzy Knight to take his place. Buster really wanted Al for the role, but it just wasn't meant to be."

Some folks recall the partnership of Lash and Fuzzy as Al's best western film work. I disagree and suggest that Al's finest moments - and his meatiest roles - occurred in the thirty-six PRCs with Buster Crabbe. Buster and Al had fun working together ... and on the screen, you could see and feel their camaraderie, mutual respect, and neither tried to upstage the other. Al even got expanded screen time in FUZZY SETTLES DOWN (PRC, 1944) and HIS BROTHER'S GHOST (PRC, 1945). If you like Al / Fuzzy, give Crabbe some credit. As the star, he had to be supportive of St. John's sidekick duties. If he was not pleased, I'm sure he could have gotten PRC's production team to reduce Al's role.

In summary - Buster Crabbe liked Al.   Lash LaRue liked Al.   Fred Scott liked Al.   And many of us liked Al also.  Pretty good legacy.


"Fuzzy" and Lash in 20 oaters released 1947 - 1952.

(From Old Corral collection)

After their PRC series ended, Fuzzy and Lash did a dozen more westerns for producer / director Ron Ormond and his Western Adventure production company. Their last film together was released in 1952. Above is the title lobby card for DEAD MAN'S GOLD (Western Adventure, 1948). In the upper right, there's a photo of Al checking out the slugfest between Lash and John / Bob / 'Lefty' Cason.



(Courtesy of Larry Welch)

Above are Fuzzy St. John (now on a paint horse) and Lash LaRue in another lobby card from DEAD MAN'S GOLD (Western Adventure, 1948).



(From Old Corral collection)

Above is a lobby card from Lash's FRONTIER REVENGE (Ron Ormond/Western Adventure, 1948). Below is a crop from the still used for that lobby card.


(Image courtesy of Pat LaRosa)

Above from left to right are Al St. John, bartender Cliff Taylor (who was producer Ron Ormond's father-in-law), Lash Larue, Ray Bennett and bearded barfly Jack Evans. That's moustached Lee Morgan leaning on the bar behind Bennett.



(Courtesy of Minard Coons)

Max Terhune's son Bob Terhune worked in Hollywood as an actor, but found his niche as a stuntman and double. Above - Bob is mixing it up with Al 'Fuzzy' St. John in one of the Lash LaRue range escapades of the late 1940s. Tracy Terhune (Bob's son) adds: "the film was OUTLAW COUNTRY and was 1949. By the way, it was my fathers first film, and he was billed as Max Terhune Jr. Throughout his stunt career, he went by Bob Terhune."



(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above from left to right are Al St. John, Lash LaRue and Raymond Hatton in a lobby card from THE DALTONS' WOMEN (Western Adventure, 1950). Lash and Fuzzy are billed fourth and fifth, and this has to be their worst western. Boyd Magers' review of this film begins with the words "Tangled mess", and that about sums it up. LaRue and St. John would do four more films after THE DALTONS' WOMEN. Sadly, that final four consisted of lots of stock footage culled from the earlier films.



(From Old Corral collection)

Above - Al 'Fuzzy' St. John and Lash LaRue versus Archie Twitchell in a lobby card from THE VANISHING OUTPOST (Ron Ormand/Screen Guild, 1951).


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