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Saddle Pals & Sidekicks

Sid Sailor / Sid Saylor / Syd Saylor

Real name: Leslie Raymond Sailor


(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above from L-to-R are Syd Saylor (as newspaper reporter 'Breezy Baker'), Ken Maynard and Verna Hillie in a scene from the cliffhanger MYSTERY MOUNTAIN (Mascot, 1934). Saylor was billed as "Sid Saylor" in this. In addition to MYSTERY MOUNTAIN, Saylor's other serials were THE LOST JUNGLE (Mascot, 1934) with Clyde Beatty and BRENDA STARR, REPORTER (Columbia, 1945) with Joan Woodbury and Kane Richmond.

Born in Chicago, Illinois in 1895, Leslie Raymond Sailor became a vaudeville comedian and there's some traces that he also did circuses and was a tight rope walker.

When he registered for the World War I draft in June, 1917, he was an actor employed by Roy D. Smith, Oakland City, Indiana. Smith was a bandmaster who toured with his Royal Scotch Highlanders troupe and also booked acts for fairs.

In June, 1918, Leslie R. Sailor enlisted in the Marine Corps and records from June, 1918 through August, 1919 have Private Sailor stationed at the Marine Barracks, Paris Island, South Carolina and Quantico, Virginia.

Interesting timing on this ad from the August 10, 1918 issue of Billboard (available at the Internet Archive).

Is the "Comedy Man" sought by Roy D. Smith a replacement for Saylor who joined the Marines about six weeks earlier?

Circa 1926-1930, Leslie Raymond Sailor was "Sid Saylor" and under contract with the Stern Brothers and Universal. There he starred in dozens of two-reel "Let George Do It" and "Newlyweds and Their Baby" comedy shorts. The April 10, 1926 Motion Picture News trade publication had an announcement:

"Sid Saylor has been signed to a long term contract by Stern Brothers and his first work will be the role of George in the 'Let George Do It' series of two reel comedies which the Stern Brothers will release through Universal."

When talkies arrived, he became a prolific character/supporting player and comedian in a mix of films at A and B grade studios and production companies. He turns up often in uncredited roles as a reporter, a drunk, or driving a taxi, bus, truck or wagon.

He did occasional sidekick and hero helper roles in B westerns and a serial starring Ken Maynard, Tex Ritter, Buster Crabbe, Johnny Mack Brown, George O'Brien, Kermit Maynard, a few others. He was an original member of Republic's Three Mesquiteers but was replaced by Max Terhune after doing the initial Mesquiteers entry. He also was the helper to Bob Steele in a quartet of oaters released in 1946 by Producers Releasing Corporation (PRC). And he had lots of screen time and dialog as newspaper photographer 'Chuck Allen' in his third and final cliffhanger, BRENDA STARR, REPORTER (Columbia, 1945).

In the 1950s through early 1960s, Saylor was busy doing television, and can be spotted in a (brief) recurring role in THE ADVENTURES OF RIN TIN TIN as well as episodes of the GEORGE BURNS AND GRACIE ALLEN SHOW, the ABBOTT AND COSTELLO SHOW, lots more.

Along with Edward Arnold, Alan Hale, Charles Coburn, Alan Mowbray and many others, Saylor was a member and officer in the Masquers.

And the answer is "Yes" to Saylor briefly portraying Bozo the Clown. Pinto Colvig was the original Bozo. Circa 1949, Saylor was hired to play the clown and there's more in the book Elmo Williams - A Hollywood Memoir (McFarland and Company, 2006). Elmo Williams mentions both a half-hour show as well as the thirteen half-hour episodes produced for Capitol Records. A few quotes from the book: "Syd Saylor, who played our Bozo, got fifty dollars for each performance. He was always nervous and not too fond of kids." Regarding the Capitol Records one week schedule for Williams to produce thirteen shows: "Syd Saylor agreed to accept five hundred dollars for the week."

Les Adams has him identified in about 234 sound films - that number includes 64 westerns and 3 cliffhangers.

Syd Saylor was a familiar comedy performer and character actor and his movie and television career spanned about 35 years, from about 1926 through the early 1960s.

Hard to forget him when he got nervous or scared - there was a stutter or stammer and his adam's apple would throb and bob. Examples: in Johnny Mack Brown's BRANDED A COWARD (Supreme, 1935) and GUNS IN THE DARK (Supreme/Republic, 1937), Syd does his stuttering act.

Leslie Raymond Sailor, AKA Sid Saylor, was found dead in his Glendale, California home on December 21, 1962. There was a coroner's investigation and the cause of death was arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease.

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

Daniel Neyer's "The Files of Jerry Blake" serial website has a webpage with more on Saylor and his three serials:

Jim Tipton's Find A Grave website has a photo of the marker for Syd Saylor at Pierce Brothers Valhalla Memorial Park, North Hollywood, California:

YouTube and the Internet Archive have many films and TV shows with Saylor which you can view online or download:
   Internet Archive:[]=%22syd%20saylor%22#collection-date-archived

The Google Newspaper archive has an August 31, 1943 article in the Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania) Press in which Saylor discusses his career - circa 1912, he was a jack of all trades with Mack Sennett productions; then he was with the Barnum and Bailey, Ringling Brothers, and Sells Floto circuses; served in the Marine Corps; more:,384661&hl=en

Syd Saylor briefly portrayed Bozo the Clown in thirteen half-hour shows created by Elmo Williams and Capitol Records. They were televised on KTTV TV in Los Angeles circa 1949:

The Family Search website (free), (subscription), Newspaper Archive, ProQuest obituaries, California Death Index and Social Security Death Index (SSDI) provide a bit more info on Syd Saylor / Leslie Raymond Sailor and family.

I was confused with several names reported for Syd's mother. Family trees on Ancestry clarified her name as Imogene 'Jeanie' Conly (1870-1957). And there's questions about Syd's wife Marie - was her last/maiden name Valant, Valent, Walent, etc.

(From Old Corral image collection)

Above is a Chapter 3 lobby card and crop/blowup from THE LOST JUNGLE (Mascot, 1934). From L-to-R are Clyde Beatty, Crauford Kent and Syd Saylor. Saylor was billed as "Syd Saylor" in this.

(From Old Corral image collection)

Above - the title lobby card from the first Three Mesquiteers adventure, aptly titled THE THREE MESQUITEERS (Republic, 1936). Saylor is "Sid Saylor" in this lobby card, but in the film's opening titles and credits, he's billed as "Syd Sailor".

L-to-R in the photo below are Syd Saylor (as 'Lullaby Joslin'), Ray 'Crash' Corrigan and Bob Livingston. Max Terhune replaced Saylor in the next film of the series.

(From Old Corral image collection)

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above from left to right are Charles B. Murphy, Buck Jones pummeling LeRoy Mason, and Syd Saylor in a scene from WHEN A MAN SEES RED (Universal, 1934). Saylor was billed as "Sid Saylor" in this one.

(From Old Corral image collection)

Above is a lobby card from WILDERNESS MAIL (Ambassador-Conn, 1935), one of the mountie adventures starring Kermit Maynard. On the left, Syd Saylor is wrestling with an unidentified performer (might be Barney Furey or Pat Harmon). Kermit is on the right pounding on an unidentifed player. In the far right background and wearing the fur coat is Dick Curtis. Saylor and Curtis were gang members working for brains heavy Fred Kohler. In CODE OF THE MOUNTED (Ambassador-Conn, 1935), Saylor is on the side of the law, playing a mountie helper to Kermit Maynard.

(Courtesy of Tom Bupp)

Above is the title lobby card from ARIZONA DAYS (Grand National, 1937), Tex Ritter's third starring oater for Grand National and producer Ed Finney. Pictured in the bottom right are heroine Eleanor Stewart, child star Tommy Bupp and Syd Saylor.

(Courtesy of Boyd Magers)

Above from left to right are Syd Saylor (as Buster Crabbe's sidekick 'Weary'), Crabbe and lawman Lew Kelly in a re-release lobby card from FORLORN RIVER (Paramount, 1937). A few years earlier, Saylor was Crabbe's saddle pal in NEVADA (Paramount, 1935).

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

In Bob Steele's quartet of mid 1940s PRC oaters - as well as his earlier mountie adventure NORTHWEST TRAIL (Action Pictures/Lippert, 1945) - he rode a horse named Coco (recognizable by the blonde mane and tail). The above is a crop from a lobby card from SIX GUN MAN (PRC, 1946) with sidekick Syd Saylor and Steele on Coco.

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