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Jack Perrin

Real name:
Lyman Wakefield Perrin

1896 - 1967



Above - a 1925 theater ad for LIGHTNING JACK (Robert J. Horner/Anchor, 1924), a Jack Perrin silent churned out by bottom-of-the-barrel producer Robert J. Horner.
During a Hollywood career that spanned about 40 years, Jack Perrin did lead work, supporting roles and bit parts under his own name as well as Jack Gable and Richard (Dick) Terry.

Perrin was born in Three Rivers, Michigan on July 25, 1896.  Biographies mention that Perrin's father was into Real Estate, and the family moved to Los Angeles soon after the century change, and that's where Jack attended school. Some biographies also note that his first work in and around the film industry was about 1915 with the Keystone Kops.

We do know that he served (briefly) in the Navy during World War I. And from 1919-1921, Perrin was under contract at Universal, appearing in various films including the lead in two reel westerns. After that period at Universal, he starred in some sagebrush cheapies released under the Rayart, Arrow and Aywon logos for directors such as Harry S. Webb and Robert J. Horner. Around 1927, he was back at Universal doing westerns and mountie films, many of which featured the black Morgan stallion Rex, King of the Wild Horses. By that time, Jack was riding a white steed by the name of Starlight, billed as "The Wonder Horse".

During all of this, Perrin was a prolific cliffhanger hero, starring in THE LION MAN (Universal, 1919), THE FIGHTING SKIPPER (Arrow, 1923), SANTA FE TRAIL (Arrow, 1923), RIDERS OF THE PLAINS (Arrow 1924), THE VANISHING WEST (Mascot, 1928), all of which were silents.

He met leading lady Josephine Hill (1899 - 1989) when they worked together in several films at Universal. Newspaper reports as well as articles in the August, 1920 Photoplay magazine indicate that Perrin and Hill married in early June, 1920. More on Josephine Hill and Perrin's wives are on the next webpage.

Perrin was a busy actor, working all over, and doing leads and supporting roles in westerns, melodramas and serials. He seemed to have all the credentials necessary for stardom in talking pictures. He was billed second in one of the earliest B western talkies, OVERLAND BOUND (Raytone, 1929), which starred Leo Maloney. He also was the lead in THE JADE BOX (Universal, 1930), a cliffhanger released in both sound and silent versions.

But luck would not be kind to Perrin and Starlight. There were some starring films ... including more ultra low budget collaborations with Harry S. Webb and Robert J. Horner. In late 1932, Perrin had to go to court to get his pay from Horner (more on that below). And then Jack and Starlight were with Bernard B. Ray, Harry Webb and Reliable Pictures for some features as well as the series of 'Bud 'n' Ben' shorts which featured rotund Benny Corbett as the sidekick. Sandwiched in among all of this was JAWS OF JUSTICE (Principal, 1933), with Perrin as a RCMP and billing himself as "Richard Terry".



(Courtesy of Ed Phillips)

Above are Jack Perrin with Starlight, and on the far right is Rex in a scene from GUARDIANS OF THE WILD (Universal, 1928), one of the Perrin and Rex Universal silents.



(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above is a lobby card from the silent TWO OUTLAWS (Universal, 1928), with Jack's "Starlight the Wonder Horse" working on undoing the ropes on his wrist. Note that the black "Rex, King of the Wild Horses" got first billed over Perrin.



(From Old Corral image collection)

Above lobby card is from one of the earliest of the western talkies, THE APACHE KID'S ESCAPE (Robert J. Horner, 1930), and in the photo inset are Perrin and Starlight..



(Courtesy of Richard Harrison)

Above is the title lobby card for LARIATS AND SIX-SHOOTERS (Robert J. Horner, 1931), another of the Perrin starrers for producer Robert J. Horner. LARIATS is among the lost/missing westerns.



(Courtesy of Duane Harlow)

Above from left to right are Steve Clemento/Clemente (seated at table), Dick Cramer and Jack Perrin. Unidentified still from either LARIATS AND SIX-SHOOTERS (Robert J. Horner, 1931) or 45 CALIBRE ECHO (Robert J. Horner, 1932). Both starred Jack Perrin and both films are among the lost and missing.



(Courtesy of Renee Brouillette)

Perrin had to sue Horner to get his contracted salary for this film and several others - see the October 24, 1932 news clipping above - unknown whether Perrin actually collected the money owed him by Horner. Perrin's wife Josephine Hill was the heroine in several of these Horner oaters - wonder if she also had a problem getting paid.



(From Old Corral image collection)

Above are Jack Perrin, Virginia Brown Faire, and Starlight in a scene from RAINBOW RIDERS (Reliable, 1934), one of her last films. Faire, whose real name was Virginia Labuna, was in silents and early 1930s talkies and a WAMPAS Baby Star winner in 1923.



(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above from L-to-R are Frank Crane, Louise Gabo, a smiling Jack Perrin (billed as "Jack Gable"), Tom Tyler, Roberta Gale, George Chesebro and Tom London in Tyler's MYSTERY RANCH (Reliable, 1934).



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