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(From Old Corral image collection)

Above from L-to-R are Joe De La Cruz, Jayne Regan, Jack Perrin, Slim Whitaker and Tom London in THE CACTUS KID (Reliable, 1935).



(From Old Corral image collection)

From left to right in this lobby card from THE OUTLAW TAMER (Empire, 1935) are Charles 'Slim' Whitaker, hero Lane Chandler and J.P. McGowan. McGowan portrayed the lawman and also directed.



(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above is a lobby card from SANTA FE BOUND (Reliable, 1936), the last of Tom Tyler's eighteen films for B. B. Ray and Harry Webb at Reliable Pictures. From left to right are Charles 'Slim' Whitaker, Jack Hendricks, Tyler, Ed Cassidy (mustache) and Dick Cramer. Cramer was the brains heavy in this ... and he was billed third as "Richard Kramer" (with a K). In the photo inset on the right are leading lady Jeanne Martel, Tom Tyler, and Earl Dwire. Tyler and Jeanne Martel were husband and wife ... for a brief time.



(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Bob Custer's finale as a western movie hero was in SANTA FE RIDES (Reliable, 1937) which was released in early 1937 but filmed in late 1936. In this one, Reliable tried to make a singin' cowboy out of Custer ... who lip-synchs tunes ... badly. In the above lobby card, Custer is landing a right to the jaw of Charles 'Slim' Whitaker while prolific henchman Herman Hack looks on from the right. SANTA FE RIDES was also Custer's last movie appearance - he retired after completing this western and did not do any support/bit roles in later films.


Les Adams on Slim:

Jack Montgomery was the father of Peggy Montgomery who was a popular kid star in in the silents and a few early sound films as 'Baby Peggy'. The comment that Slim could have been a good comedian is borne out in the Bob Livingston/Lone Rider WOLVES OF THE RANGE (PRC, 1943) when Whitaker (as 'Pasha the Swami') and Al St. John do a turn together. Plus, even in a few of his villain roles, he played some of them in a Wallace Berry vein, especially at Columbia in the Larry Darmour films. And he was one of the few day-players who got some sidekick roles. Actually, for a period of a few years in the late 30's and early 40's, while never a contract player, he was more than just a day-player who made the casting call and got a role; at RKO and Columbia, he was cast by the director or producer, who probably appreciated his talent and professionalism from past experience, and he got a lot of 3rd-4th billing roles.

In my Yesterday's Saturdays writeup on Jack Perrin's THE CACTUS KID (Reliable, 1935), I added some comments about Whitaker:

In the cast may well be the most overlooked and underpraised toiler of them all ... one Charles 'Slim' Whitaker.  No matter his role --- killer, sidekick, dog heavy, father or just a townie bit --- Whitaker always seemed to find more in the role than the script indicated, even when he played it heavy handed, which he often did. For certain, he propped up a lot of wooden performers --- Jack Perrin for one --- in his time.


Slim and Family


(Courtesy of Leota Whitaker Gandrau)

Above from L-to-R are Ethel, daughter Leota, and Slim in a 1939 photo.  Slim was 6' 3" tall and Leota is 5' 10".  Slim's wife Ethel was only 4' 10".  Ethel and Slim divorced in 1944 and she bought a restaurant on San Fernando road in Sunland California.  They remained friends and Slim was often seen having a meal or coffee at the restaurant.


(Courtesy of Leota Whitaker Gandrau)

Above photo from March, 1959. From L-to-R are granddaughter Rose, Slim, daughter Leota, and great granddaughter Debbie.


(Courtesy of Leota Whitaker Gandrau)

Above, another March, 1959 photo with Slim sandwiched between his great granddaughter Debbie (left) and great grandson Bobby (right).


(Courtesy of Leota Whitaker Gandrau)

Above photo from March, 1959 includes Leota and her two daughters. Top L-to-R are Slim, Leota, Debbie, and Leota's daughter Betty. Bottom L-to-R are Leota's husband Roy, Bobby, and Leota's daughter Rose.  Roy loved fishing and hunting and so did Slim.  They would go to Mexico or up to the Sierras on fishing and hunting trips.



(Courtesy of Leota Whitaker Gandrau)
 On the left is Slim's son Chuck, Jr. in a 1938 photo.

Chuck Jr. was employed by the studios as a set builder, a career that lasted about 40 years. He was a union member and supported whatever studio the union assigned him to, and he most often worked at Universal (unless there was a work slow down and he might be assigned to Disney, Warners, etc.).


On the right is wife Ethel with daughter June in a 1943 photo.

June was a deputy on the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department until the early 1960s and then retired to become a housewife.
 
(Courtesy of Leota Whitaker Gandrau)


The Mystery Photo - Who Is 'Frank Cooper'?


(Courtesy of Leota Whitaker Gandrau)

In the photo above, Slim is relaxing on a porch swing in the Whitaker back yard, and the man on the right is identified as 'Frank Cooper'.  The year 1941 is marked on the photo.  Perhaps he was just a friend or neighbor ... not a person involved in the Hollywood B-western.



Who is Frank Cooper ???


 Or could the 'Frank Cooper' in the above photo be Gary Cooper (real name: Frank James Cooper)?

Several folks noted that the above 'Frank Cooper' looks a tad older than Gary Cooper of 1941.



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