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HOW COME THE SAME BAD GUYS ARE IN EVERY REPUBLIC WESTERN AND SERIAL?

Republic Pictures generally hired supporting players on a 'day-at-a'time' or 'picture commitment' basis.  Their heroes, heroines and sidekicks were the ones who were often inked to Term Contracts, and some names that come to mind are Bob Livingston, Max Terhune, Linda Stirling, Tom Tyler, Bob Steele, Slim Pickens, Allan Lane and Rex Allen.  By the 1940s, Republic was in full swing as the premier provider of cowboy films and cliffhangers.

During all, or a portion, of the period from 1943 - 1954, seven western and serial supporting players, 'action heavies' and 'brains heavies' were also under contract.    A Term Contract was nothing more than a commitment for that actor to work every day for Republic, and the studio paid a salary during the contract period.  This gave the actor some security and an ongoing paycheck.  But it also allowed Republic to utilize them in lots of films ... and they certainly did that.

And these seven actors seemed to appear in just about all of Republic's oaters and chapterplays as villains, lawmen, bankers, ranchers, et al.  Apparently, Republic decided that they wanted more exclusive use of these actors ... or these individuals were dependable and good in front of the camera ... or more probably, it was advantageous (cheaper) for Republic to have them under contract.



(From Old Corral image collection)

Above and on the far left is Robert "Bobby" Blake as Little Beaver and on the far right is Wild Bill Elliott.  In the center, from L-to-R, are Roy Barcroft, Jack Kirk, and Tom London.  All three were under term contracts when the Red Ryder adventure CHEYENNE WILDCAT (Republic, 1944) was filmed.



(From Old Corral image collection)

Above, from L-to-R are Bud Geary, Hal Taliaferro (Wally Wales), Le Roy Mason (seated), and Kenne Duncan in VIGILANTES OF DODGE CITY (Republic, 1944).



(Courtesy of Les Adams)

From L-to-R are a quartet of unfriendly faces: Bud Geary, Frank Ellis (in the doorway shadows), Bob Wilke and Roy Barcroft in a scene from CODE OF THE PRAIRIE (Republic, 1944) which starred Smiley Burnette and featured Sunset Carson.


Republic did use others in supporting roles, bit parts and walk ons, and these were hired on the normal day-at-a-time or picture commitment arrangements --- included were William Haade, George J. Lewis, Hal Taliaferro (Wally Wales), Fred Graham, Bob Wilke, John Merton, Edmund Cobb and Jack Ingram.  But the members of their 'term contract stable' were generally given the meaty roles, including the portrayal of the head baddie and second-in-command.  Those actors are noted below.




(Courtesy of Donn & Nancy Moyer)
Kenne Duncan

Real name: Kenneth Duncan MacLachlan

1902 - 1972 (Some reports note the cause of death as heart problems, but the death certificate lists suicide).

Under a Republic Term Contract from July, 1943 through July, 1946.

Duncan's film credits at Republic number about 120 from 1937 - 1950.

 There's extensive coverage on Kenne Duncan on the Old Corral.  Go back to the Old Corral homepage, and scroll down the left side menu to the Villains & Supporting Players section.



Roy Barcroft

Real name: Howard Harold Ravenscroft (not the oft-reported Howard Clifford Ravenscroft)

1902 - 1969

Under a Republic Term Contract from July, 1943 through July, 1953.

Barcroft's film credits at Republic number about 250 from 1937 - 1957.


(From Old Corral image collection)

 There's extensive coverage on Roy Barcroft on the Old Corral.  Go back to the Old Corral homepage, and scroll down the left side menu to the Villains & Supporting Players section.



Le Roy Franklin Mason
(From Old Corral image collection)
Le Roy F. Mason

1903 - 1947

Under a Republic Term Contract from July, 1943, and continuing up to his death on October 13, 1947.

Mason suffered a heart attack while filming the Monte Hale western, CALIFORNIA FIREBRAND (Republic, 1948) and passed away a few hours later at the hospital.

His film credits at Republic number about 100 from 1936 - 1947.

 There's extensive coverage on Le Roy Mason on the Old Corral.  Go back to the Old Corral homepage, and scroll down the left side menu to the Villains & Supporting Players section.



Tom London

Real name: Leonard Clapham

1889 - 1963

Under a Republic Term Contract from July, 1943 through July, 1947.

London's film credits at Republic number about 160 from 1935 - 1951.

(From Old Corral image collection)

 There's extensive coverage on Tom London on the Old Corral.  Go back to the Old Corral homepage, and scroll down the left side menu to the Villains & Supporting Players section.




(Courtesy of Donn & Nancy Moyer)
'Bud' Geary

Real name: Sigsbee Maine Geary

1898 - 1946 (Car Accident)

Under a Republic Term Contract from July, 1943 through July, 1945.

Geary's film credits at Republic number about 95 from 1939 - 1946.

Jim Tipton's Find A Grave website has a photo of the marker for Geary at Forest Lawn - Glendale, California: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=12755



Grant Withers

Real name: Granville G. Withers

1905 - 1959 (Suicide)

Under a Republic Term Contract from February, 1944 through April, 1954.

Withers' film credits at Republic number about 60 from 1937 - 1957.


(From Old Corral image collection)

Jim Tipton's Find A Grave website has a photo of the marker for Withers at Forest Lawn - Glendale, California: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=2084

Note that most biographies have Withers' birth year as 1904, but the marker shows 1905.




(Courtesy of Belinda Kirkhuff)
Jack Kirk

Real name: John 'Jack' Kirkhuff

1895 - 1948

Under a Republic Term Contract from July, 1943 through July, 1944.

Kirk's film credits at Republic number about 180 from 1935 - 1948.

 There's extensive coverage on Jack Kirk on the Old Corral.  Go back to the Old Corral homepage, and scroll down the left side menu to the Villains & Supporting Players section.



In the Acknowledgment/Thanks page on the Old Corral, I do mention and credit Jack Mathis for several books, including his REPUBLIC CONFIDENTIAL, VOLUME 2, THE PLAYERS (Jack Mathis Advertising, 1992).  I've used information on the Term Players Contracts from that book, and I felt it appropriate to again give credit since this webpage relates specifically to those contracts and contract periods.


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