|On the left are the five Rangers in the initial Lone Ranger serial. Fifteen episodes later, Lee Powell would be revealed as the real masked man. From top-to-bottom are:|
George Letz (1916-2000) - is better known as George Montgomery and was married to singer Dinah Shore. Starred in the CIMMARON CITY TV series. Became a premier furniture designer to many Hollywood celebs.
Lee Powell (1908-1944)
Herman Brix (1906-2007) - was the shot-put silver medalist in the 1928 Olympics and the hero in THE NEW ADVENTURES OF TARZAN (1935), SHADOW OVER CHINATOWN (Victory, 1936), HAWK OF THE WILDERNESS (Republic, 1938) and DAREDEVILS OF THE RED CIRCLE (Republic, 1939) cliffhangers. Later, Brix changed his name to Bruce Bennett and appeared in a variety of movies (such as Humphrey Bogart's THE TREASURE OF SIERRA MADRE) and 1950s-1960s TV shows.
Floyd Taliaferro Alderson (1895-1980) - had a bunch of different screen names ... as Wally Wales, he was a cowboy star in silents and early 1930s oaters ... in the mid 1930s, changed his moniker to Hal Taliaferro and did supporting roles and bit parts in scores of westerns and serials until the 1950s.
Lane Chandler (1899-1972) - his real name was Robert Oakes and he was a cowboy hero in silents and early 1930s westerns ... migrated to supporting roles in westerns, serials and A features ... lots of TV appearances in the 1950s through mid-1960s.
As the serial progresses, four of the five Rangers are killed off. The first to die was George Letz as Jim Clark; then came Hal Taliaferro as Bob Stuart; Lane Chandler as Dick Forrest was the third; and finally, Herman Brix as Bert Rogers ... this left Lee Powell as Ranger Alan King --- the Lone Ranger. A variety of sources mention that the original shooting script had Lane Chandler, as Ranger Dick Forrest, as the Lone Ranger.
(Courtesy of Don Swinford)
The feature version of Republic's 1938 THE LONE RANGER serial was titled HI-YO SILVER, had a running time of about 68 minutes, and was released by Republic Pictures in 1940. From left to right in the above lobby card are Herman Brix (Bruce Bennett), Lane Chandler, Chief Thunder Cloud and Lee Powell.
After the break from Republic Pictures, Powell landed a job in a new trio western group with Art Jarrett and Al St. John that was developed by producer Phil Krasne. The initial (and only) film of the series, TRIGGER PALS, was released in 1939 by the financially troubled Grand National Pictures. But Grand National, one of many Poverty Row studios in existence at the time, had money problems and would soon fold ... leaving Lee out of work again. In the TRIGGER PALS title lobby card below, note that Powell is billed second behind Jarrett ... as LEE (Lone Ranger) POWELL.
Art Jarrett (1907-1987) was a singer and played guitar, banjo and trombone. He was the vocalist in the Ted Weems orchestra before forming his own band around 1936. For a time, he was married to 1932 Los Angeles Olympics swimming champ Eleanor Holm who also was a vocalist in the Jarrett band. A few months after band leader Hal Kemp was killed in a 1940 California car accident, Jarrett took over the Kemp orchestra but the unit disbanded a short time later.
The whiskered Al 'Fuzzy' St. John continued on in scores of cowboy sidekick roles, most notably with Buster Crabbe and Al 'Lash' LaRue in the 1940s.
|Left - Chief Thunder Cloud and Lee Powell in a publicity still for THE LONE RANGER (Republic, 1938) cliffhanger.|
Below is a publicity still of Powell as Lieutenant Tom Grayson in THE FIGHTING DEVIL DOGS (Republic, 1938).
(Courtesy of Les Adams)
From left to right are Art Jarrett (as "Lucky"), Lee Powell (as "Stormy") and Al St. John (as "Fuzzy") in this title lobby card from TRIGGER PALS (Grand National, 1939). Note Powell's billing as LEE (Lone Ranger) POWELL. This was the first of a new six film trio series which was to be released through Grand National. But the financial problems at Grand National grew worse and the production company faltered and ultimately went belly up. TRIGGER PALS was the only entry to be filmed.
(Courtesy of Les Adams)
The above tradepaper blurb was from Friday, November 11, 1938. The reference to Powell as Republic's "Lone Wolf" has to be a typo or error - Powell was Republic's Lone Ranger in the 1938 serial.
(Courtesy of Les Adams)
From left to right are Art Jarrett (as "Lucky"), Lee Powell (as "Stormy") and Al St. John (as "Fuzzy") in a publicity still for TRIGGER PALS (Grand National, 1939).
|On the right is a pinback button showing Lee Powell in his Lone Ranger costume.|
This was issued as a promotion item for Grand National's TRIGGER PALS.
(Courtesy of Tammy Sessamen)