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The 'brains' and 'action' heavies who had meaty roles and lots of dialog ... and the players who were fathers, ranch owners, lawman, mayors, judges, lawyers, storekeepers, newspaper editors, wardens, etc.



(From Old Corral image collection)
Harry Lauter

Real name:
Herman Arthur Lauter

1914 - 1990



(From Old Corral image collection)

Above, Lauter helps out lead Bill Henry in the serial CANADIAN MOUNTIES VS ATOMIC INVADERS (Republic, 1953).

Harry Lauter was born June 19, 1914 in White Plains, New York, and managed to wind up in Tinseltown in the 1940s. He worked in series westerns and serials during the decline of the genre in the late 1940s and early 1950s, and he most often appeared in oaters at Columbia and Republic, as well as Republic chapterplays.

I remember him most for scores of TV shows and the several serials in which he appeared. His major TV work was: a regular in the early TV show WATERFRONT which starred Preston Foster; as 'Mayor Ralph Cotton' in the ROY ROGERS TV series; and as lawman 'Clay Morgan', the second lead in TALES OF THE TEXAS RANGERS, the 1950s TVer which starred Willard Parker. During the 1950s - 1960s, Lauter was a prolific TV performer, appearing in ANNIE OAKLEY, WILD BILL HICKOK, BUFFALO BILL JR., MAVERICK, THE TIME TUNNEL, GUNSMOKE, ZANE GREY THEATER, lots more. Around 1966, he even did a stint in the DAYS OF OUR LIVES soap opera.

Cliffhanger fans will remember Harry Lauter as the helper in CANADIAN MOUNTIES VS THE ATOMIC INVADERS (Republic, 1953), as well as the lead/hero in TRADER TOM OF THE CHINA SEAS (Republic, 1954) and KING OF THE CARNIVAL (Republic, 1956). KING OF THE CARNIVAL was Republic Picture's 66th and last chapterplay.

While many western and serial actors had difficulty delivering dialog, Lauter was believable. And he also looked good in military uniforms and suits. As such, he did a lot of supporting roles and bit parts in A features. Some examples: he was the General in ESCAPE FROM THE PLANET OF THE APES (1971); portrayed the frogman that wartime sub commander Ronald Reagan leaves behind in HELLCATS OF THE NAVY (1957); and he was wearing a military uniform again in the classic sci-fi THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL (1951) which starred Michael Rennie and a robot named Gort.

Harry Lauter's film career spanned about thirty years. He worked in A and B grade films ... did second leads in westerns and serials ... was a cliffhanger hero and TV hero ... and was one of the more recognized faces on TV during the 1950s and 1960s. Harry's TV and film work concluded in the 1970s, and then his energies were devoted to a successful second career as an artist.

Harry passed away on October 30, 1990.

  Although some of the data is incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) has information on the film and TV work of Harry Lauter: http://us.imdb.com/name/nm0491591/





(Courtesy of Doris Lauter)

Above is Harry as 'Ranger Clay Morgan' in the television series TALES OF THE TEXAS RANGERS. To fans of the movie and TV western, this is probably Harry's best remembered role. It was televised on CBS and then ABC beginning in the mid 1950s and came from Screen Gems, the television production arm of Columbia Pictures. Episodes had Willard Parker (as 'Ranger Jace Pearson') and Lauter alternating between old west or modern west storylines - i.e., they would either be chasing crooks on horseback or in a car. The TV program was based on the early 1950s radio show of the same name which starred Joel McCrea.



(From Old Corral image collection)

Above from left to right are Harry Lauter, Rex Allen and Harry Cheshire in THUNDER IN GOD'S COUNTRY (Republic, 1951). Lauter did A and B grade westerns with Rex Allen, Rocky Lane, Bill Elliott, Gene Autry, Charles Starrett, Audie Murphy, Joel McCrea, more.




(Courtesy of Doris Lauter)


(Courtesy of Doris Lauter)
Special thanks to Harry's wife Doris for all the wonderful photos. Doris writes:

"Harry became an accomplished artist, painting mostly beautiful oil landscapes, with lakes, trees, and mountains. His father, also an artist, was a great influence on him as a child. The Favell Museum of Western Art has one of his landscapes on display in their permanent collection. Being an artist myself, we met in 1970 at various art functions. He had a gallery in Studio City, California, 'Lauters Gallery Row', and also ran an art show on La Cienega on Sundays.  After we married, we had a small gallery in Ojai, California, where we did our paintings. We exhibited together in professional art shows and two-man shows all over the country. We felt very fortunate to be able to spend our life doing what we loved to do.  He sold everything he painted, and was pleased that his art would be around long after he was gone."

Doris Lauter, September, 1999



Music performer/conductor/composer John Beal and his parents were friends of Harry Lauter and family (and there's info about John at his website: http://www.composerjohnbeal.com/).

John provided the following remembrances in a November, 2003 e-mail:

"Harry Lauter and his first wife Barbara were friends of my parents. I was closest in age to their daughter Brooke and liked them all very much. I hadn't seen them since the 1970's, although my parents had stayed in touch. I'm sorry I didn't have the pleasure of meeting Doris. Harry was in so many projects, I recall almost daily watching television and one of us would call out, 'There's Harry ... again!' Happily, I still have one of Harry's scenic paintings. It is with great fondness that I see his continuing legacy in film."



Harry Lauter ... On the Stage



(Courtesy of Doris Lauter)

1947 - wearing armor in the play AMPHITRYON.



(Courtesy of Doris Lauter)

In PETRIFIED FOREST, 1946.



(Courtesy of Doris Lauter)

FREE FOR ALL in 1947.



(Courtesy of Doris Lauter)

With a moustache in BLIND ALLEY, 1946.



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