|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.|
(Courtesy of Les Adams)
Above are Cason and Lash LaRue in mortal combat in a lobby card from MARK OF THE LASH (Ron Ormand/Screen Guild, 1948).
|Don't forget to visit the Villains and Supporting Players webpage on John/Bob Cason's brother Chuck who did some films and TV work in the 1950s. There's additional photos of John/Bob (and his brother) working on the KIT CARSON TV show.|
|Recent John Cason sighting: he's an uncredited member of the Ben Wade (Glenn Ford) gang in 3:10 TO YUMA (Columbia, 1957). Check the saloon scene about a quarter of the way into the film, and Cason is among the gang members having a drink at the bar.|
|E-mail from Ron Kathman: "My dad and others in Muenster, Texas, always said that John Lacey Cason was a school mate of theirs in the twenties and thirties. They knew him as "Lacey Cason" but were never sure where he was born. My dad believed that Lacey's dad worked for the MKT Railroad which had a maintenance office near Muenster. Many of the oldtimers in Muenster always recognized Cason on the screen and commented on having grew up with him."|
|The Boxing Records website shows a "Lacey Cason" as a light heavyweight residing in Dallas, Texas, and he's listed with a total of 8 fights (2 wins, 6 losses) and all fights were held in Texas in 1938-1939. Go to:
That Boxing Record database also has a listing for a Dallas, Texas light heavyweight named "Steve Cason" with one losing fight in Dallas, Texas in 1939. Is that our John Cason ... or a brother? Go to:
And there's another Cason in the boxing database - a Dallas, Texas bantamweight named "Jodey Cason" who also fought in the 1930s out of Dallas. A John Cason relative? Go to:
In the writeup below, there's mention of Cason winning a fight against heavyweight Tony Musto (who lost to Joe Louis in a 1941 heavyweight championship fight). Musto did have a bunch of bouts in Texas during 1937-1938. The Boxing Record database has no reference to Musto fighting a person named "Cason", in Texas or anywhere else. Perhaps Musto fought Cason in an exhibition bout which wouldn't appear in the record books. Musto's boxing record is at:
Special thanks to Bobby J. Copeland for the following narrative and background info on John Cason.
Cason was born in Texas on July 30, 1918, and died as a result of a car accident on July 7, 1961. He had been a prize fighter before entering films. His crooked nose is evidence of his bouts in the ring. Although best known as John, he sometimes was billed as Bob Cason. He was left-handed and often referred to as 'Lefty' on the screen. That is the only name that many fans remember him by. He was regarded by his peers as one of the toughest men in the business. Cason's first billed role was in THE APACHE KID (Republic, 1941) starring Don 'Red' Barry, and he was last billed on TV's WAGON TRAIN in 'The Duke Shannon Story' which aired on 4-26-61.
The following is from badman Pierce Lyden's book The Badmen I Rode With:
"Bob Cason was another good fight man, with a few 'semi-pros' behind him, and the ridge of his nose removed to proof it. He was one of the craziest guys I ever rode with. He was all over the saddle on a horse. Talk about ridin' loose --- you would swear he was going to fall off any minute. Not so, he could really ride and cowboy, it was just his attitude. "Let's git on and git goin'." I don't think he ever planned anything, it was just hurry up and get the job done. He scared me once, though. We were to ride into a bunch of trees, out of sight and then wait for a 'shot' from the director and come out and continue to ride. We both barreled into the trees out of sight, pulled up and I looked over at Bob. He was holding his hand over his eye and between his fingers was a small branch! It looked horrible, like it could be driven through his eye and into his head. I said, "Don't move, I'll go out and kill the 'shot'." And Bob says, "No, no, wait, I think it's all right." He took his hand away and by the grace of God, the stick had hit him below the eye on the cheek bone and he had caught it in time. Just another freak thing that could happen on a ride."
The following is from Boyd Magers' Western Clippings:
"B-western badman John Cason doubled Bill Williams in many KIT CARSON TV episodes. He was very noticeable in the 'Hero of Hermosa'. Cason, a native of Texas, won a light heavyweight Golden Gloves tournament in Dallas. Turning pro, he fought Tony Musto and won by a TKO. A group watching this semi-windup took a liking to him and bought his contract. "You could have knocked me over with a feather", John once said, "because when I was introduced to my new owners it was George Raft and Hugh Herbert."
(From Old Corral image collection)
Above - Cason and Lash are battlling again (upper right) in this title lobby card from DEAD MAN'S GOLD (Ron Ormand/Screen Guild, 1948).
(Courtesy of Pamela Leigh Powers)
Above from L-to-R are Tom Neal (sitting), Mike Ragan/Holly Bane, Cason, Jack Holt and Byron Foulger in a scene from RED DESERT (Lippert, 1949) which starred Don Barry.
(From Old Corral image collection)
Above is the treacherous trio from the serial DON DAREDEVIL RIDES AGAIN (Republic, 1951). From L-to-R are Lane Bradford (John Merton's son), the great Roy Barcroft and left handed John Cason.
(From Old Corral image collection)
Above from left to right are Tom Tyler, Dennis Moore and John Cason, the regulars in the group of six oaters that former Hoppy sidekicks James Ellison and Russell Hayden did around 1950 at Lippert Pictures. In the background on the left is Carl Matthews. Do you recall any other western film performers who were lefties like Cason - I remember singing cowboy Tex Fletcher (who made one western) as well as Dale Robertson. And former President Ronald Reagan was another left-hander.
(Courtesy of Bob Cason)
Above are the Brothers Cason - Chuck Cason on the left and John/Bob on the right during a break in the filming of one of the KIT CARSON TV adventures. Check the buckskin and fringed shirt on Chuck as he was doubling/stunting for KIT CARSON star Bill Williams. The difficult to read autograph in the bottom right reads: "To Chuck and Bob, Clayton Moore, The Lone Ranger".
Although some of the data is incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) has information on John Cason: http://us.imdb.com/name/nm0143806/
You may want to go to the In Search Of ... page on the Old Corral and then to the California Death Records database. There you will find a record for: John L. Cason, born 7/30/1918, Mother's maiden name of Johns, and he passed in the Santa Barbara, California area on 7/7/1961. I was unable to find a record in the Social Security Death Index (SSDI).
The Family Search website has census info on the Cason family who were located in Cooke, Texas during both census years:
1920 census: https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/MCMY-XT1
1930 census (and Cason is listed as Lacy Cason): https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/CWNV-RZM
Jim Tipton's Find A Grave website has interment info on several of the Cason family. All are interred at Grangeville Cemetery, Armona (Kings County), California:
Frances May 'Fanny' Cox Cason (mother of John and Chuck Cason) (1893-1966): http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=6490506
John J. Cason (father of John and Chuck Cason) (1893-1984): http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSmcid=46539301&GRid=6490496&
Charles Thayer 'Chuck' Cason (1924-1984): http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSmcid=46539301&GRid=6469421&
John Lacy Cason (1918-1961): http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSmcid=46539301&GRid=6490524&