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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.



(Courtesy of Donn & Nancy Moyer)
Bud Geary

Real name:
Sigsbee Maine Geary

1898 - 1946


'Bud' Geary was born Sigsbee Maine Geary in Salt Lake City, Utah in 1898 to Charles J. 'Brick' Geary and Jennie A. Helen Geary.

Interesting trivia about the origin of his Sigsbee Maine names - the battleship Maine was commanded by Captain Charles Dwight Sigsbee, and the ship was sunk by an explosion in Havana, Cuba, on February 15, 1898 (which was Bud's birth date).

In the 1900 and 1910 census, the Geary family was in Salt Lake City. They were in Nevada when Bud registered for the World War I draft in 1918 and his occupation was "Soldier - British Army Pending Discharge - Canadian Govt.". In the 1920 census, the Gearys are in Beverly Hills, California and Bud was an "Actor - Moving Picture".

The names Bud Geary / Maine Geary appear in trade publications beginning around 1920 and included are mentions of east coast and Hollywood film work. His most notable early movie job - and billed as Maine Geary - was portraying "Will Scarlett" in the Douglas Fairbanks epic ROBIN HOOD (Fairbanks, 1922). During the 1920s, he also turns up in juvenile/youth roles in a few westerns such as Dick Hatton's FOUR HEARTS (Western Pictures Exploitation Company, 1922) and Buck Jones' THE ARIZONA ROMEO (Fox, 1925).

His first marriage was to Edgarita Clark Williams in 1922 in California, and that pairing produced sons Maine C. Geary (1922-1962) and Richard Clark Geary (1925-2000). Richard 'Dick' Geary followed in his father's footsteps and became a stuntman and actor.

No wedded bliss for Bud and Edgarita. There were marital troubles, a divorce, missed alimony payments ... and a nose job for Bud:

An AP wire story in early November, 1927 newspapers reported that actor "Sigsbee Maine Geary ... was brought into court on the complaint of his wife, who charged he was delinquent in alimony of $75 a month." ; "The actor explained that the alimony payments had slipped while he was paying for a beauty operation on his nose ..." ; "... with his former nose, the best he could do in the films was $25 a week as an extra. With the remodeled nose ... he was able to command $75 a week ..." ; "The judge gave Geary until November 29 (1927) to try out his new nose ... and begin his alimony payments."

A beefy guy with a husky voice and about 6 feet 1 inch tall, Bud was negatively impacted with the arrival of talking pictures. During the early to mid 1930s, he picked up a few paydays doing mostly minor, uncredited roles in various genres, and you can spot him as a gangster, taxi driver, prison guard ... and often as a police officer and detective.

His workload begins to increase circa 1935-1936. And Bud's association with cliffhangers began in the late 1930s with unbilled roles in RED BARRY (Universal, 1938), THE SPIDER'S WEB (Columbia, 1938), FLYING G-MEN (Columbia, 1939), DAREDEVILS OF THE RED CIRCLE (Republic, 1939), DICK TRACY'S G-MEN (Republic, 1939), more.

By then, he had developed stunting and doubling skills to compliment his henchman and 'action heavy' assignments.

He found a home at Republic Pictures, and from 1939-1946, he ACTED in about a hundred features and chapterplays. The studio used him so often that he was signed to a term player contract(s) which ran from July, 1943 through July, 1945.

Some background - in the 1940s, thrifty Republic Pictures had some familiar villains and supporting players under contract. Amongst their term contract roster were Roy Barcroft, Leroy Mason, Kenne Duncan, Grant Withers, Tom London, Jack Kirk ... and Bud Geary. This was a cost saving move versus hiring those folks as free lancers in film after film. During their contracted servitude, they received regular paychecks ... in exchange for lots of work. (Of those seven players, Barcroft's term player contract(s) was the lengthiest, running from July, 1943 through July, 1953.)

Quite often, some of the contractees mentioned above were together as members of the outlaw gang. For example, Geary worked in over 40 films with Roy Barcroft and over 20 with Leroy Mason.

As to Bud's Republic westerns, he was most often doing villainy vs. Wild Bill Elliott, the Three Mesquiteers, Sunset Carson, Don Barry and Allan Lane. Not many with Roy Rogers and Gene Autry.

He did westerns and serials for other production companies. Examples: he's in a half dozen early 1940s RKOs with Tim Holt; at Columbia Pictures, he's in five Charles Starretts, one Three Stooges short, and the Wild Bill Elliott chapterplay THE VALLEY OF VANISHING MEN (Columbia, 1942); and just prior to his death, Bud portrayed the brains heavy vs. Bob Steele in THUNDER TOWN (PRC, 1946) as well as a henchie role in a 1946 Johnny Mack Brown at Monogram.

There were two more marriages. Vaudeville dancer Julie Blake became wife number two in 1930 and she died in 1935 at age twenty four. Wife number three was Blanche M. Geary, and they were together through Bud's death in 1946.

Ruff tuff stuntman and henchman Sigsbee Maine 'Bud' Geary passed away on February 22, 1946 at the Newhall, California Community Hospital from injuries suffered in a motor vehicle accident in San Fernando, California. A coroner's investigation determined that his car overturned due to excessive speed. A tragic ending for one of the best western and serial heavies.

  Although some of the data may be incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has information on Bud Geary and his son Richard/Dick Geary:
Bud Geary: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0311274
Actor and stuntman Richard Clark Geary (1925-2000): http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0311283

Boyd Magers' Western Clippings website has a profile on Bud Geary: http://www.westernclippings.com/stuntmen/budgeary_stuntmen.shtml

Daniel Neyer's "The Files of Jerry Blake" serial website has a webpage on Bud Geary doing serials: https://filesofjerryblake.com/serial-henchmen/bud-geary/

There's a webpage on the Old Corral with details on Roy Barcroft, Leroy Mason, Kenne Duncan, Bud Geary and others who were under term contracts in the 1940s with Republic Pictures. Go to the Old Corral homepage, and click on the menu item titled "Republic's Stable of Bad Guys".


Maine (Bud) Geary from the 1925 Standard Casting Directory.




Above is a screen capture of Bud Geary as Davy Crockett in the opening prologue from Chapter 1 of Tom Mix's THE MIRACLE RIDER (Mascot, 1935).



Bud Geary's Movie stats.
Below is a chart of Bud Geary's acting and stunt work from 1920-1947 in westerns, serials, shorts, and other films. The quantities are from data in the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) as of late October, 2016. Totals for each category:
Acting = 281 westerns, serials and other films.
Stunts = 121 westerns, serials and other films (and this number will probably grow as he gets spotted in more films).
Geary was under term player contract(s) at Republic from July, 1943 through July, 1945 and I've highlighted those years in red.
ACTING 15
3
4
5
7
6
11
18
21
19
20
12
17
33
35
28
16
10
1
STUNTS  
 
 
 
1
2
2
5
4
10
10
6
12
17
15
23
10
4
 
YEAR 1920-
1929
1930 1931 1932 1933 1934 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946 1947




(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 Sunset Carson.



(From Old Corral image collection)

Above from L-to-R are William Haade, Bud Geary, Wild Bill Elliott (as Red Ryder), and on the far right is Kenne Duncan in a still from SHERIFF OF LAS VEGAS (Republic, 1944).



(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), one of the Red Ryder adventures starring Wild Bill Elliott.



(From Old Corral image collection)

From L-to-R are Smiley Burnette, Bud Geary, Bob Livingston, George J. Lewis and Leander de Cordova in a lobby card from the last film of Republic's short-lived John Paul Revere series, THE LARAMIE TRAIL (Republic, 1944).



(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above is a handful of mid 1940s baddies and henchies - from L-to-R are Herman Hack, Tommy Coats, Fred Graham, Bud Geary and Buck Bucko in a scene from the Sunset Carson starrer, CHEROKEE FLASH (Republic, 1945).



(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above is a lobby card from Bob Steele's THUNDER TOWN (PRC, 1946). From left to right are Edward Howard, Charlie King, Bob Steele and, wearing the suit and playing the brains heavy is Bud Geary. This was released in April, 1946, a month or so after Bud Geary's death. Crop/blowup below of the faces.



On the trail of Bud Geary.
The Family Search website, California Death Index, Social Security Death Index (SSDI), Newspaper Archive, ProQuest obituaries, death certificate, and newspaper and trade funeral notices and obituaries provide more on Bud Geary and family. Bud was married three times and I've highlighted the wives in this color.

  • Utah birth index for a male child with a last name of Geary. He was born in Salt Lake City, Utah on February 15, 1898 and his father was C. J. Geary: https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:F823-7HF
    (You may want to sign up for a free account at Family Search. Then you can view the Utah birth index document for Geary.)
  • 1900 census summary and census takers worksheet - 42 year old Charles J. Geary (born Nebraska; occupation "Speculator"), his 37 year old wife Jennie A. (born Ireland), two year old son Sigsbee W. [sic] Geary, and four daughters are living in Salt Lake City, Utah. The daughters are Nellie M., Mabel H., Elly A., and Sybil M., and range in age from 11-19: https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MMRG-2V5
  • 1910 census summary and census takers worksheet has age issues with all the family members - 30 year old Chas J. Geary (born Virginia; occupation "Carpenter"), his 28 year old wife Jennie A. (born Colorado), 5 year old daughter Elly (born Utah), and 2 year old son S. Marice [sic] Geary (born Utah) reside in Salt Lake City, Utah: https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M5X6-9Z1
  • World War I draft registration - 20 year old Sigsbee Maine Geory [sic] was born February 15, 1898. Bud lives in McGill, Nevada and registered at the draft board in Ely, White Pine County, Nevada on September 12, 1918. His occupation is "Soldier-British Army Pending Discharge-Canadian Govt.". Nearest relative is his mother, Mrs. C. J. Geary, who also lives in McGill, Nevada: https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:29NB-4VP
  • 1920 census summary and census takers worksheet - 61 year old Charles Y. Geary (born Nebraska; no occupation listed), his 56 year old wife Jennie (born Ireland), 21 year old son Maine Geary (born Utah; single; occupation "Actor-Moving Picture"), 32 year old daughter Ely Greiggs and her 2 sons and 1 daughter own their home at 303 Canon/Carson Drive, Beverly Hills, California: https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MHQ7-5JB
  • 1922 marriage license of 24 year old Sigsbee Maine Geary (born Utah; occupation "Actor") and 21 year old Edgarita Clark Williams (born California) on May 9, 1922 in Orange County, California. His parents were Charles J. Geary (born Missouri) and Jennie A. Helen (born Ireland): https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K8X1-82Y
  • California Birth Index (not the birth certicate) for Maine C. Geary, mother's maiden name of Williams, and he was born December 3, 1922 in Los Angeles: https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:V25K-PNW
  • California Birth Index (not the birth certicate) for Richard Clark Geary, mother's maiden name of Williams, and he was born July 15, 1925 in Los Angeles: https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VLNW-RNW
  • Unsure of Bud and Edgarita's divorce date but probably 1927 based on the missing alimony court case mentioned in the biography above. Edgarita Clark Geary married Edward Savidge Morris on July 25, 1929 in Los Angeles: https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K8NR-88T
  • 1930 marriage license of 32 year old Sigsbee Maine Geary (born Utah; occupation "Actor-MGM") and 19 year old Julie Blake (born Australia; occupation "Dancer - 1st Natl.") on March 30, 1930 in Los Angeles, California. He was divorced and this was his second marriage. His parents were Charles J. Geary (born Missouri) and Jennette Helen (born Ireland). Her parents were Walter Blake and Julia Balchin Blake:
    https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G93H-MK9C?i=1942&wc=96PL-MNL%3A149044801%3Fcc%3D1804002&cc=1804002
    https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G93H-MVTL?mode=g&i=1943&wc=96PL-MNL%3A149044801%3Fcc%3D1804002&cc=1804002
  • 1930 census summary and census takers worksheet - 71 year old Chas J. Geary (born Missouri), his 67 year old wife Jennie A. (born Ireland), 32 year old son Sigsbee M. Geary (born Utah), his 19 year old wife Julia (born Australia), and 17 year old granddaughter Edith E. Griggs. Charles owns their home at 1474 Rosine Drive, Los Angeles. Bud answered "No" to the are you a veteran of U. S. military or naval forces question. Occupations of Bud and wife Julia are "Actor - Motion Pictures" and "Actress - Motion Pictures": https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XCVQ-VSG
  • Newspapers and trade publications had death and funeral announcements on Bud's wife Julie Blake Geary:
    September 18, 1935 issue of Variety had a death notice but her September 10, 1935 death date was incorrectly shown as August 10, 1935: "Julie Blake, 24, vaude dancer, died August 10 (1935) in Los Angeles after a long illness."
    September 12, 1935 Los Angeles (California) Times newspaper had a funeral notice and an obituary. Excerpts: "Julie Blake, loving daughter of Walter and Julia Blake ..." ; .".. Julie Blake, 24 years of age, dancer of the team of Zannette and Manon, who died Tuesday at her home ..." ; "... a native of Victoria, Australia ..."
  • California Death Index, 1905-1939 has a record for Julie B. Geary, born about 1911 and she passed away September 10, 1935 in the Los Angeles area: https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QKS9-M138
  • Newspaper Archive had a death announcement on Bud's father from the January 2, 1936 Salt Lake City (Utah) Tribune newspaper. Excerpts: "C. J. 'Brick' Geary, 77, former business man of Salt Lake City, died Monday in Los Angeles, Cal., ..." ; "... a resident of Salt Lake City from 1898 until 1918. Following his moving to Los Angeles in 1918, Mr. Geary entered the real estate and investment business in that city." ; "Surviving are ... a son, Sigsbee Maine Geary ..."
  • 1940 census summary and census takers worksheet - 42 year old Sigsbee Geary (born Utah) and his 26 year old wife Blanche (born California) own their home at 3301 Kelton, Los Angeles. His occupation is "Actor and Stunt man - Film Studio", and in 1939, he worked 48 weeks and earned $4100.00: https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K9CR-LHM
  • 1940 census summary and census takers worksheet has Bud's first wife and two sons in Santa Monica, California. 37 year old Edgarita Morris and her sons, 17 year old Maine Morris (born California) and 14 year old Richard Morris (born California) are living in Santa Monica, California with Edgarita's mother Mary Williams. They lived there in 1935. Edgarita is listed as married with a question mark: https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K9WL-RN8
  • Death certificate: Sigsbee Maine Geary was born February 15, 1898 in Salt Lake City, Utah; occupation was "Actor - Motion Picture"; parents were Charles Geary and Jennie Helen; wife was Blanche M. Geary. He passed away on February 22, 1946 at the Newhall Community Hospital from intracranial hemorrhage and skull fracture suffered in a motor vehicle accident in San Fernando, Los Angeles County, California. An autopsy was held and the death certificate reads "Accident" and "Driving excessive speed; car left road, overturned". Interment at Forest Lawn - Glendale.
  • California Death Index mirrors the death certificate - Sigsbee Maine Geary (born Utah), mother's maiden name of Helen, and he passed away on February 22, 1946 in the Los Angeles area: https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VPQK-MHW
  • Newspapers and trade publications had death and funeral announcements:
    February 27, 1946 issue of Variety: "Bud Geary, 47, screen actor, died in Hollywood Feb. 22 as a result of injuries sustained in a motor crash. He had played character roles for years at Republic. Surviving are his wife and two sons."
    Excerpt from the funeral notice in the February 24, 1946 issue of the Los Angeles (California) Times newspaper: "GEARY, Sigsbee (Bud), beloved husband of Blanche M. Geary and father of Maine and Richard Geary ..."
    Excerpt from the death notice in the March 9, 1946 Salt Lake City (Utah) Tribune: "Mr. Geary was born in Salt Lake City, Feb. 15, 1898, the morning the U. S. battleship Maine was sunk. He was named Sigsbee Maine in honor of the ship and its skipper."

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

Find A Grave notes that Blanche Mildred Geary passed away on February 17, 1979 and is interred at Rose Hills Memorial Park, Whittier, Los Angeles County, California: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=125882394

California Death Index has records on Bud's two sons:



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