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(Image courtesy of Jack Tillmany)

Above - a very young Buck Connors. Assuming the autograph / signature is Buck's, he signed his last name as "Connors".



(From Old Corral image collection)

Above - Buck Connors as "Fuzz", the old timer sidekick to Bob Steele in NO MAN'S RANGE (Supreme, 1935).
Buck Connors / Conners

Real name: George Washington Conner

1880 - 1947

Buck Connors / Conners played whiskered old timers, parsons, settlers, townsman ... but my recollections of him are several sidekick / helper roles to Bob Steele in the mid 1930s as well as being the narrator at the beginning of each episode of the Tim McCoy serial THE INDIANS ARE COMING (Universal, 1930). As a B western performer, he only worked in about three dozen oaters. What fascinated me was his life outside of Hollywood ... and that his original gravesite was located behind a building in Quartzsite, Arizona.

George Washington Conner was born in Streator, Illinois on November 22, 1880. He resided in West Virginia and circa 1900, served with the West Virginia Infantry detachment during the Spanish American War. Around 1913, he was in Hollywood. His movie career spanned nearly thirty years and about ninety films. Most of his appearances were bit/supporting roles, and as such, Buck was generally uncredited / unbilled.

He married Hazel V. Powell (1898 - 1985) in the early 1920s and the union produced two sons, George Washington Conner, Jr. (1928 - 1932) and Powell Soren Conner (1933 - 1999).

The Conner family settled in Quartzsite, Arizona in the 1920s and acquired several pieces of property. There was (is) a Conner Field airstrip in Quartzsite and the family also donated several acres of land to the Episcopal Diocese of Arizona and a church was built on those grounds.

Buck suffered a heart attack and passed away on February 4, 1947 in Yuma, Arizona. He and his son George Jr. were interred on Conner property located behind a business in Quartzsite, but their remains were exhumed in 2008 and moved to the Pioneer section of the Hi Jolly Cemetery.

There's an article about Buck Conner authored in 1985 by Wyatt Earp biographer Lee A. Silva. Silva mentions that Buck served in both Army and Navy, was in the Mexican Revolution, was a Texas Ranger, was a member of the Pawnee Bill Wild West Show and Buffalo Bill Wild West Show, was a close friend of Buffalo Bill Cody, was a founding member of the Screen Actors Guild, lots more. To read the article, go to: http://www.klohoker.com/Qsite-History/Buck-conner.htm

  Although some of the data may be incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has information on Buck Connors: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0175413/

Family Search website and the Arizona Department of Health Services provide more on Buck Conners and wife Hazel:

  • 1900 census summary and census takers worksheet - 20 year old George W. Conner (born Illinois; occupation "U. S. Soldier") is in Moundsville, Marshall County, West Virginia with his father, step-mother, several siblings and several servants: https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M9CB-FPY
  • 1930 census summary and census takers worksheet - living in Los Angeles, California are 48 year old George W. Conner (born Illinois), his 31 year old wife Hazel B. (born Colorado), and 1 year old son George U. (born California). They are living with Hazel's mother, 56 year old Ella Garrison (born Ohio): https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XCZY-61H
  • World War II draft registration - 61 year old George Washington Conner was born November 22, 1880 in Streator, La Salle County, Illinois. His contact is wife Hazel V. Conner, and they live in Quartzsite, Yuma County, Arizona. Contact info also mentions a mailing address of Conner Field. Buck is 5' 4" tall and 120 pounds: https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QKC4-9D17
  • The death certificate on Buck is available online at the Arizona Department of Health Services: http://genealogy.az.gov/
    From the death certificate: 66 year old George Washington Conner passed away from heart problems on February 4, 1947 at the Yuma, Arizona General Hospital. Occupation was "Actor - Moving Pictures" and he was born November 22, 1880 in Streeter [sic], Illinois. Death certificate informant was wife Hazel Conner, and they lived at 1119 N. Hoover Street, Hollywood, California. Burial at Quartzsite, Arizona.

Jim Tipton's Find A Grave website has a picture of the grave marker for George W. 'Buck' Conner, Sr. at Hi Jolly Cemetery, Quartzsite, La Paz County, Arizona. The marker has the following: Musician, 2nd West Virginia Infantry, Spanish American War: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=36748446

There is a photo of the marker for Buck along with an obituary on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tom-margie/4382721825/




(Image courtesy of Carol Murray and her "Jack Hendricks Photo Album")

Still from HEADIN' FOR TROUBLE (Big 4, 1931) and star Bob Custer is on the left with the drop on everyone. Jack Hendricks is on the far right behind whiskered old-timer Buck Connors. In the background from left to right are unidentified player, Barney Beasley, and another unidentified player (with beard). Sitting at the table are Duke Lee (left) and John Ince (right).



(Pressbook cover courtesy of Les Adams)

Above is the cover of the pressbook for THE LAW RIDES (Supreme, 1936), one of many Steele films for producer A. W. Hackel which was directed by Bob's father, Robert North Bradbury. The gal is Harley Wood (Harlene Wood/Jill Martin), and the old-timer with the white beard is Buck Connors (as "Whitey").



(From Old Corral collection)

Perpetual baddie Charlie King has the grips on whiskered codger Buck Connors while Barney Furey has a sixgun on Bob Steele in a lobby card from THE LAW RIDES (Supreme, 1936).



(From Old Corral collection)

Note the different spelling on Buck's last name in the above title card and pressbook cover below from NO MAN'S RANGE (Supreme, 1935).



(Pressbook cover courtesy of Les Adams)




(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above is a blowup/crop showing Connors and Bob Steele in NO MAN'S RANGE (Supreme, 1935).



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