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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.



(Crop/blowup of Darrell from the lobby card below)
Steve/Stevan Darrell

Sometimes:
J. Stevan Darrell

Real name:
Darrell/Darryl Eugene Horsfall

1904 - 1970



(Courtesy of Boyd Magers)

Above is the Chapter 1 title lobby card for the 13 episode ADVENTURES OF FRANK AND JESSE JAMES (Republic, 1948). "Frank James" was portrayed by a moustached Steve Darrell (in buckskins) and Clayton Moore (upper right) was "Jesse James". Shown bottom left is George J. Lewis and heroine Noel Neill is pictured bottom right. This was the second of three Jesse James serials done by Republic in the late 1940s. The first was JESSE JAMES RIDES AGAIN (Republic, 1947) which had Clayton Moore in the lead. The last starred Keith Richards and Robert Bice as THE JAMES BROTHERS OF MISSOURI (Republic, 1949).


Born in Osage, Iowa, Steve Darrell got the acting bug and was in California in the late 1930s studying at the Pasadena Playhouse. His film credits begin around 1938 and his movie and television career spanned about thirty years, through the mid 1960s.

Beginning in the mid 1940s, he began a run playing various no-goods at PRC, Monogram, Columbia and Republic in films with Buster Crabbe, Johnny Mack Brown, Jimmy Wakely, Charles Starrett, Roy Rogers, Monte Hale, Allan Lane, others. As the B-western decline began around 1950, Darrell moved into TV and did extensive work in westerns and other programs.

In preparation for this profile, I did run some post World War II Darrell oaters to refresh my memory. In those, he often was clean-shaven. In his later films and TV, he had grown noticeably older with grey hair and a greyish moustache ... and he seemed to specialize in portraying a lawman.

Darrell's best screen work is co-starring with Clayton Moore in the cliffhanger ADVENTURES OF FRANK AND JESSE JAMES (Republic, 1948). A few more examples of good Darrell B-western roles: wearing a suit and a super-sized hat, Darrell is the brains heavy in the Buster Crabbe GENTLEMEN WITH GUNS (PRC 1946); he had a solid, sympathetic performance as a rancher jailed on a false murder charge in the Gene Autry RIDERS IN THE SKY (Columbia, 1949); and he was the local law helping Autry battle Kenne Duncan and Alan Hale, Jr. in THE BLAZING SUN (Columbia, 1950).

Ken Jones and Arthur F. McClure corresponded with Darrell for their book Heroes, Heavies and Sagebrush (A. S. Barnes and Company, 1972): "His favorite movie role was in TREASURE OF THE RUBY HILLS and his favorite TV role was an episode of 26 MEN. In both he played an ex-lawman." "He died on August 14, 1970 of a brain tumor."

  Although some of the data is incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) has information on Steve Darrell: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0201597/

The Family Search website, California Death Records database, and the Social Security Death Index (SSDI) have information on Steve Darrell:

We believe that Darrell also did some plays and radio work:

Jim Tipton's Find A Grave website has info on Steve Darrell - his ashes were scattered in the Rose Garden at Westwood Memorial Park/Westwood Village, Los Angeles, California: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=8007744




(From Old Corral image collection)

Above from L-to-R are William Haade, Monte Hale, and Steve Darrell with the sixgun in this lobby card from UNDER COLORADO SKIES (Republic, 1947).



(From Old Corral image collection)

Above is another lobby card from the Monte Hale Trucolor UNDER COLORADO SKIES (Republic, 1947). Clean shaven Steve Darrell is centered at the bar and behind him from left to right are Riders of the Purple Sage singin' group members Al Sloey, Foy Willing, Scotty Harrell and Johnny Paul.



(From Old Corral image collection)

Above from L-to-R are Christine Larsen/Larson, Tris Coffin, Andy Clyde, Whip Wilson and Steve Darrell in CRASHING THRU (Monogram, 1949), Wilson's first starring film.



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