|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.|
|Little biographical information is available on prolific B western performer George Morrell who seemed to specialize in portraying a townsman, rancher, homesteader, bartender/waiter, storekeeper, or drunk/barfly.
His Hollywood career spanned about twenty five years, from the 1920s through early 1950s. Les Adams has Morrell identified in 350+ films, and of that total, most are westerns along with a dozen+ serials.
Prior to Hollywood, Morrell was a stage actor.
The Family Search website, ProQuest obituaries and the California Death Records database have info on Morrell:
The University of Washington Libraries, J. Willis Sayre Photograph Collection, has a 1914 photo of stage actor George Morrell: http://content.lib.washington.edu/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/sayre&CISOPTR=7371&CISOBOX=1&REC=6
Although some of the data is incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) has information on George Morrell: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0606256/
Above, an unidentified player (whom we call John Doe #1) on the left with George Morrell in a crop from a lobby card from Johnny Mack Brown's RANGE LAW (Monogram, 1944).
(Image courtesy of Carol Murray and her "Jack Hendricks Photo Album")
Above from left to right are Jack Hendricks (grounded), George Morrell, Merrill McCormick (beard), George Regas (moustache) and Leroy Mason in a still from the Kermit Maynard mountie film THE FIGHTING TROOPER (Ambassador-Conn, 1934).
(Courtesy of Les Adams)
Above from left to right are Marion Shilling, Frank Yaconelli, Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams, Roger Williams, Wally Wales (Hal Taliaferro) and George Morrell in a still from the Big Boy starrer GUN PLAY (Beacon, 1935; alternate title: LUCKY BOOTS).
(Courtesy of Ed Tabor)
Above from left to right are Roger Williams, Bob Custer and George Morrell in a lobby card from AMBUSH VALLEY (Reliable, 1936). Jack Evans is on the far left in the shadows, and between Williams and Custer are Buck Morgan (in the center with the moustache) and Ed Carey (dark shirt).
(Courtesy of Ed Phillips)
Above from left to right are Robert Walker, Frank Ellis, Dick Rush, Edmund Cobb, Charles Starrett, George Morrell (behind and right of Starrett). In the background on horseback are Steve Clark and Tex Cooper (Buffalo Bill-looking character). Scene from Starrett's TWO-FISTED SHERIFF (Columbia, 1937).
(From Old Corral image collection)
Above from left to right are Hoot Gibson, George Morrell, youngster Sammy McKim, Hal Taliaferro/Wally Wales and Ray 'Crash' Corrigan in a still from Chapter 1 of THE PAINTED STALLION (Republic, 1937) serial.
(Image courtesy of Les Adams)
Above from left to right are Tim McCoy, Bob Terry, Dave O'Brien and bartender George Morrell in a crop from a lobby card from TEXAS WILDCATS (Victory, 1939) which starred McCoy as "Lightnin' Bill Carson".
Full name: Milne Bryan Kibbee
1896 - 1970
Milt Kibbee's older brother was stage and screen actor Guy Kibbee (1882-1956). While Guy was born in El Paso, Texas, Milt's World War I and World War II draft registrations have his birth information as January 27, 1896 in Roswell, New Mexico.
Milne Bryan Kibbee tied the knot with Lois H. Wilson on May 21, 1918 in Ohio, and they listed their occupations as actor and actress on the marriage license. Sketchy biographies indicate they were performers in a traveling show. In the 1930 census, Milt, Lois and their three children were living in Rhinelander, Wisconsin. A couple years later, the family was in California and Milt's first movie role occurred in 1933. Brother Guy did his first film in 1931 and may have suggested that Milt head west to Hollywood and the movie business.
During a 20+ year career from about 1933 - 1953, Milt worked in about 375 films. In most, he had minor/bit roles and was uncredited. Included in that number are about 30 B westerns and other features for Republic Pictures during the years 1938 - 1951. Les Adams has Milton Kibbee identified in 50+ westerns and 4 serials.
Guy and Milt worked together in eighteen movies, including 42ND STREET (Warners, 1933), BABBITT (Warners, 1934) and MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON (Columbia, 1939). In these, Guy Kibbee had the meaty (and credited) roles while Milt did a bit part and picked up a day's pay. Occasionally, Milt got a few lines of dialog and an example is his portrayal of Judy Garland's father in STRIKE UP THE BAND (MGM, 1940).
In the post World War II years - when Milt had hit the half century mark in age - you can spot him as "Professor Townley" in four of Monogram's 1946-1947 "The Teen Agers" series which featured Freddie Stewart, June Preisser, Jackie Moran, Noel Neill and Frankie Darro. And he was the crooked banker trying to thwart Peggy Stewart's quest for oil in CONQUEST OF CHEYENNE (Republic, 1946) which was Wild Bill Elliott's last appearance as Red Ryder.
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: Milne B. Kibbee, born 1/27/1896 in New Mexico and he passed away in the Ventura, California area on 4/17/1970. There is a corresponding record in the Social Security Death Index (SSDI).
Jim Tipton's Find A Grave website has a photo of the marker for Milne Bryan Kibbee who is interred at Oakwood Memorial Park, Chatsworth, California: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=6657277
Although some of the data may be incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has information on:
Milt Kibbee: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0452133/
Milt Kibbee's daughter Lois Kibbee (1922-1993) appeared on several TV soap operas in the 1970s and 1980s: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0452132/
Guy Bridges Kibbee (1882-1956): http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0452128/
The Family Search website has information on Milt Kibbee:
Newspaper obituaries of soap opera performer and writer Lois Kibbee (1922-1993) mention that she was born in 1920 in West Virginia while her parents were traveling with a stock company and her mother was actress Lois Wilson Kibbee:
Los Angeles Times newspaper: http://articles.latimes.com/1993-10-23/news/mn-48679_1_lois-kibbee
New York Times newspaper: http://www.nytimes.com/1993/10/21/obituaries/lois-kibbee-is-dead-actress-of-television-and-stage-was-71.html
The Los Angeles Times newspaper has a 1985 article about 90 year old Lois Wilson Kibbee singing for a convalescent home audience: http://articles.latimes.com/1985-07-26/news/vw-5217_1_dagans
(Courtesy of Les Adams)
Above from left to right are Don Barry, Harry Worth and Milton Kibbee in a scene from Barry's KANSAS CYCLONE (Republic, 1941). In the background between Barry and Worth are Augie Gomez and Matty Roubert. And if you look closely between Worth and Kibbee, you might make out Eddie Dean, about five years before he became PRC's resident singin' cowboy.
(Courtesy of Les Adams)
Above from left to right are Milton Kibbee, Don Barry with the badge and a pair of stag-handled six-shooters, and Fred 'Snowflake' Toones in a crop from a lobby card from TWO-GUN SHERIFF (Republic, 1941), one of the films in which Barry had a dual role.