|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.|
Charles Emmett Vogan
1893 - 1969
Charles Emmett Vogan was a prolific movie performer whose face is recognized by many of us ... but we don't know his name.
Several years ago, Turner Classic Movies (TCM) ran a few Dick Foran oaters including EMPTY HOLSTERS (Warners, 1937). In that, Vogan is a real nasty, playing the boss baddie role with vim and vigor ... and did I mention he was really nasty. After viewing EMPTY HOLSTERS, I wondered why Vogan never specialized in westerns or why production companies and directors didn't utilize him more often as a B western brains heavy.
Charles Emmett Vogan was born September 27, 1893 in Lima, Allen County, Ohio to Charles H. Vogan and Emma Long. He learned his acting skills on the stage and traveling repertory companies. When he registered for the World War I draft, he was performing in St. Louis with the Lakeside Musical Comedy Company. Newspaper and tradepaper articles circa 1918 - early 1930s have him acting with the Woodward Players (Spokane), Wilkes Stock Company (Seattle), George Sharp Players (Pittsburg), Orpheum Players (Kansas City), National Players (Cincinnati), Howard Stock Company (Chicago), more. He often performed with his actress wife Edythe who was billed as "Edith Lawrence" (Lawrence was her maiden name). For example - in 1925, Emmett and Edythe were at the Hippodrome in Peoria, Illinois with the Gifford Stock Company and and with the Dorothy Gale Players at the Temple, Hammond, Indiana.
Emmett and Edythe tied the knot on January 4, 1913 in Clarke County, Georgia. Son Emmett Jr. was born May 23, 1918 in Denver, Colorado.
Vogan began his Hollywood career circa 1933.
Les Adams has him identified in over 450 sound films - and of that number, about fifty are westerns and cliffhangers. That quantity is significant as his movie career was only about twenty years, from 1933 through the mid 1950s. He was the recipient of a large quantity of paychecks from Republic Pictures - during the period from 1936 - 1954, he appeared in 71 Republics which were a mix of musicals, dramas, mysteries, westerns and serials. His Republic oaters were mostly with Roy Rogers (seven films), but he also can be spotted in sagebrush adventures starring Gene Autry, Don Barry, Bill Elliott, Allan Lane, Monte Hale, Rex Allen and John Wayne.
Several Vogan B western and serial roles come to mind:
- as mentioned above, he was "Ace Cain", the brains heavy facing singin' cowboy Dick Foran in EMPTY HOLSTERS (Warners, 1937).
- he was the crooked mine manager versus Gene Autry in STARDUST ON THE SAGE (Republic, 1942).
- Vogan is a Prussian spy working with Lionel Atwill in the 13 chapter RAIDERS OF GHOST CITY (Universal, 1944) which had Dennis Moore as the hero.
- In the Roy Rogers ALONG THE NAVAJO TRAIL (Republic, 1945), Vogan and gang are trying to gain control of Dale Evans' ranch.
- Vogan was one of several no-goods attempting a land grab in the Allan Lane Red Ryder adventure, HOMESTEADERS OF PARADISE VALLEY (Republic, 1947).
- In the Roy Rogers' DOWN DAKOTA WAY (Republic, 1949), he's the short-lived veterinarian that discovers hoof and mouth disease in Roy Barcroft's cattle herd.
In many of his A and B grade film appearances, he was an unbilled / uncredited newspaper reporter, police officer, judge, doctor, attorney, member of the military ... or just a face in a crowd. Examples:
- he's a doctor attending Susan Hayward (as songstress Jane Froman) in WITH A SONG IN MY HEART (20th Century Fox, 1952).
- he's a backstage theater manager in THE JOLSON STORY (Columbia, 1946).
- Vogan portrays a military doctor in director John Ford's THEY WERE EXPENDABLE (MGM, 1945) which starred Robert Montgomery and John Wayne in a tale about PT boats in World War II.
- he was an officer (or Captain) of the ship transporting Warner Oland and others from New York to Berlin in CHARLIE CHAN AT THE OLYMPICS (20 Century Fox, 1937). He did eight Chan mysteries - two with Warner Oland, four with Sidney Toler, and two with Roland Winters.
- he appeared in various series including Three Stooges and Shemp Howard comedy shorts at Columbia Pictures; five of the East Side Kids / Bowery Boys misadventure for Monogram Pictures / Allied Artists; two of Columbia's Blondie films; a couple of MGM's Maisies with Ann Sothern; two of Universal's Mummy horrors; and three of Red Skelton's MGM Whistling mystery / comedies.
In the 1950s, Vogan was busy in mostly uncredited movie roles and a few early TV shows (SKY KING, RACKET SQUAD, HOPALONG CASSIDY, ABBOTT AND COSTELLO, more).
He passed away on November 13, 1969.
Edythe and Emmett Vogan's son, Emmett Jr. (1918 - 2002), served in the Navy during World War II. He appeared in about a half dozen films released in 1946 - 1947 and then made a career change to law enforcement.
Above - newspaper advertisement from June, 1920 for Emmett Vogan's musical revue at the Lakeside Amusement Park, Denver, Colorado. Also in the act was wife Edythe, billed as "Edith Lawrence".
(Courtesy of Les Adams)
Above is the title lobby card for THE OIL RAIDER (Mayfair, 1934) which Buster Crabbe did 'on loan' from Paramount. The Mayfair company existed from the late 1920s through mid 1930s, and was originally called Action Pictures. THE OIL RAIDER was the last - or among the last - of Mayfair's films. This was one of Emmett Vogan's early films ... and he does get billing credit. That's Vogan standing next to Buster's elbow.
Courtesy of Boyd Magers)
Above from left to right are George Chesebro, Emmett Vogan, Anderson Lawler, Dick Foran, Tom Brower and Patricia Walthall in a scene from Foran's EMPTY HOLSTERS (Warners, 1937). This is a standout role for Vogan as "Ace Cain". Both he and Foran have romantic feelings for Pat Walthall, and to eliminate his competition, Vogan gets Foran sent to prison on a trumped up charge. Vogan was in his mid forties when he did this role.
Courtesy of Boyd Magers)
Above from left to right are Douglas Fowley, Emmett Vogan, Roy Rogers and Roy Barcroft in a 1954 blue duotone re-release lobby card from ALONG THE NAVAJO TRAIL (Republic, 1945). Fowley and Barcroft report to Vogan who is the president of an oil drilling company that needs Dale Evans' ranch for a pipeline.
There is a controversy with Vogan's full name. In the links below, you'll find his Ohio birth record as Charles E. Vogan and he was Charles Emmett Vogan on his World War I and World War II draft registrations. However, his grave marker at Forest Lawn reads Emmett C. Vogan.
Although some of the data is incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has information on Emmett Vogan: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0900850/
The Family Search website (free), Ancestry.com (subscription), California Death Index, Social Security Death Index (SSDI), newspaper funeral notices, and ProQuest obituaries provide more on Emmett Vogan and family:
- Ohio Birth Record (not the birth certificate) for Charles E. Vogan, born September 27, 1893 in Lima, Allen County, Ohio to Charles H. Vogan and Emma Long: https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XX9M-ZZR
- 1900 census summary and census takers worksheet - renting in Parkersburg, Wood County, West Virginia are 40 year old Charles H. Vogan (born Pennsylvania; occupation "Book Keeper"), his 35 year old wife Emma (born New York), 14 year old son Howard (born Pennsylvania), 11 year old son Raymond (born Ohio), and 7 year old son Emmett (born Ohio). Also living there are a servant and four boarders: https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M9ZV-4P6
- 1910 census summary and census takers worksheet - 17 year old Emmet [sic] Vogan is a boarder living in Wayne Township, Henry County, Indiana. Occupation is "Musician - Show": https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MKG1-T7Q
- Ancestry.com had the January 4, 1913 Clarke County, Georgia marriage license of C. E. Vogan and Edith Lawrence.
- 1917 World War I draft registration - 23 year old Charles Emmett Vogan was born in Lima, Ohio on September 27, 1893. He was living in St. Louis, Missouri; dependents are his wife and mother; and his employer was "Theatrical - Lakeside Mus Comedy Co. - on the road": https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-25094-103468-54?cc=1968530
- 1920 census summary and census takers worksheet - renting at the ??? Hotel and Knickerbocker Apartments, Spokane, Washington are 24 year old E. Vogan (born Pennsylvania; occupation "Actor - Theater"), his 23 year old wife Edith (born Ohio) and 1 1/2 year old son Junior Vogan (born Colorado): https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MHF2-1HT
- 1940 census summary and census takers worksheet - 46 year old Charles E. Vogan (born Ohio), 45 year old wife Elizthe [sic] (born Ohio) and 21 year old son Emmett Vogan (born Colorado) own their home at 3267 North Knoll Drive in the Los Angeles area and they lived in the LA area in 1935. Vogan's occupation is "Actor - Motion Picture Studio", and in 1939, he worked 20 weeks and earned $5,000.00+: https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/K9CD-41M
- 1942 World War II draft registration for Charles Emmett Vogan who was born in Lima, Ohio on September 27, 1893. He and family reside at 3267 North Knoll Drive, Hollywood, and wife Edith is his contact. His employer was "Art Meyer, Motion Picture Agent, Beverly Hills, California": https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1-16388-7120-71?cc=1861144
- California Death Index has dual records for 76 year old Emmett C. Vogan / Charles E. Vogan. He was born September 27, 1893 in Ohio, mother's maiden name of Long, and passed away on November 13, 1969 in the Los Angeles area:
- Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Emmett Vogan, born September 27, 1893 and passed away November, 1969 in the Los Angeles area: https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JB7Z-W2W
- The November 16, 1969 Los Angeles (California) Times newspaper had a funeral notice for Vogan. Excerpts: "VOGAN, Emmett C. ... husband of Edythe ... father of Emmett ... brother of Raymond H."
- The August 17, 1978 Los Angeles (California) Times had a funeral notice for Emmett's wife. Excerpt: "VOGAN, Edythe E., beloved mother of Emmett Vogan ..."
Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for 85 year old Edythe Vogan, born June 8, 1893 in California, last residence was San Dimas, Los Angeles County, California, and she passed away August, 1978: https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JGQW-J27
California Death Index for Edythe Evelyn Vogan, born June 8, 1893 in Ohio, and passed away August 9, 1978 in the Los Angeles area: https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VPC3-QPX
Jim Tipton's Find A Grave website has a photo of the marker for Emmett C. Vogan and his wife Edythe who are interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills), Los Angeles, California: https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/19526
Family Search website (free) and Ancestry.com (subscription) had info on Emmett Jr. (1918 - 2002):
- Ancestry.com had the 1936 Hollywood High School yearbook and Emmett Vogan was on the track and field team.
- World War II draft registration - 22 year old Emmett Vogan Jr. was born May 23, 1918 in Denver, Colorado. He lives with his parents at 3267 N. Knoll Drive, Hollywood, California. Contact is his mother Edythe E. Vogan at that address, and employer is his father, Emmett Sr. He's 5 feet, 11 1/2 inches tall and weighs 155 pounds: https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QGF9-5WZX
- Ancestry.com had World War II Navy Muster Rolls, 1938-1949 - Emmett Vogan enlisted November 14, 1941.
- April 28, 1945 marriage license of 27 year old Emmett Vogan (born Denver, Colorado; occupation "U. S. Navy") and 21 year old Eugenie Zonn (born California; occupation "Ice Skater - Motion Pictures") in Los Angeles. His parents were Emmett Vogan Sr. (born Roanoke, Virginia) and Edythe Lawrence (born Ohio): https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K8VY-VT7
- December 26, 1949 marriage license of 31 year old Emmett Vogan Jr. to Margaret Marie Fortine Richardson in Los Angeles. They were both divorced. His parents were Emmett Vogan Sr. (born Virginia) and Edythe Lawrence (born Ohio). His occupation was "Deputy Sheriff - L A County": https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K82Q-1JJ
- Ancestry.com had the Social Security Applications and Claims Index - Emmett Vogan Jr. / Emmett C. Vogan Jr. was born May 23, 1918 in Denver, Colorado; parents were Emmett Vogan and Edythe Lawrence; and he passed away on December 16, 2002.
Jim Tipton's Find A Grave website notes that Emmett C. Vogan (1918 - 2002) is interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Covina Hills), Covina, Los Angeles County, California: https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/94406925
The IMDb has a few 1946 - 1947 films for Edythe and Emmett's son Emmett Vogan Jr. (1918 - 2002): https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0900848/