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(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above - Ken is training the original Tarzan ... and one of the Tarzan doubles is seen in the background of this lobby card from SENOR DAREDEVIL (First National, 1926).

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above - Ken and Tarzan in a lobby card from FARGO EXPRESS (KBS/World Wide, 1932).

(From Old Corral collection)

No, you don't need glasses!  Here's Ken Maynard in the early 1930s with Tarzan and Tarzan look-a-likes.  He would use the Tarzan impersonators for hard ridin' scenes, stunts and chase doubles rather than risk injury to the real Tarzan.


Maynard acquired Tarzan around 1925 and the animal was half Arabian and half American Saddle horse.  The horse was often listed on posters, title lobby cards, pressbook ads, et al just below Maynard's name as "and his Wonder Horse Tarzan".  The palomino was a frequent helper in the films and as such, the horse got a lot of screen time.  Some examples:

Ken has fisticuffs with Charlie King at the end of BRANDED MEN (Tiffany, 1931).  Maynard is losing the brawl and Tarzan comes to his aid, ultimately causing ol' Charlie to fall off a cliff.

In TEXAS GUNFIGHTER (Tiffany, 1932), Maynard is the titled gunslinger and a member of a gang run by Harry Woods.  But Maynard reforms, becomes the local lawman, and there's a closing gun battle with Ken and his sidekick 'Banty' (played by Lloyd Ingraham) fighting against overwhelming odds.  Off goes Tarzan to bring back help ... the hoss meets up with heroine Sheila Mannors and the posse ... signals by pawing the ground a couple times ... and off they ride to Ken and Banty's rescue following Tarzan.

Tarzan does it again In TOMBSTONE CANYON (KBS/World Wide, 1932), this time bringing heroine Cecilia Parker and the good guys to rescue Ken during the finale.

COME ON, TARZAN (KBS/World Wide, 1932) is a showcase for the palomino.  Tarzan is the leader of a band of wild horses who are being rounded up and turned into dog food.  Interestingly, Maynard rides a brown cayuse during most of this film, and in one sequence, he calls that horse 'Chico'.  At the end, the head baddie (played by Niles Welch) is stomped to death by Tarzan. That fight between Welch and Tarzan is interesting - if you look really close, you'll see what appears to be a fine wire running from the hand of Welch's double to the mouth of Tarzan. That's to keep both together during the fight scene.

Tarzan was almost as important as Ken in the MYSTERY MOUNTAIN (Mascot, 1934) cliffhanger. The horse got a lot of some screen time and credit, including his name in the titles of several episodes: Chapter Seven - "Tarzan the Cunning" and Chapter Twelve - "The Judgement of Tarzan".


If you were standing behind Tarzan, look for a dark spot/birthmark about the size of silver dollar, located high on the right haunch close to the tail.  A good example is STRAWBERRY ROAN (Universal, 1933) and you can see the spot on the real Tarzan in the early reels.  Later, in the chase scene with Maynard ropin' the roan, he's riding one of the Tarzan impersonators, and as the animal turns, you can see that he's 'spotless'. There's many scenes in Ken's TOMBSTONE CANYON (KBS WorldWide, 1932) where you can see Tarzan's spot.

Above is a screen capture of Maynard and the real Tarzan (and his spot) from Chapter 1 of MYSTERY MOUNTAIN (Mascot, 1934).

(From Old Corral collection)

(From Old Corral collection)

(From Old Corral collection)

The story goes that the real Tarzan was originally trained by Ken to respond to voice commands (during their silent films) rather than hand signals.  In their sound films, Ken was constantly chit-chattin' with Tarzan.  Above are the real Tarzan and Ken in a scene from WHEELS OF DESTINY (Universal, 1933) --- while I didn't check the videotape of this scene, Ken's probably saying somethin' like: "c'mon ol' man ... untie the rope ... that's it old man ... pull the rope loose!"

(Courtesy of Tony Montesione)

The above image shows Maynard and a couple unidentified cowpokes at the start of the horse race from IN OLD SANTA FE (Mascot, 1934).


  Although some of the data is incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has information on Ken Maynard:

The Family Search website, Maynard family genealogy info, the California Death Index and trade publications provide more on Ken Maynard. There were at least four marriages and I've highlighted the names of his wives in this color:

Find A Grave website has a picture of the grave marker for Ken Maynard at Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Cypress), Orange County, California:

Find A Grave also mentions that Tarzan was buried near a defunct stable in the Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles County, California and the grave has been lost to development:

There's more on Ken, brother Kermit, and the Maynard family at the Switzerland County INGenWeb. This webpage also includes info on Ken's first marriage to Arlie Harlan of Tompkinsville, Kentucky on December 8, 1916:

The Internet Archive website includes many old time radio programs which you can stream or download ... and that includes several dozen of Maynard's TALES FROM THE DIAMOND K 15 minute radio shows which were syndicated circa 1951:

J. David Goldin's RadioGoldIndex website has a listing of Maynard's TALES FROM THE DIAMOND K 15 minute syndicated radio show. When you get to the site, click "Start Here", then select "Search By Artist", then select M, then scroll down for Maynard radio credits:

Author Stephen Lodge worked at Corriganville and in a January, 2007 article, he reminisces about his 1959 meeting and experiences with Maynard at Crash Corrigan's Corriganville movie ranch:

William (Buckles) Woodcock has a blog on circus history, and included are the following pages (with images) on Maynard's 1936 Wild West Show:

The Circus Museum in Baraboo, Wisconsin has some historic wagons that were used by the cowboy heroes during their circus days including a calliope used in the Maynard show:

The Circus Historical Society website has many detailed articles (which were published in their Bandwagon magazine) on the history of the Cole Bros. Circus. Maynard's own Diamond K Wild West Show was short-lived, and in the mid 1930s, he signed on with the Cole Bros. Circus (who also had animal trainer Clyde Beatty). These articles are lengthy and I suggest you use the Search box in your web browser to find references to Maynard:

"A History of the Cole Bros. Circus 1935-40" (By Joseph T. Bradbury. Bandwagon, Vol. 10, No. 2 (Mar-Apr), 1966, pp. 12-21):
"A History of the Cole Bros. Circus 1935-40, Part III [sic VIII], the 1937 Season Continued" (By Joseph T. Bradbury. Bandwagon, Vol. 10, No. 4 (Jul-Aug), 1966, pp. 11-17.):
"History of the Cole Bros., Part V, The 1936 Season" (Joseph T. Bradbury. Bandwagon, Vol. 10, No. 1 (Jan-Feb), 1966, pp. 15-25):
"Cole Bros. Circus, The 1937 Season, Part VII, First Half" (By Joseph T. Bradbury. Bandwagon, Vol. 10, No. 3 (May-Jun), 1966, pp. 20-27):
"A History of the Cole Bros. Circus 1935-40, Part IX - The 1938 Season, Cole Bros." (By Joseph T. Bradbury. Bandwagon, Vol. 10, No. 5 (Sep-Oct), 1966, pp. 14-20):
"A History of the Cole Bros. Circus 1935-40, Part XI - the 1938 Season" (By Joseph T. Bradbury. Bandwagon, Vol. 11, No. 2 (Mar-Apr), 1967, pp. 14-25):
"A History of the Cole Bros. Circus 1935-40, Part XIII, The 1940 Season" (By Joseph T. Bradbury. Bandwagon, Vol. 11, No. 5 (Sep-Oct), 1967, pp. 16-30):

The Circus Historical Society website has other tidbits on Maynard and his circus career - this link will take you to their search page. Enter "Ken Maynard" (put quote marks around the name so you get exact matches):

Want to see if Ken Maynard - or your fav western hero - is enshrined on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame? Search the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce / Walk Of Fame website at:

In 2015, Ken Maynard was inducted into the Western Performers Hall of Fame at the The National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma:

The Columbus North High School, Columbus, Indiana, had a Hall of Fame webpage which included Kermit and Ken Maynard. Appears they did a major overhaul to their school website and that info is no longer online:

Dave Smith had a website on 'Hoosiers' (Maynard and other actors and actresses born in Indiana), but the site was not working as of June, 2021:
The Internet Archive "Wayback Machine" has saved versions of this website:*/

The website for the Switzerland County Visitors Center in Vevay, Indiana is:

For those of you interested in producer Nat Levine and his adventures with Ken Maynard, Tom Mix and more, McFarland book publishers has a great book on the history of Mascot Pictures titled The Vanishing Legion: A history of Mascot Pictures 1927 - 1935. Originally published in hardbound in the early 1980s, author Jon Tuska knew and interviewed Maynard and Levine (and lots of other Mascot alumni). The book has been re-issued in softcover for about $35.00. The following will take you to the McFarland 'search' page.  When you get there, enter Tuska as the last name of the author:

There's several other sections on the Old Corral with more on Maynard. Take a gander at the section on Monogram's Trail Blazers trio series as well as the article on the the 1972 filming of the MARSHAL OF WINDY HOLLOW which starred Sunset Carson and included roles for Maynard and Tex Ritter. The Old Corral also has a biography on Kermit Maynard, Ken's brother.

Over the years, I've gotten many e-mails asking if Ken Maynard wrote some novels under the name of "Bliss Lomax". Bliss Lomax was one of several pseudonyms used by prolific novelist and short story writer Harry Sinclair Drago, and his papers are archived at the Syracuse University Library:

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