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(Courtesy of Ken Jones)

Bobby Copeland provides some additional info and trivia on Dave O'Brien, James Newill, and movie bad guy Jack Ingram ... and what would ultimately become the Jack Ingram movie location ranch:

Prior to Jack Ingram owning the land, it was purchased by two other movie cowboys as a scheme to avoid being drafted by the Army during World War II. The land was also once part of the Charlie Chaplin estate. Apparently, Jim Newill and Dave O'Brien heard about some provision by the government that provided deferment to those owning ranches and raising animals. They decided to buy the land and raise goats. They did not have the property long, until they were called for physicals --- both were classified 4-F. They immediately started looking for a buyer, and sold the ranch to Jack Ingram (in 1944), who had worked with Newill and O'Brien in some of their Texas Rangers features at PRC. Ingram, in an economy move, bought an old bulldozer and enlisted the help of several other movie badman friends to clear the site.

(From Old Corral collection)

In the above lobby card from BAD MEN OF THUNDER GAP (PRC, 1943), Dave O'Brien has his six-gun on Guy Wilkerson, the tall drink-of-water who portrayed 'Panhandle Perkins' in the Texas Rangers series. This was the second PRC Texas Rangers film. Note the "Dave (Tex) O'Brien" top billing.

When Tex Ritter replaced Jim Newill for the last eight films in the series, there were two changes - Ritter got top billing and O'Brien dropped down to second billing ... and he became plain ol' Dave O'Brien (dropping the 'Tex' as his middle name). See below.

(From Old Corral collection)

THE WHISPERING SKULL (PRC, 1944) had a mystery twist and was one of the better PRC Texas Rangers films.

In Search of David Poole Fronabarger, Dave O'Brien, 'Tex' O'Brien, David Barclay, et al

The Family Search website (free), (subscription), ProQuest obituaries, Newspaper Archives (subscription), various newspaper websites, California Death Index, and the Social Security Death Index (SSDI) have information on Dave O'Brien. Dave's parents were Mike and Mary Edith (Nee Earnest) Fronabarger of Big Spring, Howard County, Texas.

Have found no records confirming "Poole" as his middle name. However, the 1928 Abilene, Texas City Directory (on has Dave with a middle initial of "P" and working as a helper at his father's boiler shop. His name and address listing reads: "Fronabarger David P hlpr Abilene Boiler Wks h860 Mulberry". And there are several 1936 newspaper articles about the marriage of Dave and Dorothy Short, and his name is listed as David Poole Fronabarger.

Find A Grave website notes that Dave O'Brien was cremated and ashes scattered:
Dorothy Short Barclay is interred at Inglewood Park Cemetery, Inglewood, California. Has her with a 1914 birth date:

Links on Dave O'Brien and Dorothy Short

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

Dave O'Brien:
O'Brien's wife, actress Dorothy Short (1914 or 1915 - 1963):
Dave and Dorothy worked together in about thirty films:,nm0795044&sort=release_date_us
The 79 Pete Smith shorts in which O'Brien directed ... or wrote ... or appeared in ... or any combination thereof:,nm0639495&sort=release_date_us

If you have a high speed cable or DSL connection, you can download or stream REEFER MADNESS, the unsold MEET THE O'BRIEN'S TV pilot, and several other O'Brien movies from the Internet Archive website:
     Unsold MEET THE O'BRIEN'S TV pilot from 1954:
     Other O'Brien films:

Some of O'Brien's films with Bela Lugosi, the East Side Kids, the Texas Rangers, more are available on YouTube:

Images Journal has a article on 1930s 'exploitation flicks' of which REEFER MADNESS is a prominent film:

Neil Summers has a writeup on Dave O'Brien at Boyd Magers' Western Clippings website:

O'Brien has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame which was awarded in 1960:

TV history books include a list of the Emmy Award winners by year. The following website has info on the "Outstanding Writing Achievement in Comedy" Emmy given to Sherwood Schwartz, Dave O'Brien, Al Schwartz, Martin Ragaway and Red Skelton for the RED SKELTON SHOW in 1961:

Various Dave O'Brien scripts for the RED SKELTON TV show are archived at the Performing Arts Special Collections, UCLA Library, Los Angeles:

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