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Saddle Pals & Sidekicks
The Juvenile Helpers

Bobby Nelson (1922 - 1974) starred in the Pioneer Kid silent series in the late 1920s.  When talkies arrived, Nelson did westerns with Hoot Gibson, Ken Maynard, Tom Tyler, Buffalo Bill, Jr. (Jay Wilsey) and Rex Lease. His last film appearances were in the Johnny Mack Brown and Bob Steele westerns for producer A. W. Hackel circa 1936-1937. Nelson then seemed to disappear from the Hollywood scene.

Les Adams has Bobby spotted in 31 sound era films, and that includes 19 westerns and 5 serials.

Our earlier profile on Bobby Nelson had him identified as Robert John Nelson, born July 21, 1923 in Santa Monica, California, and passed away on August 5, 1993 from gastric carcinoma; employment listed as self-employed Public Accountant for 43 years; World War II service from 1943-45; and burial at Fairhaven Memorial Park, Santa Ana, California.

That information was incorrect.

Lila Ashear discovered the following on our Hollywood father and son, director Jack Nelson and child actor Bobby Nelson:

John Claude (Jack) Nelson:

World War I Draft Card: John Claude Nelson, Actor, born October 15, 1887 Memphis, Tennessee; employer: Fox Studios; married; address in Los Angeles, California. Dated June 5, 1917

World War I Draft Card: Jack Claude (John) Nelson, Actor, born October 15, 1886; employer: Thos. Ince, Pico & Georgia, Los Angeles; married: Grace Martha Nelson. Dated September 12, 1918

1930 Federal Census, Cuhuenga Blvd., Los Angeles; born 1891 Tennessee; living with wife Stella born 1893 in Iowa; son Robert J. born 1922; occupation Director - Studio.

Robert John Nelson/Bobby Nelson:

1930 Federal Census, Cuhuenga Blvd., Los Angeles; Robert J. Nelson living with father John C. Nelson born Tennessee; mother Stella born Iowa; father's occupation: Director - Studio.

California Birth Index: Robert J. Nelson, born January 17, 1922 in Los Angeles County, California; mother's maiden name: Heiser.

World War II Enlistment Card: Robert J. Nelson, born January 17, 1922 in California; Enlistment City: Los Angeles, California. Enlisted October 28, 1942

VA Cemetery Listings, Los Angeles National Cemetery: Robert J. Nelson b. January 17, 1922; died December 5, 1974; PFC US Army, Served October 28, 1942 - 10 February, 1946.

As mentioned, Bobby's father was writer/director/actor Jack Nelson (1886 or 1887 or 1891 - 1948; note the several birth years listed in the census above). The senior Nelson began acting in the 1910s, and most of his directing work occurred in the 1920s - for example, he helmed Bob Custer silent oaters for producer Jesse J. Goldburg and FBO as well as co-directing (with Ray Taylor) a couple of Frank Merrill jungle serials, PERILS OF THE JUNGLE (Weiss Brothers/Artclass, 1927) and TARZAN THE MIGHTY (Universal, 1928). Both of those cliffhangers included young Bobby in the cast. When talkies arrived, Jack Nelson directed a few ultra low budget westerns including THE BORDER MENACE (Aywon, 1934) with Bill Cody and THE RAWHIDE TERROR (Security, 1934), a disjointed cheapy produced by Art Mix/Denver Dixon/Albert Victor Adamson. Jack Nelson also co-wrote the screenplay for the Richard Talmadge chapterplay PIRATE TREASURE (Universal, 1934).

Jim Tipton's Find A Grave website confirms that Bobby is interred at Los Angeles National Cemetery, Los Angeles, California and the marker reads Robert J. Nelson, PFC U S Army, January 17, 1922 - December 5, 1974:

  Although some of the data is incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) has information on Bobby Nelson and his actor/writer/director father Jack Nelson:
Bobby Nelson:
Jack Nelson:

There's info and images on Bobby and Jack Nelson doing the TARZAN THE MIGHTY (Universal, 1928) serial at:

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above is the title lobby card from THE COWBOY AND THE BANDIT (Superior, 1935).  Bobby Nelson is shown on the left with the chaps. Star Rex Lease (green shirt) is all tied up and on horseback. And the gal is Blanche Mehaffey, being billed here as 'Janet Morgan'.

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above from L-to-R are Black Jack Ward, John Alexander, Blackie Whiteford and Bobby Nelson in THE GHOST RIDER (Argosy/Superior, 1935) which starred Rex Lease.

(From Old Corral collection)

Above, a young and slim Johnny Mack Brown pays attention to veteran supporting player Steve Clark, who is making a point with his finger.  Between Brown and Clark is Bobby Nelson.  And over JMB's right shoulder is veteran Horace Murphy.  Scene from BOOTHILL BRIGADE (A. W. Hackel/Republic, 1937).

(From Old Corral collection)

Above is Robert B. 'Buzzy' 'Buzz' Henry (1931-1971).  Buzzy Henry was a toddler when he started his Hollywood screen career - he was 3+ years old when he did the Ken Maynard WESTERN FRONTIER (Columbia, 1935).  Around 9-10 years of age, he starred in a couple of forgetable films in the early 1940s for independent producer Arthur Ziehm, BUZZY RIDES THE RANGE (1940) and BUZZY AND THE PHANTOM PINTO (1941).  As a teen, he appeared in westerns with Roy Rogers, Lash LaRue, Eddie Dean and others.  He became a stuntman and second unit director in his adult years and worked on A grade features such as THE WILD BUNCH (1969) and THE COWBOYS (1972).  He was killed in a car/motorcyle crash in 1971, apparently while drag racing.

You may want to check the In Search Of ... page on the Old Corral, and then visit the California Death Records database and Social Security Death Index (SSDI).  You will find records for: Robert B. Henry, born 9/4/1931 in Colorado, and he passed away on 9/30/1971.

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

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above is the title lobby card from BUZZY AND THE PHANTOM PINTO (Arthur Ziehm, 1941).

(From Old Corral collection)

Above from L-to-R are Dick Jones, Kermit Maynard and pretty Beth Marion (who was mysteriously billed as "Betty Lloyd") in a lobby card from WILD HORSE ROUND-UP (Ambassador-Conn, 1936), one of Kerm's starring films.

Texas born in 1926 or 1927, Richard Percy Jones did lots of 'kid roles' in a variety of A and B grade films beginning around 1934, and he was generally billed as 'Dickie Jones'. He also performed on radio and for a year or so during World War II, was the voice of Henry Aldrich on the ALDRICH FAMILY program. He also did the voice of Walt Disney's Pinocchio. As a young adult, Jones helped Gene Autry in several of Gene's post-World War II westerns which were released by Columbia Pictures. And when television arrived, Jones was the star of BUFFALO BILL JR. and the helper to Jock Mahoney in THE RANGE RIDER, both of which showcased his stunt/athletic talents and riding abilities.

He passed away on July 7, 2014. Click HERE for the obituary at the Los Angeles Times website.

  Although some of the data is incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) has information on Dick (Dickie) Jones:

Photo of Dick Jones recording his lines for PINOCCHIO (Disney/RKO, 1940):

In the late 1950s, Dell ran a Buffalo Bill Jr. comic series. The Grand Comics database has images of some of the covers:

J. David Goldin's RadioGoldIndex website has a dozen+ radio programs listed for Dickie Jones and that includes several 1944-45 episodes of the ALDRICH FAMILY as well as the 1939 LUX RADIO THEATER version of Pinnochio with Jones in the lead role. When you get to the site, click "Start Here", then select "Search By Artist", then select J, then scroll down for Dickie Jones radio credits:

(Courtesy of Duane Fulk)

Above - Duane Fulk with guest star Dick Jones at the 2001 Hoppy Festival in Cambridge, Ohio.

(From Old Corral collection)

Left to right in this lobby card from WILD HORSE ROUND-UP (Ambassador-Conn, 1936) are young Dickie Jones, Frank Hagney, star Kermit Maynard, Dick Curtis, and an unidentified player trying to restrain Curtis. Budd Buster is laying on the floor.

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above from left to right are Muriel Evans, Dickie Jones and Buck Jones on his trusty hoss Silver in SMOKE TREE RANGE (Universal, 1937).

(From Old Corral collection)

Above - Bob Baker, Constance Moore and young Dick Jones in BORDER WOLVES (Universal, 1938). She was also the heroine in Baker's THE LAST STAND (Universal, 1938). Constance Moore did a batch of A and B films, but only a few westerns (including the 1946 IN OLD SACRAMENTO with Bill Elliott). She was 'Wilma Deering' in the BUCK ROGERS cliffhanger which starred Buster Crabbe.

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