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Saddle Pals & Sidekicks

Sid Sailor / Sid Saylor / Syd Saylor

Real name: Leslie Raymond Sailor

1895 - 1962

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above from L-to-R are Syd Saylor (as newspaper reporter 'Breezy Baker'), Ken Maynard and Verna Hillie in a scene from the cliffhanger MYSTERY MOUNTAIN (Mascot, 1934). Saylor was billed as "Sid Saylor" in this. In addition to MYSTERY MOUNTAIN, Saylor's other serials were THE LOST JUNGLE (Mascot, 1934) with Clyde Beatty and BRENDA STARR, REPORTER (Columbia, 1945) with Joan Woodbury and Kane Richmond.

Born in Chicago, Illinois in 1895, Leslie Raymond Sailor became a vaudeville comedian and there's traces that he was a circus acrobat, tight rope walker, and clown.

When he registered for the World War I draft in June, 1917, he was an actor employed by Roy D. Smith, Oakland City, Indiana. Smith was a bandmaster who toured with his Royal Scotch Highlanders troupe and also booked acts for fairs.

In June, 1918, Leslie R. Sailor enlisted in the Marine Corps and records from June, 1918 through August, 1919 have Private Sailor stationed at the Marine Barracks at Paris Island, South Carolina and Quantico, Virginia.

Interesting timing on this ad from the August 10, 1918 issue of Billboard (available at the Internet Archive).

Is the "Comedy Man" sought by Roy D. Smith a replacement for Saylor who joined the Marines about six weeks earlier?

From 1926 - 1930, Leslie Raymond Sailor was "Sid Saylor" and under contract with the Stern Brothers production company. With Stern Brothers, he starred in dozens of two-reel "Let George Do It" and "Newlyweds and Their Baby" silent comedy shorts which were distributed by Universal. The April 10, 1926 Motion Picture News trade publication had an announcement:

"Sid Saylor has been signed to a long term contract by Stern Brothers and his first work will be the role of George in the 'Let George Do It' series of two reel comedies which the Stern Brothers will release through Universal."

When talkies arrived, he became a prolific character/supporting player and comedian in a mix of A and B grade films at various studios and production companies. He turns up often in uncredited roles as a drunk, bartender, reporter, or driving a taxi, bus, truck or wagon.

He did occasional sidekick roles in B westerns with Ken Maynard, Tex Ritter, Buster Crabbe, Johnny Mack Brown, George O'Brien, Kermit Maynard, a few others. He was an original member of Republic's Three Mesquiteers but was replaced by Max Terhune after the initial Mesquiteers entry. He also played Bob Steele's comedic helper in a quartet of 1946 oaters released by Producers Releasing Corporation (PRC).

Saylor had lots of screen time and dialog in his three serials: he was Clyde Beatty's helper in THE LOST JUNGLE (Mascot, 1934); was 'Breezy Baker' in the Ken Maynard MYSTERY MOUNTAIN (Mascot, 1935); and was newspaper photographer 'Chuck Allen' in his third and final cliffhanger, BRENDA STARR, REPORTER (Columbia, 1945).

In the 1950s through early 1960s, Saylor did lots of television, and can be spotted in a (brief) recurring role in THE ADVENTURES OF RIN TIN TIN as well as episodes of MAVERICK, GEORGE BURNS AND GRACIE ALLEN SHOW, the ABBOTT AND COSTELLO SHOW, more.

Along with Edward Arnold, Alan Hale, Charles Coburn, Alan Mowbray and many others, Saylor was a member and officer in the Masquers.

And the answer is "Yes" to Saylor briefly portraying Bozo the Clown. Pinto Colvig was the original Bozo. Circa 1949, Saylor was hired to play the clown and there's more in the book Elmo Williams - A Hollywood Memoir (McFarland and Company, 2006). Elmo Williams mentions both a half-hour show as well as the thirteen half-hour episodes produced for Capitol Records. A few quotes from the book: "Syd Saylor, who played our Bozo, got fifty dollars for each performance. He was always nervous and not too fond of kids." Regarding the Capitol Records one week schedule for Williams to produce thirteen shows: "Syd Saylor agreed to accept five hundred dollars for the week."

Les Adams has him identified in about 234 sound films - that number includes 64 westerns and 3 cliffhangers. Add his 60+ silent comedies and later TV work, and Saylor was a busy man.

Hard to forget when he got nervous or scared - there was a stutter or stammer and his adam's apple would throb and bob. Examples: he does his stuttering bit in Johnny Mack Brown's BRANDED A COWARD (Supreme, 1935) and GUNS IN THE DARK (Supreme/Republic, 1937).

He was a familiar comedy performer and character actor and his movie and television career spanned about 35 years, from about 1926 through 1962.

Leslie Raymond Sailor, AKA Sid Saylor, was found dead in his Glendale, California home on December 21, 1962. There was a coroner's investigation and the cause of death was arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease.

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

Daniel Neyer's "The Files of Jerry Blake" serial website has more on Saylor and his three serials:

YouTube and the Internet Archive have many films and TV shows with Saylor which you can view online or download:
   Internet Archive:[]=%22syd%20saylor%22#collection-date-archived

The Google Newspaper archive has an August 31, 1943 article in the Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania) Press in which Saylor discusses his career - circa 1912, he was a jack of all trades with Mack Sennett productions; then he was with the Barnum and Bailey, Ringling Brothers, and Sells Floto circuses; served in the Marine Corps; more:,384661&hl=en

Syd Saylor briefly portrayed Bozo the Clown in thirteen half-hour shows created by Elmo Williams and Capitol Records. These were televised on KTTV TV in Los Angeles circa 1949:

The Family Search website (free), (subscription), newspapers, Death Certificate, California Death Index, and Social Security Death Index (SSDI) provide more on Syd Saylor / Leslie Raymond Sailor and family.

I was confused with several names reported for Syd's mother. Family trees on clarified her name as Imogene 'Jeanie' Conly (1870 - 1957). And there's questions about Syd's wife Marie - was her last/maiden name Valant, Valent, Walent, etc.?

Confused with all the variations of his birth and stage names: Sailor, Saylor, Sid, Syd. There's photo ads for him in 1937 and 1938 issues of the Academy Players Directory. He's represented by the Max Shagrin Agency ... and he's SYD SAYLOR.

Find A Grave website has a photo of the marker for Syd Saylor at Pierce Brothers Valhalla Memorial Park, North Hollywood, California:

Above - Sid Saylor starred in the 'Let George Do It' and 'Newlyweds and Their Baby' silent comedies in 1926 - 1930 for the Stern Brothers and distributed by Universal. Saylor was in his early thirties in the above photo from a 1927 Exhibitors Daily Review trade publication at the Internet Archive.

Another familiar face starring in Stern Brothers comedies was future B western heavy Charlie King.

(From Old Corral collection)

Above is a Chapter 3 lobby card from THE LOST JUNGLE (Mascot, 1934). From L-to-R are Clyde Beatty, Crauford Kent and Syd Saylor. Saylor was billed as "Syd Saylor" in this. Below is a crop / blowup from this lobby card.

(From Old Corral collection)

(From Old Corral collection)

Saylor was newspaper reporter 'Breezy Baker' in the Ken Maynard MYSTERY MOUNTAIN (Mascot, 1934) serial.

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above from left to right are Charles B. Murphy, Buck Jones pummeling LeRoy Mason, and Syd Saylor in a scene from WHEN A MAN SEES RED (Universal, 1934). He was billed as "Sid Saylor" in this.

(From Old Corral collection)

Above - the title lobby card from the first Three Mesquiteers adventure, aptly titled THE THREE MESQUITEERS (Republic, 1936). He's "Sid Saylor" in this lobby card, but in the film's opening titles and credits, he's billed as "Syd Saylor".

L-to-R in the photo below are Syd Saylor (as 'Lullaby Joslin'), Ray 'Crash' Corrigan and Bob Livingston. Max Terhune replaced Saylor in the next film in the series.

(From Old Corral collection)

(From Old Corral collection)

Above is a lobby card from WILDERNESS MAIL (Ambassador-Conn, 1935), one of the mountie adventures starring Kermit Maynard. On the left, Syd Saylor is wrestling with an unidentified performer (might be Barney Furey or Pat Harmon). Kermit is on the right pounding on an unidentified player. In the far right background and wearing the fur coat is Dick Curtis. Saylor and Curtis were gang members working for brains heavy Fred Kohler. In CODE OF THE MOUNTED (Ambassador-Conn, 1935), Saylor is on the side of the law, playing a mountie helper to Kermit Maynard.

(Courtesy of Tom Bupp)

Above is the title lobby card from ARIZONA DAYS (Grand National, 1937), Tex Ritter's third starring oater for Grand National and producer Ed Finney. Pictured in the bottom right are heroine Eleanor Stewart, child star Tommy Bupp and Syd Saylor.

(Courtesy of Boyd Magers)

Above from left to right are Syd Saylor (as Buster Crabbe's sidekick 'Weary'), Crabbe and lawman Lew Kelly in a re-release lobby card from FORLORN RIVER (Paramount, 1937). A few years earlier, Saylor was Crabbe's saddle pal in NEVADA (Paramount, 1935).

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

In Bob Steele's quartet of mid 1940s PRC oaters - as well as his earlier mountie adventure NORTHWEST TRAIL (Action Pictures/Lippert, 1945) - he rode a horse named 'Coco' (recognizable by the blonde mane and tail). The above is a crop from a lobby card from SIX GUN MAN (PRC, 1946) with Steele and sidekick Syd Saylor.

(From Old Corral collection)

Above - Saylor tweaks Bud Geary's nose while mustached Bob Steele does some restraining in a photo from the pressbook for Steele's THUNDER TOWN (PRC, 1946). Bud Geary is best known as a stuntman but in this film, he played the brains heavy. This was one of Geary's last films - he passed away on February 22, 1946 from injuries suffered in a car accident.

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