Back to prior page

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.

(Courtesy of Jack Tillmany)

May, 1929 stage play in Oakland, California.

(From Old Corral collection)

(Courtesy of Dale Crawford & Jim Sorensen)

Hodgins is interred at Valhalla Memorial Park, North Hollywood, California, Section 147, Garden Of Peace (Urn Garden).
Earle Hodgins

Full name: George Earle Hodgins

sometimes misspelled as: Earl, Hudgins

1893 - 1964

Born in Payson, Utah in 1893, Earle Hodgins began his film career in the mid 1930s and became typecast as a machine gun talking carnival barker, medicine show huckster, con artist, snake oil salesman, auctioneer, etc. And he played that role in scores of films and TV shows. Great examples of Hodgins doing his high speed spiel is in John Wayne's PARADISE CANYON (Lone Star/Monogram, 1935) and the Three Mesquiteers' CALL THE MESQUITEERS (Republic, 1938).

Prior to Hollywood, Earle was a prolific stage and radio performer, and that included a contract with NBC radio. There are newspaper traces of Hodgins doing plays in Salt Lake City in 1920-1921, and in Oakland, California in 1929 (see ad on the left). We now know that Earle's skills at high speed dialog delivery were honed during his radio work. The January 11, 1933 Oakland (California) Tribune newspaper carried a bit on Hodgins in the Radio News and Programs section: "Charles Marshall is now handing nostrums in the Medicine Show in place of Earle Hodgins, who is no longer with NBC." The "ON THE PACIFIC AIR WAVES" column in the July, 1934 issue of Radio Mirror magazine has information on many West Coast radio performers. Excerpts from their piece on Hodgins: "... maybe you have heard (George) Earle Hodgins a Sunday eve on the weekly hi-jinks of KFWB, Hollywood, as he depicts the character of a medicine man selling a mythical beverage known as 'Knee-Paw'." "He was born in Utah of Scotch ancestry, has one son, and moved down from the bay district a couple years ago after experience in stock and on NBC."

He worked in B westerns at Republic, Paramount, and other companies, in films starring William Boyd, Gene Autry, Allan Lane and Sunset Carson. Frequently employed by Republic Pictures, Hodgins' film credits at that studio number about 55 from 1936-1950, and most are B westerns. During a 10+ year period (1937-1947), he appeared in over twenty of the Hopalong Cassidys at Paramount and United Artists.

Earle did have other roles where he wasn't required to demonstrate his rapid fire verbal skills. But my personal recollections of Hodgins remains as:

How can he deliver so many lines of dialog without ever taking a breath!

Occasionally, he had a support or character role in which his dialog was at normal speed. A good example is Hodgins as a government agent who persuades his relative Tim Holt to track down counterfeiters in DUDE COWBOY (RKO, 1941). And Earle got to play a sidekick one time - in the Bill Elliott SAN ANTONIO KID (Republic, 1944), he was "Happy Jack", a character that he also portrayed on radio.

Hodgins did voice work on several 1930s cartoons: he's the narrator of Tex Avery's THE VILLAGE SMITHY (Warners, 1936) and was his fast talking self in GET RICH QUICK PORKY (Warners, 1937) and PORKY'S GARDEN (Warners, 1937).

Earle successfully transitioned to television work in the 1950s and appeared in many TV programs including THE CISCO KID, LONE RANGER, THE RANGE RIDER, WILD BILL HICKOK, GUNSMOKE, RAWHIDE, lots more.

Les Adams has him identified in about 270 sound films, and that includes 136 westerns and 6 serials. His film and television career spanned about thirty years, from approximately 1933 to 1963.

There were at least two marriages for Earle. He was already divorced from an unidentified wife when he married Elizabeth Boiss (or Briss) Davidson Ogilvie in 1925 in Vancouver, British Columbia. They had a son named Gordon who was born circa 1926.

Earle Hodgins passed away on April 14, 1964 in Los Angeles. I found no funeral notices or obituaries on ProQuest obituaries,, or the Newspaper Archive. But there was an obituary in the April 22, 1964 Variety - excerpts: "Earle Hodgins, 65, stage and screen actor who during past 10 years appeared in virtually all the top teleseries, died of a heart attack April 14 in Hollywood." ; "He also worked on radio over his career which spanned more than 35 years." ; "Hodgins last film was Paramount's 'The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance'" ; "His wife and son Gordon, an actor, survive."

  Although some of the data is incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has information on:
Earle Hodgins:
Earle's son Gordon (1925 - 2011) had some TV credits:

The Family Search website (free), (subscription), and California Death Index have information on Earle Hodgins and family:

The Google Newspaper archive has a few tidbits on Earle Hodgins doing plays and working for NBC radio:

Earle in a 1920 play in Salt Lake City, Utah:,1351914&dq=earle-hodgins&hl=en

1931 NBC radio play produced by Earle Hodgins:,2969207&dq=earle-hodgins&hl=en

Find A Grave website has a photo of the grave marker for Earle Hodgins who is interred at Pierce Brothers Valhalla Memorial Park, North Hollywood, California:

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above from L-to-R sitting are Stuart James, Bill Cody, Earle Hodgins and L-to-R standing are Roger Williams and Ace Cain. From THE TEXAS RAMBLER (Spectrum, 1935), which starred Cody. This was one of Hodgins' earliest screen appearances.

(From Old Corral collection)

Above from L-to-R are Black Jack O'Shea, Earle Hodgins, Harry Woods and Bob Livingston in a duotone re-release lobby card from the Three Mesquiteers adventure, RANGE DEFENDERS (Republic, 1937). In this, Hodgins is a crooked sheriff, in cahoots with Harry Woods and gang.

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above from L-to-R are Forrest Taylor (peering off), Nina Guilbert, Earle Hodgins, Bobby Clark, Joyce Bryant, Minerva Urecal, Archie Hall (wearing the badge), and unidentified player on the far right. Bobby Clark/Clack was to star in eight 'Sagebrush Family' yarns, and the head of the clan was 'Doc' Sawyer, ably portrayed by Earle Hodgins. Only one was filmed, THE SAGEBRUSH FAMILY TRAILS WEST (PRC, 1940), which was produced by Sig Neufeld and directed by his brother Sam Newfield (under his 'Peter Stewart' alias).

(From Old Corral collection)

Above from L-to-R are Bob Wilke, Sunset Carson, Rex Lease, Jess Cavin (in background), Earle Hodgins, and Pascale Perry (in background) in a lobby card from FIREBRANDS OF ARIZONA (Republic, 1944), one of the early Sunset Carson series in which Smiley Burnette was given top billing.

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above from left to right are Jess Cavin, Rex Lease, Pascale Perry, Earle Hodgins and Bob Wilke in a crop from a lobby card from the Sunset Carson FIREBRANDS OF ARIZONA (Republic, 1944).

(From Old Corral collection)

Above from left to right are Earle Hodgins, Bobby Blake (as Little Beaver) and Bill Elliott (as Red Ryder) tending to Duncan Renaldo in THE SAN ANTONIO KID (Republic, 1944). This was Earle's solo role as a B-western sidekick.

(From Old Corral collection)

Above - Earle Hodgins in one of his patented (typecast) roles as the fast-talking boss and pitchman from the visiting medicine show in OREGON TRAIL SCOUTS (Republic, 1947), an entry in the Allan Lane/Red Ryder series. Sitting in the back of the wagon and wearing the buckskins is Robert 'Bobby' Blake as 'Little Beaver'.

Back to prior page