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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.


Budd Buster
Birth name: Budd Leland Buster or Leland Buster
1891 - 1965

Budd Buster was born June 14, 1891 in Colorado to Anna/Annie and John M. Buster.

There's scuttlebutt that Budd worked briefly in some early films on the east coast, long before Hollywood was created. And he also appeared in vaudeville and road shows. All of that is suspect. A search of the many trade publications at the Internet Archive had no matches for Leland Buster, Bud Buster, or Budd Buster working in films, stage, or vaudeville in the years 1900 - early 1930s.

From birth through the 1930 census, Budd was living in Colorado Springs, Colorado or the Ivywild subdivision in Colorado Springs. Those communities are located in El Paso County, Colorado. And he's a "liveryman", "driver" and "breeder - kennels" in the 1920 and 1930 census and World War I draft registration. Colorado Springs City Directories note that Budd, his father John, and another gent were owners of the Colorado Springs Auto and Carriage Livery Company. And in 1930, Budd built a Pee-Wee football field in Colorado Springs.

As to his birth name - he's "Budd Leland Buster" on his World War I and World War II draft registrations.

There were a few articles on him at the Newspaper Archive:

Jump to 1930 and Budd was nearly forty years old. He was still in Colorado, operating a kennel and building that Pee-Wee football stadium. His film career began late 1933 - early 1934. The reasoning for his move to Tinseltown and the movie business is lost in Hollywood history.

Budd Buster's greatest talent was his ability to handle many different roles by modifying his look via makeup or a costume change. And if the job required an older man or a younger man, he added a mustache ... or dark hair ... or grey hair ... whatever was needed. His expertise with makeup - along with an extensive costume collection - allowed him to play multiple roles in a film. And a few examples follow:

On a few occasions, Budd played sidekick to the hero. Examples:

I have several favorite Budd Buster roles: he's the old, grizzled, and dirty "desert rat" in Tim McCoy's FIGHTING RENEGADE (Victory, 1939); and he's a crazed miner in Buster Crabbe's WILD HORSE PHANTOM (PRC, 1944) and that oater includes Fuzzy St. John vs. a flying bat in an old, dark mine.

Les Adams has him in about 300 sound films - of those, 254 are westerns and 18 are serials. He played all kinds of parts - henchman, old codger, townsman, father of the heroine, military officer, lawman, ranch owner, bank clerk, newspaper editor, wagon train scout, sidekick ... you name it. He could also handle a team of horses and occasionally drove a buckboard, wagon or stage. While Budd seemed to be a fixture in sagebrush adventures at Monogram and PRC, he did about 65 films for Republic Pictures during the years 1936 - 1954, and those were mostly westerns along with a half dozen serials. Prolific director Sam Newfield had a stable of dependables that he employed - and Budd was in 50+ Newfield films scattered over the years 1937 - 1948.

If ol' Budd had a credited role, his name was sometimes misspelled as "Bud" (with one D) in the film's opening / closing titles and credits.

Budd was a dog fancier and breeder in his Colorado Springs days. In their later years, he and wife Mary bred toy and miniature poodles and won many trophies and ribbons. There's links below to an ad for their poodle business along with a large newspaper article on the Buster family (and I've highlighted that newspaper article below with a ).

Budd L. Buster passed away from a heart attack on December 22, 1965. Found no obituaries or funeral notices in newspapers or the Variety tradepaper. About six months later, Budd's wife Mary Agnes McGrath Buster passed away (on May 26, 1966).

I've become a fan of Budd Buster for his many screen roles ... and his versatility. Using a sports term to describe him, ol' Budd was a topnotch "utility player".

Further down this webpage is info on Budd's children, son John L. and daughter Mary Jane. John appeared in a couple of Buster Crabbe westerns and Mary Jane married actor and real life lawman Allen Greer.

Budd Buster's movie stats. A very busy guy in the 1930s and 1940s.
Includes westerns, serials, other films. Budd's few TV appearances are not included. I've used the RELEASE dates (not filming dates) from the Internet Movie Database so the results may be a little skewed. Best guess is that his poodle breeding business became his primary income source beginning in the mid to late 1940s. Total film count in this chart = 300.
1935 1936 1937 1938 1939 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948 1949 1950 1951 1952 1953-

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

The Family Search website (free) and (subscription) have more on Budd Buster and family. An unanswered question is whether his real name was Budd ... or was that a nickname that he later adopted. As mentioned earlier, he's "Budd Leland Buster" on his World War I and World War II draft registrations.

Note the 1935 marriage of Budd's daughter Mary Jane to actor Allen Greer, and they divorced in the 1940s. Allen James Greer passed away in 1956 in Fresno County, California.

Budd Buster family ... and poodles:

K. P. Kollenborn has The Buster Clan blog, and the page on Budd Leland Buster is at:
She also created a nine minute video tribute on Budd:

Screen capture from PRAIRIE BADMEN (PRC, 1946)
Budd's son John Leland Buster (1918 - 1974)

Left is Budd's son John L. Buster and he appeared in a couple of mid 1940s Buster Crabbe westerns at Producers Releasing Corporation (PRC).

He has a good role - including some singin' and guitar playin' - in Crabbe's PRAIRIE BADMEN (PRC, 1946).

Internet Movie Database (IMDb) for John L. Buster:

California Death Index has a record for John Buster, born 7/29/1918 in Colorado and he passed away 6/4/1974 in the Los Angeles area:

Find A Grave has info on U. S. Air Force veteran John Leland Buster (1918 - 1974), who is interred at Los Angeles National Cemetery, Los Angeles, California:

The U. S. Veterans Administration gravesite locator website at has the following information on Budd's son, John L. Buster:
     PFC (Private First Class) US AIR FORCE
     DATE OF BIRTH: 06/29/1918
     DATE OF DEATH: 06/04/1974

Budd's daughter Mary Jane Buster (1915 - 1998)
Nickname of "Bonnie"

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above is a Chapter 8 lobby card from CUSTER'S LAST STAND (Stage & Screen, 1936). L-to-R are Rex Lease, William Farnum, Allen Greer (as 'Wild Bill Hickok'), and sitting is Budd Buster (playing a Cavalry officer).

Allen James Greer (1910 - 1956) did about three dozen films in the 1930s and most were uncredited roles. Before and after Hollywood, he was a law enforcement officer, gunsmith, and fast-draw expert.

CUSTER'S LAST STAND was filmed in mid to late Summer, 1935. A few months later, Allen Greer became Budd Buster's son-in-law. He and Mary Jane Buster tied the knot on October 5, 1935 and son Allen Jr. was born in 1937. They divorced in the mid 1940s and both he and Mary Jane settled down with new spouses.

Appears that Greer had some serious scuffles as a peace officer. had his World War II draft registration dated October 16, 1940 - Allen James Greer was born November 6, 1910 in Minnesota; wife Mary Jane was his contact and they lived at 6233 La Mirada, Los Angeles; his occupation was "Free Lance Actor and Gun Smith". Also noted on his draft registration: "Gun shot scar left breast and right hip. Knife scar in right breast."

  Although some of the data is incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has information on Allen Greer in about three dozen films:

October 5, 1935 Los Angeles marriage license of Mary Jane Buster (20 years old; born Colorado), to actor Allen James Greer (24 years old; born Minnesota). Was first marriage for both:

California Birth Index for their son Allen J. Greer Jr., born January 25, 1937 in Los Angeles, and mother's maiden name was Buster:

1940 census - 29 year old Allen J. Greer (born Minnesota; occupation "Actor - Moving Picture Studio"), his 23 year old wife Mary Jane (born Colorado), and 3 year old son Allen J. Jr. (born California) were renting in Los Angeles: had the 1944 North Hollywood City Directory. Allen J. Greer and wife Mary Jane were living at 11548 Victory. His occupation was "dep sheriff" (Deputy Sheriff).

February 24, 1998 Fresno, California Bee newspaper had a funeral notice for Mary Jane Stover, retired dog groomer, and she passed away on February 23, 1998:

Find A Grave has a photo of the marker for Mary Jane Buster Stover (1915 - 1998) who is interred at Clovis Cemetery, Clovis, Fresno County, California:

Find A Grave has a photo of the marker for Allen James Greer (1910 - 1956) who is interred at Tollhouse Cemetery, Tollhouse, Fresno County, California:

Budd Buster in films ... and with many looks.

(Courtesy of Jack Tillmany)

Above - Budd Buster in an unidentified still.

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

L-to-R are Bill Cody, Bud Pope, Ethel Jackson, Donald Reed, Budd Buster, and Bert Young in Cody's SIX GUN JUSTICE (Spectrum, 1935). This was probably filmed back-to-back with Cody's THE VANISHING RIDERS (Spectrum, 1935) as Jackson, Pope, Reed, Buster, Young, and a few others were also in VANISHING.

(From Old Corral collection)

Above are Budd Buster (left) and Stanley Blystone (right) in Hoot Gibson's THE RIDING AVENGER (Diversion, 1936). Budd was about 45 years old and Blystone was around 42 when they did this oater.

(From Old Corral collection)

L-to-R are Budd Buster, Jack Perrin, Phil Dunham and Ed Cassidy (without his customary moustache) in a lobby card and crop/blowup from Perrin's HAIR-TRIGGER CASEY (Atlantic, 1936).

(From Old Corral collection)

Above - Kermit Maynard gives Budd Buster an overhead toss while Frank Hagney looks on from the left in a lobby card from Kermit's WILD HORSE ROUND-UP (Ambassador/Conn, 1936).

(From Old Corral collection)

L-to-R are young Dickie Jones, Frank Hagney, Kermit Maynard, Dick Curtis, and an unidentified player trying to restrain Curtis in another lobby card from WILD HORSE ROUND-UP (Ambassador/Conn, 1936). Budd Buster is laying on the floor, holding his jaw. As an adult, Dick Jones was TV's BUFFALO BILL JR. and the helper to Jock Mahoney in THE RANGE RIDER TV show.

(From Old Corral collection)

Above - Bill Cody and Gertrude Messinger (sometimes spelled Messenger) look worried as they examine the body of Budd Buster in BLAZING JUSTICE (Spectrum, 1936). Gertie's Hollywood career began when she was a youngster, and she co-starred in THE BOY FRIENDS series for producer Hal Roach. Future stuntman Dave Sharpe was also a member of that Roach series, and Gertie was once married to Sharpe.

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

L-to-R are Allen Greer, Budd Buster, William Farnum, Bobby Nelson, Nancy Caswell, Josef Swickard, and Milburn Morante in a Chapter 9 lobby card from CUSTER'S LAST STAND (Stage & Screen, 1936).

Screen capture of Budd Buster as President Abraham Lincoln (in silhouette) giving orders to Bob Steele in CAVALRY (A. W. Hackel / Republic, 1936).

This scene begins around 11 minutes into the film.

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

L-to-R are Bob Steele, Bob Livingston, William Farnum, Budd Buster, Hal Price and Wally West in a crop from a lobby card from the Three Mesquiteers' GANGS OF SONORA (1941).

(Courtesy of Minard Coons)

L-to-R are Budd Buster (as the Mayor), Steve Clark (sheriff), Max 'Alibi' Terhune, and John 'Dusty' King in the Range Busters adventure BOOT HILL BANDITS (Monogram, 1942). This one is chock full of familiar villains - Ray Corrigan battles "the Maverick", the scar faced brute portrayed by big Glenn Strange. Other bad guys were John Merton, I. Stanford Jolley and George Chesebro. At the end, Budd Buster is revealed as the brains heavy.

(Courtesy of Minard Coons)

During the filming of the Range Busters adventure THE HAUNTED RANCH (Monogram, 1943), trio member Dave Sharpe got the call for World War II duty. Rex Lease came in at about the mid-point of this film as the sub for Sharpe.  Above from L-to-R are: Bud Osborne, Carl Mathews, Glenn Strange, Budd Buster, Max Terhune and Rex Lease. Note Budd Buster's height.

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