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Celebrating Tonto …

5 Aug

Jay Silverheels - Tonto Portrait

Jay Silverheels / Tonto

Born: 26 May 1912 , Six Nations Reservation, Brantford, Ontario, Canada  Was a full-blooded Mohawk Indian, one of 11 children of A.G.E. Smith, who had served as a decorated officer in the Canadian forces in WWI.

Birth name: Harold J. Smith

Adopted the nickname ‘Silverheels” during a very brief boxing career, which saw him compete as a middleweight in a Golden Gloves bout in New York City’s Madison Square Garden.
Alternate story: Jay took his stage name of Silverheels from his track days as a youth, when, wearing white shoes, he ran so fast his feet appeared to be streaks of white. Since he thought it would be awkward for a Native American to have the name of Whiteheels, he chose Silver instead.

Wikipedia: “While playing in Los Angeles on a touring box lacrosse team in 1937, he impressed Joe E. Brown with his athleticism. Brown encouraged Silverheels to do a screen test, which led to his acting career.  Silverheels began working in motion pictures as an extra and stunt man.”

Internet Movie Datebase (IMDB): “He was a star lacrosse player and a boxer before he entered films as a stuntman in 1938. He worked in a number of films through the 1940s before gaining notice as the Osceola brother in a Humphrey Bogart film Key Largo (1948) (John Huston cast him). Most of Silverheels’ roles consisted of bit parts as an Indian character. In 1949, he worked in the movie The Cowboy and the Indians (1949) with another “B movie” actor Clayton Moore. Later that year, Silverheels was hired to play the faithful Indian companion, Tonto, in the TV series The Lone Ranger (1949) series, which brought him the fame that his motion picture career never did.
“Silverheels could not escape the typecasting of Tonto. He would continue to appear in an occasional film and television show but became a spokesperson to improve the portrayal of Indians in the media.”
- IMDb Mini Biography By: Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Reportedly beat out 35 other actors to win the Tonto role in the initial radio version of “The Lone Ranger“, which he had been invited to audition for based on his appearance in Key Largo (1948).

“Silverheels became an outspoken activist for Indian rights and a respected teacher within the Indian acting community. He appeared on talk and variety shows performing his own poetry. In later years, he began a second career as a harness racer. His health failed in the 1970s, and he died of a stroke in 1980, a beloved figure to the Baby Boom generation America. His son, Jay Silverheels Jr. has acted in television as well.”
- IMDb Mini Biography By: Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Jay played Apache chief Geronimo in two films, Broken Arrow (1950) and Walk The Proud Land (1956).

First Americans in the Arts honored Jay Silverheels with their Life Achievement Award.

Jay founded the Indian Actors’ Workshop in Echo, California in 1963.

Inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in 1993.

Jay was inducted into the Ontario Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 1997.

Was an avid horse-racer when not acting.

 

The Lone Ranger ______ Onward Ho ___

28 Jul

Let’s see now … where wuz I?
OH YA …
The Lone Ranger …

Texas Rangers badge 2
The Lone Ranger 6

I never dreamed that there was so much stuff on the Lone Ranger. My Lone Ranger files are now so large that I could make a book if I wanted to. In one way I’m glad about this – because I thought the Ranger was in danger of being forgotten and left behind: Extinction – as his many fans fall one by one  – ambushed by time.

I’m referring, of course, to the Clayton Moore Lone Ranger - not the recent venture with Johnny Depp – which I can tell you was not well received by most of the Ranger’s original fans. I’m not sure how time will treat Depp’s Ranger – though there is certainly a generation of young people who do not recall ANY Ranger previous to that and might think that’s fine stuff. But for the rest of us that jury was hung a long time ago.

However, there are still legitimate fears that Moore’s Ranger may eventually fade – even though his iconic persona seems embedded in our culture. The main problem is the lack of anything other than the original Lone Ranger TV Series that folks might be inclined to watch – which is probably not going to be the case for our newer generations.

We really only have this about 3 Clayton Moore Lone Ranger Movies: The Lone Ranger: Enter the Lone Ranger (1949), The Lone Ranger (1956), and The Lone Ranger and the Lost City of Gold (1958).

With this is mind – and heart …

 The Lone Ranger: Enter the Lone Ranger (1949)

Enter the Lone Ranger 1949 2

Enter the Lone Ranger 1949

Enter the Lone Ranger 1949 3

Enter the Lone Ranger 1949 35

The Lone Ranger pistol bar

The Lone Ranger (1956)

“The Lone Ranger was the first of two Technicolor theatrical features based on the popular TV series of the same name. Clayton Moore and Jay Silverheels, stars of the video version, essay the roles of the Masked Rider of the Plains and his faithful Indian companion Tonto.” – Rotten Tomatoes

The Lone Ranger Poster 2

The Lone Ranger 1956

The Lone Ranger 1956 2

The Lone Ranger pistol bar

The Lone Ranger and the Lost City of Gold (1956)

The Lone Ranger and the Lost City of Gold

The Lone Ranger and the Lost City of Gold

IMDB City of GoldRotten Tomatoes City of Gold

The Lone Ranger lost city of gold

There you are – the 3 Clayton Moore Lone Ranger movies. Enough to keep the Moore’s Ranger legacy alive?

Time … will tell.

The Lone Ranger / Posters and such …

17 Jul

The Lone Ranger PosterThe Lone Ranger Poster 2 The Lone Ranger Poster 3 The Lone Ranger Poster 4 The Lone Ranger Poster 5 The Lone Ranger Poster 6 The Lone Ranger Poster 7 The Lone Ranger Poster 8 The Lone Ranger Poster 10 The Lone Ranger Poster 11 The Lone Ranger Poster 13 The Lone Ranger Poster 14 The Lone Ranger Poster 15

Lone Ranger outfit fetches nearly $200,000 …

15 Jul

http://www.wacotrib.com/news/business/lone-ranger-outfit-fetches-nearly/article_1767a65b-a4d2-5307-b867-8dc34ec852ff.html?mode=story

Posted: Monday, July 14, 2014 1:44 pm |Updated: 1:12 am, Tue Jul 15, 2014.

Bidding on the powder-blue shirt and trousers, hat, holster and Colt sidearms made famous by “The Lone Ranger” television series in the 1950s hit a lull at about $100,000, then took off like a silver bullet, eventually bringing $195,000 for the estate of longtime Waco businessman Robert E. Davis.

The Ranger outfit, worn by actor Clayton Moore when he made appearances as the character after the series ended, highlighted the sale hosted by A&S Auction, attracting buyers from around the state to Waco and from around the country by phone.

When the counting and fast talking had concluded, the “Western Auction” had generated $790,000 for multiple sellers — of which A&S took 20 percent.

“It went very well,” said auctioneer and A&S owner Scott Franks, who had pointed to Saturday’s sale as something special, primarily because of the Lone Ranger memorabilia.

The buyer, a collector from North Texas whom Franks has known for years, prefers to remain unidentified for now.

“He wants to keep it in his main corporate office and just look at it for a while,” Franks said. “Someday, he may not mind his name being made public.”

Davis’ son, Earl Davis, said the family was pleased by the work of A&S Auction and the price his late father’s once-prized possessions captured.

“The sale itself was pretty exciting,” said Davis, who serves as president of the family business founded in 1928, Davis Brothers Publishing.

“The bidding hit $100,000, and the next thing I knew they were saying $105,000, $110,000, $115,000. It was fun to watch,” Davis said.

The proceeds will go to Davis’ mother, Mary Ann Davis, who likely will invest it, Davis said.

Meanwhile, the family is making plans to sell another item the elder Davis acquired in the 1960s — a receipt signed by Col. William B. Travis for coffee, lead for use in firearms and other provisions for the men defending the Alamo in March 1836 from the onslaught of Mexican Gen. Santa Anna.

It will be offered for sale Sept. 17 in Boston, and a reserve bid of $100,000 has been established, “but I’d like to think we can get at least $125,000,” Davis said.

A receipt Travis signed to secure 30 head of beef for the defenders of the Alamo once produced a $170,000 payday for the Davis family.

Other Lone Ranger-related items proved popular at Saturday’s sale.

A small plastic radio crafted by Majestic Radio & Television Co. and bearing the image of the “masked man” sold for $1,600 to Bob Bruning, of Omaha, Nebraska, who also shelled out $1,750 for a Ranger-related silver bullet.

“Clayton Moore, who played the Lone Ranger, would give these .45-caliber bullets to U.S. presidents and to crippled children,” Franks said.

Meanwhile, John Runk, of St. Genevieve, Missouri, called in the winning bid of $8,000 on a single-action Army Colt revolver that had bidders salivating because it was inspected by Orville W. Ainsworth, the first principal subinspector assigned by the War Department to examine products of Colt Firearms.

The gun, which was dubbed the Peacemaker, was heavily used by the U.S. Cavalry during the 1870s, including George Armstrong Custer’s 7th Cavalry Regiment.

A total of more than 450 items found new owners, the list including Western art, spurs, antiques, firearms and novelty items such as old poker chips and playing cards.

Franks said A&S hosts three or four major auctions a year, and he spends the balance of his time contracting to carry out sales for smaller estates.

The Lone Ranger Creed … Revisited

7 Jul

The Lone Ranger Creed

The enduring popularity of the original Lone Ranger is a very interesting phenomenon which must mystify a lot of todays young people who never grew up with it – and probably consider the whole thing to be somewhat Camp in character.
Yet there are still several (many?) Lone Ranger websites on the internet – well over 60 years after the masked man rode across our black and white TV sets.
That says that something is special. But what? Why?

What was it about this guy – and what he stood for – that grabbed so many people … and still does?

Surely a part of it is embodied in The Lone Ranger Creed.


The Lone Ranger Theme / William Tell Overture /  Gioachino Rossini

The Lone Ranger Creed 2

The Lone Ranger Mask

The Lone Ranger Creed 1

The Lone Ranger: “Only you, Tonto, know I’m alive. To the world, I’ll be buried here beside my brother and my friends… forever.”

Tonto: “You are alone now. Last man. You are lone ranger.”

The Lone Ranger: “Yes, Tonto, I am… the Lone Ranger.”

The Lone Ranger pistol bar

Clayton Moore - The Lone Ranger

“Once I got the Lone Ranger role, I didn’t want any other.”

~ Clayton Moore

The Lone Ranger and Tonto – Silver and Scout

22 Jun

The Lone Ranger and Tonto / Silver and Scout

I’m sure most people think that The Lone Ranger came out of the 50’s. Wrong! The Lone Ranger started on radio back before 1933 and ran over 900 shows up until 1956. 23 years! It translated to TV from 1949 to 1957.

So … my “Thrilling days of yesterday” go back to the early 50’s when I used to listen to The Lone Ranger on the radio. We didn’t always have a TV because Dad feared (rightly) that we wouldn’t read much.  But I loved the radio shows and listened to Hopalong Cassidy, Sergeant Preston of the Yukon, The Shadow, Superman – and a few other radio programs as well. Grand stuff.

The Lone Ranger page 1

The Lone Ranger Page 2

The Lone Ranger and Silver

The Lone Ranger Theme / William Tell Overture by Rossini 

The Lone Ranger pistol bar

Tonto and Scout 2

Silver Bullets

Silver

that long ago

Steeds of Renown _______ The Western Quiz

12 Jun

The End of an Era

The Lone Ranger and Tonto

If there’s any one thing that separates the modern Western from Westerns of the past, it’s the loss of Romance.
Nothing illustrates this loss more than the almost non-existent relationship between the modern Western Hero and his Horse/Steed.
In the modern Western a horse is just a prop – a vehicle  – a necessary, but no-named beast. Slap on your saddle and ride off – not likely into the sunset.

It’s sad I tell ya.

WIth that in mind I’d like to pay homage to those lost Days of Yesteryear …
with this quiz:

The Steeds of Renown / A quiz:

The quiz matchups range from ridiculously easy – to insanely difficult.
And some are just plain ridiculous.

Click link below to do this quiz:

http://q40655.questionwritertracker.com/NDTPQM83/

Steeds of Renown Quiz

Cat Ballou - Lee Marvin and Steed

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz . . . . . . . . . .

I hope that was a bit of fun for you. 

Your Score: 

Less than 10 correct = Stand down wind Please.

13 Correct = Fetch yer saddle. 

16 correct = Let’s ride!

19 correct = Welcome at my campfire.

22 or more correct = There’s a bottle in the saddlebag … 

The Lone Ranger Creed

16 Apr

The Lone Ranger Theme / William Tell Overture /  Gioachino Rossini

The Lone Ranger Creed

The Lone Ranger Creed

The Lone Ranger: “Only you, Tonto, know I’m alive. To the world, I’ll be buried here beside my brother and my friends… forever.”

Tonto: “You are alone now. Last man. You are lone ranger.”

The Lone Ranger: “Yes, Tonto, I am… the Lone Ranger.”

Tonto … Jay Silverheels

13 Apr

Jay Silverheels - Tonto 3

Jay Silverheels / Canadian Mohawk
Jay Silverheels achieved his greatest fame as the The Lone Ranger’s friend, Tonto. Being irreplaceable as the Lone Ranger’s best friend he subsequently also appeared in films, The Lone Ranger (1956) as well as in The Lone Ranger and the Lost City of Gold (1958). – Wikipedia

Jay Silverheels - Tonto

Silverheels began working in motion pictures as an extra and stunt man in 1937. During the early years of his screen career, he was billed variously as Harold Smith or Harry Smith, and appeared in low-budget features, westerns, and serials. He adopted his screen name from the nickname he had had as a speedy lacrosse player. From the late 1940s he played in more prestigious pictures, including Captain from Castile starring Tyrone Power, I Am an American (1944), Key Largo with Humphrey Bogart (1948), Lust for Gold with Glenn Ford (1949), Broken Arrow (1950) with James StewartWar Arrow (1953) with Maureen O’HaraJeff Chandler and Noah Beery, Jr., Drums Across the River (1954), Walk the Proud Land (1956) with Audie Murphy and Anne BancroftAlias Jesse James (1959) with Bob Hope, and Indian Paint (1964) with Johnny Crawford. He made a brief appearance in True Grit (1969) as a condemned criminal about to be executed. He played a substantial role as John Crow in Santee (1973), starring Glenn Ford. One of his last roles was a wise white-haired chief in The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing (1973). – Wikepedia

Tonto / Shaman …

5 Oct

In scouting between the lines of the trailer for the new The Lone Ranger movie (starring Johnny Depp as Tonto), we glean that Depp’s portrayal of Tonto appears to be – in part – that of a Native Shaman. (Tread softly Johnny. Critics – and many natives – await in ambush.)

 The image below is stated as that which Depp bases his portrayal of Tonto upon:

Painting by Kirby Sattler “I Am Crow.”

Kirby Sattler / Artist / Website: http://kirbysattler.sattlerartprint.com/

More info:

Johnny Depp Reveals The Inspiration Behind His Tonto Look In ‘The Lone Ranger

http://www.geeksofdoom.com/2012/04/24/johnny-depp-reveals-the-inspiration-behind-his-tonto-look-in-the-lone-ranger/

In the best interests of tabloid journalism … questions – like smoke signals – do arise. And where there’s smoke ….

Yet Depp’s answers give us hope:

“One of the more curious aspects of the Tonto make-up is the series of black lines that run down his face. According to Depp, those lines are meant to symbolize the character’s emotional life. “There’s this very wise quarter, a very tortured and hurt section, an angry and rageful section, and a very understanding and unique side. I saw these parts, almost like dissecting a brain, these slivers of the individual,” Depp explained. “That makeup inspired me.”

The revitalized Tonto has been met with more than its fair share of criticism, much like Jack Sparrow was in the very beginning. No part of the character’s new look has been mocked as much as the crow that sits on top of his head, another inspiration from the Sattler painting. “It just so happened Sattler had painted a bird flying directly behind the warrior’s head. It looked to me like it was sitting on top,” Depp said. “I thought: Tonto’s got a bird on his head. It’s his spirit guide in a way. It’s dead to others, but it’s not dead to him. It’s very much alive.”

The Lone Ranger 2013 – Depp as Tonto

So far … so good.

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