Jun 7, 2011

Hopalong Cassidy

June 5 is the anniversary of the birth of William Boyd, born in 1895. Boyd is known to movie-goers and TV audiences throughout the world as Hopalong Cassidy. During his heyday, millions of fans would turn out to see him in personal appearances. He first played the role of the cowboy hero in the 1935 movie, Hop-a-long Cassidy. The character came from 28 western novels written by Clarence Mulford.

He was one of the few 'good guys' who wore black. In those days most of the good guys wore anything but black and the bad guys wore black. The picture below shows him in character with Dennis Weaver (as Chester B. Goode) James Arness (as Matt Dillon) from Gunsmoke. Weaver passed away in 2006 and Arness passed away last week, June 3, 2011. Arness' brother was Peter Graves from Mission Impossible fame.

Gunsmoke was just beginning as Boyd was retiring and he turned his whole production company over to CBS for that show, so his entire crew would not be put out of work.

Boyd was Hopalong Cassidy in 66 films through 1948 and then he starred as Hopalong in the successful TV series in the 1950s. For over twenty years, children and adults both loved the adventures of Hopalong Cassidy, his horse Topper, and his sidekick played by George ‘Gabby’ Hayes. He ranks up there with Gene Autry and Roy Rogers who made the successful transition from movie westerns to the 'new' television. Back then westerns dominated TV as much as crime shows do now.

Couldn't resist tossing this one in with my brothers and me in my Christmas Hoppy outfit.