Do Cowboys Go To College?

July 20, 2008

More precisely: do Western movie stars go to college?

Here are the academic careers of the first generation of Cowboy stars:

Tom Mix – enlisted in the Army at 18, worked at the Miller Brothers 101 Ranch, and rode in the rodeo. He started his film career as a cattle wrangler on early cowboy pictures.

Buck Jones – joined the US Army at 16, drove race-cars and performed in Wild West shows before his movie career.

Ken Maynard – a rodeo rider and trick rider with Buffalo Bill ‘s Wild West Show and with Ringling Brothers. Served in the Army during WWI.

Tim McCoy – dropped out of St. Ignatius College, a Jesuit school in Chicago, to work on a Wyoming ranch, and then served in World War I before Hollywood.

Hoot Gibson – worked as a ranch hand during his youth, competed in rodeos and served in WW1.

Here are Charles’ contemporaries:

Johnny “Mack” Brown – football star at University of Alabama, appeared on Wheaties Cereal boxes, became an movie actor.

“Wild Bill” Elliot – grew up on a Missouri Ranch, dropped out of community college to enroll in the Pasadena Community Playhouse.

Russell Hayden – no information on his academic career, he worked as a grip before his big break.

Charles Starrett – Worchester Academy, Darthmouth College.

Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

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