Other Cowboy Stars – The Rough Riders

September 14, 2008

Seeing the Rough Riders in action makes one applaud Charles Starrett’s decision to retire while he was a relatively young, and fit, 48.

Buck Jones (50 but looking 70) plays Marshal Buck Roberts.  Tim McCoy (also an older-looking 50) plays Marshal Tim McCall.  Raymond Hatton (54) plays Marshal Sandy Hopkins.  These old coots are the Rough Riders.

The Rough Riders made 8 films for Monogram Pictures between 1941 and 1942.  “Arizona Bound” is the first one.  They were all shot near Newhall, William S. Hart’s chosen place of retirement, at the Monograph Ranch.

Buck is heavy set, but he still has most of his hair.  He does his own stunts, which would seem impressive except that he looks exactly like what he is, an old man struggling in the saddle.

Tim has aged a little better.  He too has put on a few pounds.  That flashing anger in his eyes is still present, and still pretty intense.  He also still darn quick with the draw.

Raymond Hatton is the comic relief, and does a nice job for an old man.

In “Arizona Bound”, even the supporting cast is on the older side.

Charles was starting to look pretty long in the tooth when he quit acting in 1952, but he was still trim and athletic.  I know that his sight left him in later years, I don’t know if that was a factor in his retirement as well.

Buck Jones died the next year in the tragic Coconut Grove fire in Boston.  Tim McCoy lived to the ripe old age of 87.  Raymond Hatton left us in 1971 at the age of 84.


3 Responses to “Other Cowboy Stars – The Rough Riders”

  1. Peter Valenti said

    Even when he was younger, Buck Jones seemed like an od man. Maybe the weatherbeaten features? The Rough Riders had a great theme song–I think one of the touches that made Truffault such a fan of Monogram’s product.

  2. I had a few of the Rough Rider films on VHS, until I rid my collection of them. Like to have them on DVD one of these days.

    If I recall correctly, Jones was actually trying to help other patrons escape the fire when he was killed. Not sure where I read that particular bit of info.

  3. Buck Jones was killed in the Coconut Grove fire of 1942. Whether he was trying to rescue other victims at the time of his death is not really known. There were plans for him to continue the Rough Riders series with Raymond Hatton. One film “Dawn on the Great Divide” using the Buck Roberts character had already been shot and was released posthumously. Tim McCoy had already been recalled back into military service at the time of Jones’death.

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