He’s Charles Starrett and he appeared in 168 films between 1930 and 1952.  135 of those are Westerns made during his 17 years with Columbia Pictures.

If you’re asking: “Who is this guy?”  Then you’re home.  Or if you have fond memories of the actor — welcome.  That’s what this site is about.

If Charley lives in your head inside a thick black-marker circle which you need to refresh daily, then you need to saddle up your ponies and head for the horizon.  We’ve seen your kind around here before and we don’t cotton to your actions.

33 Responses to “About The Durango Kid”

  1. Gordon Green said

    I’m a great admirer of the Durango films and character, but regarding Charles Starrett’s voice, I read somewhere that one of his co-workers (maybe Smiley?) said he was kind of a mush-mouth. Sometimes his slurring of words impaired the heroic image. And indeed, the mush-mouth description seems to fit. Unlike James Cagney, Starrett coudn’t speak rapidly. He had to speak slowly and carefully to be understood. But it suited both Durango and Steve just fine, I think.

  2. stevesomething said

    That is fascinating. Do you know where you read this? I will watch these films now with this in mind!

  3. Mike Newton said

    Regarding Starrett’s enunciation, perhaps the reader was not aware that Starrett was from Masssachusetts and had a definite New England accent which may not register on the ears of someone who is used to a slow Southern drawl. If you listen to him carefully, you might notice that he broadens his “A’s” a bit. The word “car” might sound like “caw.” Here’s something else that is interesting. Many reviewers have concluded the Starrett’s movies were more popular in the South because they had the rural comedy of Burnette and the country western music of the different musical groups. In other words, little boys from the New England or New York states wouldn’t have been caught dead watching a cowboy movie. Guess again. Being a cowboy was the fantasy of little boys coast to coast regardless of whether they were in a big city or small town.

  4. June Main said

    My mother, brother and I lived in Hyannis on the south shore of Cape Cod. In the summer, our house turned into a guest house. For a few summers in a row in the late 40s and early 50s, Charlie Starrett and his lady friend stayed with us. I was a young teenager at the time and went to Craigville Beach with them. My mother and father were separated, and Charlie took me “under his wing” when he stayed with us, teaching me how to dive off the “big” raft quite far out in the ocean at Craigville Beach. I remember him as a very thoughtful, kindly friend. If I can find them, I have a couple of photos that may be of interest to you.

    Yes, we pronounced car as “caw,” or actually closer to “cah,” as many “r”s weren’t pronounced . . . you “pahkt the cah.” I’ve lived in Florida since 1966, and have taught on elementary school and college level for 37 years. I’ve had to change my pronunciation of words to include all “r”s to be understood.

  5. June Main said

    Actually Charlie Starrett came with his wife. I should have been more specific.

  6. Yes, and his wife’s name was Mary..they had twin boys and Charles Starret was my father’s uncle, so he was my great-uncle and I met him often as he and Mary used to “come on” east as they’d say and visit Athol, where he grew up, and Cape Cod..I always called him Uncle Charlie and have a picture of him in his later years holding my oldest son in his arms. He was a lot of fun to know. I also stayed with him and Mary at their home in Laguna Beach CA..he was many years retired by then and always a gentleman.

  7. STEPHEN ONEIL said

    I HAVE REALLY ENJOYED THE STARRETT WESTERNS…I DID NOT GROW UP AS A WESTERN FAN…IT’S ONLY IN THE LAST 5 YEARS OR SO THAT I DISCOVERED “THE DURANGO KID” AND MY OTHER FAVORITE BUSTER CRABBE’S BILLY THE KID SERIES WITH AL ST. JOHN…DURANGO KID WAS A SLICKER PRODUCTION…AND IF YOU WATCH CLOSELY YOU WILL SEE MANY FUTURE STARS…THERE’S ONE MOVIE WITH CLAYTON MOORE AS A VILLIAN…JAY SILVERHEELS WHO I BELIEVE IS NOT ACKNOWLEDGE IN THE CAST BUT PLAYS A CHIEF THIS MOVIE IS VERY SHORTLY BEFORE THE FIRST LONE RANGER MOVIE CAME OUT…LIKE I HAVE SAID BEFORE MY FAVORITE ASPECT OF THE STARRETT WESTERNS IS THE SHOOT-EM UP FOLLOWED BY COMEDY AND OR MUSICAL NUMBER…THEN ON TO THE FINISH OF THE STORY…..TCM JUST HAD A JULY FRIDAY ALL MONTH SERIES OF COWBOYS AND MUSIC…WHICH OPENED UP SOME MORE STARS IN THAT GENRE TO ME….I ALSO HAVE LIKED THE ABC WESTERNS OF THE 1950′S…CHEYENNE, BRONCO, SUGARFOOT, COLT 45, AND LIKELY MY FAVORITE..LAWMAN….THE WESTERN CHANNEL FROM ENCORE HAS SHOWN SOME OF THESE SHOWS AND MY COLLECTION IS NOW COMPLETE FOR MOST OF THEM….I AM ALWAYS INTERESTED IN NEW COPIES OF STARRETT WESTERNS AND BUSTER CRABBE WESTERNS SO IF ANYONE OUT THERE HAS ANYTHING NOT COMMONLY FOUND IN THE MARKET..LET ME KNOW…THANKS AGAIN STEVE….soneil38@yahoo.com

  8. Murray Kucherawy said

    Hi,

    Do you have the Durango Kid movies “Laramie” and Laramie Mountains’?

    Thanks,

    Murray.

  9. STEPHEN ONEIL said

    MURRAY: I DO HAVE THE MOVIES YOU MENTION…LARAMIE AND LARAMIE MOUNTAINS…DROP ME A LINE AT soneil38@yahoo.com…glad to hear of another DURANGO KID FAN…STEVE ONEIL

    • Murray Kucherawy said

      Hi Stephen,

      Sorry to be so long in replying but I now own DVDs of Laramie and Laramie Mountains.

      I am indeed a Durango fan and used to see the movies in my home town of Welland, Ontario, Canada.
      I have been collecting Durango films for a few years now and seem to be short by 15 movies, all of which sadly appear on your list. A few years ago, I visited the Eddie Brandt movie store in Hollywood (which is really an experience).

      Two interesting features:

      a) A very well equipped supply of photos of every imaginable movie star and scenes from their movies,

      b) Any movie that was ever made is available for rent and some for sale.

      c) A proprietress who has an encyclopedic knowledge of old movies. She mentioned that Columbia has not released a number of Durango movies because they could not get the consent of Mary Starrett. I think Mrs. Starrett has passed on now so I don’t know what will happen. Perhaps they’ll show up on the Western Channel or Ted Turner will get them hopefully.

      Best wishes,

      Murray.

      • STEPHEN ONEIL said

        THANKS FOR THE UPDATE _MURRAY_ I HAVE READ ABOUT THE EDDIE BRANDT MOVIE STORE SOUNDS JUST LIKE YOU DESCRIBED..I HAVE HEARD SEVERAL REASONS FOR SOME OF THE MISSING DURANGO’S … BUT THE FAMILY CONNECTION TO THE STARRET’S IS A NEW ONE…I DIDN’T THINK THE FAMILY OWNED ANY OF THE RIGHTS…BUT IT’S POSSIBLE…ANOTHER REASON IS THAT THE QUALITY OF THE MOVIES WERE SO LOW THAT THE COPIES REMAINING WERE FROM DISTRIBUTION SOURCES AND WERE SO LOW IN QUALITY EVEN TV WOULDN’T USE THEM…THE WESTERN CHANNEL HAS DONE A GOOD JOB WITH THE ONES IT SHOWS..COLUMBIA STUDIOS USUALLY HAS GOOD PRINTS AND HAS STARTED SELLING SOME DURANGO’S VIA IT’S COLLECTION SERIES…CHECK OUT “OLDIES.COM” ALSO A SOURCE FOR AN SPANISH VERSION OF “KID FROM AMARILLO” IS ON YOUTUBE..ALONG WITH SOME OTHER FAN CLIPS…I DO UNDERSTAND “DURANGO” HAD/HAS A FOLLOWING IN SOUTH AMERICA..BECAUSE MANY OF THE MOVIES WERE SENT THERE…WITH BRAZIL HAVING A ONE TIME TV SHOW FOR THE MOVIES IN THE 1960′S…THERE ARE LIKELY LOTS OF KNOWN & UNKNOWN REASONS FOR THE ACCESS TO THESE MOVIES BUT I HAVE NOTICED GOOD PRINTS ARE SHOWING UP ON THE MARKET AS MORE PEOPLE SHOW AN INTEREST…SO THERE’S HOPE….THANKS AGAIN MURRAY!!!!

  10. Kurt said

    I just saw Laramie on the western channel and thought it was great for a few reasons…it was my first Durango Kid western I ever saw–want to see more, but I understand they’re not on TV much–not even in the 50′s to now, I think. But I was surprised to see that almost all of it (outside the stock footage) was shot at Corriganville Ranch, now Corriganville Park where I go hiking twice a week when I can manage it. All the Cavalry Fort stuff was at the Fort Apache set built by John Ford a couple years earlier for the film of the same name. I see Corriganville in a LOT of westerns, but it’s usually sprinkled in with other locations like Iverson ranch or other western towns around Hollywood. This movie seemed to be ALL at Corriganville–outside of the stock footage at the end, that is. The town at Corriganville is long gone, but the concrete foundations are still there–and many of the rock formations and landscapes are still there and are recognizable in this film from 60+ years ago. Roy Rogers, John Wayne, Gene Autry, Buster Crabbe, and a bunch of others shots their film there. A great place to hike, too.

  11. THANKS FOR THE INFORMATION…I LIVE ON THE EAST COAST AND THINGS YOU DESCRIBE ARE INTERESTING….I HAVE NOTICED WHAT I FEEL WERE THE SAME PLACES WHILE WATCHING DURANGO AND BUSTER CRABBE ETC….THANKS

  12. Guy MacMillin said

    This is great stuff. Wonderful blog. Now my sun can fully appreciate, ahem, why I named him Steve.
    I discovered Charles Starrett in first run — I was eight years old. I was obsessed by the Durango Kid films and knew a man (friend of my father in Greenfield, Mass.) who actually went to school with him. My favorite Starrett quote was in an interview with the Dartmouth alumni magazine. He said he told people he was a retired stockbroker, because no one would believe what he really used to do for a living. The west that wasn’t and all that.

  13. Guy MacMillin said

    I meant to write “my son,” of course.

  14. Larry Hattley said

    My granddaugther has recently moved to Durango Colorado. and I told her that I loved to see the Charles Starett-Durango Kid Movies .I even called her the Durango Kid -when she moved there.
    I really would like to find where I could purchase his movies. Can you help? Larry Hattley
    Chattanooga, Tn.

  15. stevesomething said

    Hi Larry,

    That’s a super cool nickname you gave your daughter. I recently was driving through Colorado and almost dragged the family a couple hundred miles out of our way just to visit the city which bares the name of my favorite movie cowboy.

    I got most of my Durango Kid films on ioffer.com, which is like a form of ebay where you can barter over prices. You can buy individual titles or collections which contain multiple titles.

    I hope this helps!

    • HI LARRY: LOVED YOUR STORY…AS TO THE MOVIES..THERE ARE SEVERAL OUTLETS THAT OFFER DURANGO KID MOVIES…IOFFER & SELL.COM IN THE LAST COUPLE OF YEARS “COLUMBIA STUDIO” HAS OFFERED SOME OF THE TITLES THEIR “VAULT COLLECTION SERIES…CHECK OUT A PLACE CALLED “OLDIES.COM” IF YOU WOULD LIKE CONTACT ME VIA soneil38@yahoo.com I CAN OFFER YOU A PACKAGE OF ABOUT “50″ DURANGO KID MOVIES FOR ABOUT $25.OO QUALITY IS MOSTLY 8 OUT OF 10 BUT THE MOVIES ARE GREAT … IN ANYCASE LOVED YOUR STORY ….STEVE OONEIL

  16. LOVED THE STORY “DURANGO KID” IS REALLY A GREAT “B” WESTERN SERIES…DROP ME A NOTE AT soneil38@yahoo.com i have a number of the movies and also some non durango kid westerns of Charles Starrett which are as good or better than the durango series…best wishes for the holidays …Steve O’NEIL IN SUMTER SC……

  17. Karen said

    Did Charlles Starret come from d retry n ireland

  18. Sid Neal said

    I’ve been a Durango Kid fan since the 1950″s. I forgot about the movies untill i was looking at some old news paper clipping’s that showed what was playing. So i started looking and found some of the Durango kid /Red rider/Gene Autry etc.But the kid movies were my favorite. I have about 30 of them. I’ve played them over and over.It;s about time that i buy some moor.

  19. B.J. Bjornen said

    I watched the Durango Kid during my formative years in the 50′s. just loved those double features. I was recently at an Autry music festival at his Museum and one of the singers was playing Smiley Burnettes song “The wind sings a Cowboy Song”. She said it was from a Charles Starrett movie and did anyone know who his alter ego was. I was proud to yell out “the Durango Kid” Thanks for bringing back memories with your blog.

  20. Would like to buy Charles Starrett movie on film, 35mm,16mm or
    8mm; also on any video format VHS,DVD or Beta durango285@live.com

  21. Did you know that a guy by the name of Mario DeMarco wrote a book about Charles Starrett. I bought one in 1982,I called him and told him how much enjoyed his book.It’s a 8×10 and has 100 pages a lot of pictures.and it tells about all of the DK movies MR DeMarco was from Boston MA.He told me he had a lot of books that he couldn’t sell.A person could call around the Boston area find someone who’s related they might have all those books stored away someplace.He also wrote some books on Ton Mix Tim McCoy,Buck Jones,Bob Steele,Ken Maynard,Hoot Gibson.He said he was thinking about writing about Bill Elliott.

  22. I was very luck,I got to meet,via phone,Mr.Starret way back in the 60′s.Then met him in person at the Memphis Film Festival.He and his wife,Mary,were very fine people.

  23. June said

    Very Cool, Mary!

  24. Met Mr.& Mrs. Starrett back in 1962.They were both very very nice and treated you like a friend and not a fan so much.We all lost 2 wonderful people some years back,but I’ll never forget them.And I
    love his movies.Wish I could fing many many more.

  25. Charles and Mary Starrett were good friends of mine.I met them in 1962.They were real nice to me at Christmas and I have some articles he sent me during his acting days.I really miss them.they were greart people.

  26. David s said

    Wow,
    Great blog with lots of content. Charles was my grandfather and we were very close. I mostly know the personal side of Durango kid. I can try to answer some questions if you like.
    Thanks,
    David

  27. David, I knew Charles & Mary Starrett via of phone call in 1962 and
    at the festival in Memphis,Tn.I was crazy about the Durango Kid,and the man that played him was even bigger in real life.He and Mary were very,very nice to me.You were very lucky they were
    you grandparents.

  28. The movie “Durango Kid” was released the year I was born, 1940. I’ve been a fan of Charles Starrett as long as I can remember. It’s great to read the comments of old and new fans of Durango. I presently write a newspaper column about movie history called Reel Memories. Your comments will help add flavor to an upcoming column.

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