Broken Arrow: Western Movie, Book, TV, and History Discussion

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 George "Gabby" Hayes

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Tinhorn

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PostSubject: George "Gabby" Hayes   Sun Dec 16, 2012 1:48 pm

Guns of the Old West magazine had a good article about one of the best Western sidekick actors of all time, George "Gabby" Hayes.

Born in Stannards, NY in 1885, but always claiming to be born in neighboring Wellsville, he was a semi-pro baseball player in high school, and became a Vaudeville and circus performer after running away from home at 17. He met his wife, Olive Ireland (who performed under the name Dorothy Earle, not to be confused with the actress of the same name) on the circuit, and married her in 1914. He invested his earnings wisely, and retired in 1928 at the age of 43, but lost his savings in the stock market crash of 1929. Taking his wife's advice, they moved to California, where he started making movies.

He was cast in Westerns, although at the time he'd never ridden a horse! he was in several films before being cast as William Boyd's sidekick Windy in the Hopalong Cassidy movies. When he asked to paid more, as his character contributed to the success of the series, the producers fired him, much to the dismay of William Boyd. He then was signed with Republic as a sidekick to an up and coming Western star names Roy Rogers, and the character Gabby was born, a name that stick to Hayes for the rest of his life.

Hayes just wasn't in the pictures for laughs, but was a very talented actor, as can be seen in the film My Pal Trigger. He also had a way with words, including some of the best "frontier jibberish" (as it was called in Mel Brooks' comedy Blazing Saddles).

Hayes had a different persona off-screen: well dressed and groomed, and very articulate, but always with his famous beard. And he was good at investing his money, whereas some of his contemporaries, like Smiley Burnette, squandered their money.

After the interest in light Western fare started to wane, Hayes went on to television as the host the in 1950s, and after the series ended, he retired. His wife passed away in 1957, and he would pass on in 1969 at the age of 83.

Hayes has been honored with 2 stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (one for radio and the other for television), and inducted into the Western Performers Hall of Fame at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum.
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westernnut
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PostSubject: bang on   Mon Dec 17, 2012 4:10 pm

Tinhorn,
BANG ON Pard,Gabby Hayes is a true GREAT of the western genre,Wayne/Scott/Sturges/Stewart/Mann etc etc;always get mentioned as true greats,which they were,but Gabby Hayes is up there with anyone,in my book,especially us boomers,we grew up with Gabby,I,m sure we all have the fondest of memories with the GENTLEMAN called Gabby Hayes,
GREAT CALL Tinhorn,thanks Pard,Mr Hayes will never be forgotten.
Davy,westernnut.
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Nightlinger

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PostSubject: Re: George "Gabby" Hayes   Fri Dec 21, 2012 2:39 pm

The most amazing thing about Gabby Hayes is that he never got boring. In 193 movies his characters were always interesting and elevated those films. I personally didn't like Pat Buttrum and I found Smiley Burnett irritating but ole' Gabby made me smile every time.
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Rocky Lane

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PostSubject: Re: George "Gabby" Hayes   Fri Dec 21, 2012 4:55 pm

I agree with Nightlinger....ol' Gabby was always interesting....and a joy to watch.....but I'll always be partial to....Nugget Clark...

Eddy Waller worked in vaudeville and the theater before he entered movies in 1936. Within a few years he was being cast in character parts. In the 1940s he would be a mainstay in the westerns of Republic Pictures and would work with just about every cowboy actor from Tim Holt to Rocky Lane. With Lane, Eddy's billing would be as high as second, as he played grizzly old prospector Nugget Clark, adding the comic relief to a picture with such pearls as "He is as square as the day is long".
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