Saturday, January 6, 2018

Range Rider or Range Writer

When I adopted the name of The Range Writer, I did not realize that there were those who would not make the connection to The Range Rider, especially those of younger generations.
   The Range Rider was an outstanding western adventure TV show in the early 1950's. It was produced by Gene Autry and starred Jock Mahoney as The Range Rider. At the time he was billed as Jack Mahoney. He was a former stuntman and he did all his own stunts and horsework.
   When I first saw the show, I thought he reminded me so much of another cowboy star, Charles Starrett who starred in a long running series for Columbia Pictures as a masked rider all in black on a white stallion similar to The Lone Ranger. This character was known as The Durango Kid.  Jock's moves and athleticism was so similar, it was almost as if they were both the same man.
   Years later, I learned that Jock was the stuntman for Charles Starrett and when the Durango Kid rode wearing his mask, it was actually Jock Mahoney. Charles Starrett often quipped. "Jock let's me say the words."
   Columbia pictures soon learned that Jock could also act and later began giving Jock additional roles in the Durango Kid films. He was billed as Jack Mahoney and often times as The Durango Kid, he would be chasing himself as the other character.
   Jock went on to star in another TV series, "Yancy Derrtinger" in the late 1950's. Later on he became Tarzan in two major motion pictures.
   Jock was probably one of the greatest stuntmen of all time and he was simply fascinating to watch.
   He will forever be The RANGE RIDER..

2 comments:

  1. The Range Rider was one of my favorite shows when I was a kid, and Mahoney was a great stuntman, as you say. He also had a talent for comedy that was seldom used in the movies. A few years ago, I saw a Three Stooges short with a Western theme that had Mahoney in it, and he was hilarious.

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  2. I always enjoyed his repartee with Dickie Jones. He was in a comedy movie called Callaway Went Thataway. I don,t think he had billing. The movie was a spoof of Bill Boyd’s promotion of Hopalong Cassidy on early television.

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