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..

3 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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  3. Frank, thank you for writing this good article on Jock Mahoney. I'm a Jocko fan from back in the day. He certainly was fascinating to watch. A friend and I were talking about tv shows that we watched as kids, and he said that he always enjoyed YANCY DERRINGER(1958-59). My friend always remembered Yancy pulling his derringer from his hat. If you liked THE RANGE RIDER(1951-53) be sure and view YANCY DERRINGER, because it is good.
    When I was a youngster, the Channel 3 WREC Memphis Early Movie would show SLIM CARTER(1957) starring Jock and Julie Adams. The story was written by Mary C. McCall and David Bramson, who were married. Mr. Bramson had worked with William Boyd, better known as Hopalong Cassidy during the 1930's. Ms. McCall said that the script for SLIM CARTER was mostly based on the life of William Boyd. She said, "It was a case of the man becoming the part." In SLIM CARTER Jock plays Hughie Mack, a phony nightclub singer(yes, Jock has a good singing voice) who becomes the Western star Slim Carter. It is a good movie well worth watching.
    Keep on writing these good articles, which help keep the Western Alive.

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