The cinema where I work has a load of old movie posters in the foyer, including one for a 1930s Western, Ridin' For Justice
. The film stars Buck Jones, and the poster has the tagline The screen's greatest outdoor star!
Out of curiosity, I had a look on imdb.com to see who this Jones was...
One of the greatest of the B-Western stars. Although born in Indiana, Jones grew up on a ranch near Red Rock in Indian Territory (now Oklahoma), and there learned the riding and shooting skills that would stand him in good stead as a hero of Westerns. He joined the army as a teenager and served on US-Mexican border before seeing service in the Moro uprising in the Philippines. Though wounded, he recuperated and reenlisted, hoping to become a pilot. He was not accepted for pilot training and left the army in 1913. He took a menial job with the Miller Brothers 101 Ranch Wild West Show and soon became champion bronco buster for the show. He moved on to the Julia Allen Show, but with the beginning of the First World War, Jones took work training horses for the Allied armies. After the war, he and his wife, 'Odelle Osborne', whom he had met in the Miller Brothers show, toured with the Ringling Brothers circus, then settled in Hollywood, where Jones got work in a number of Westerns starring Tom Mix and Franklyn Farnum. William Fox put Jones under contract and promoted him as a new Western star. He used the name Charles Jones at first, then Charles 'Buck' Jones, before settling on his permanent stage name. He quickly climbed to the upper ranks of Western stardom, playing a more dignified, less gaudy hero than Tom Mix, if not as austere as William S. Hart. With his famed horse Silver, Jones was one of the most successful and popular actors in the genre, and at one point he was receiving more fan mail than any actor in the world. At the outbreak of World War II, Jones reentered the army and was sent on a bond-selling tour. On 28 November 1942, he was a guest of local citizens in Boston at the famed Coconut Grove nightclub. Fire broke out and nearly five hundred people died in one of the worst fire disasters on record. Jones was horribly burned and died two days later. Although legend has it that he died returning to the blaze to rescue others, the actual evidence indicates that he was trapped with all the others and succumbed as most did, trying to escape. He remains, however, a hero to thousands who followed his film adventures.
Born in Indiana, riding and shooting skills, joined the army in his teens, a failed pilot... Remind you of anyone?
Are there any other 30s/40s film stars who might be seen as Indy-a-likes?