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Saddle Pals & Sidekicks

Above - Paul Hurst circa 1947
Paul Causey Hurst (1888-1953) arrived in Hollywood around 1912, and during the silent era, he acted, directed and wrote scripts for shorts, features and serials for Kalem, Universal, National, more. Example of Hurst's work behind the camera - he helmed the cliffhanger LIGHTNING BRYCE (National Film Company/Arrow, 1919) which starred Jack Hoxie. And he also acted in that silent serial.

During the 1930s and 1940s, he became entrenched as a supporting/character player ... often in comedic roles ... often portraying a cop or detective ... and often being cantankerous, ornery and not too bright. His style always reminded me of W. C. Fields.

When you watch GONE WITH THE WIND, you'll see Hurst as the Yankee soldier who is shot by Scarlett on the steps inside Tara.

Hurst appeared in most of Monte Hale's brief starring series at Republic Pictures. But he wasn't a true sidekick such as Eddy Waller (as 'Nugget Clark') with Rocky Lane or Fuzzy St. John with Crabbe and Lash. In the Hale oaters, Hurst portrayed various characters and provided comedy relief as a sheriff, lawyer, barber, storekeeper, saloon owner, etc.

In declining health due to cancer, Paul Hurst committed suicide in 1953.

Les Adams has him identified in 138 sound films - that number includes 44 westerns.

Death certificate: 64 year old Paul Causey Hurst was born October 15, 1888 in California; was divorced; and occupation was "Actor - Motion Pictures". He was found February 27, 1953 in his automobile on a Los Angeles street, dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Dopkins Chapel, Dinuba, California was the funeral director. His son Paul was the death certificate informant.

The California Death Index mirrors the death certificate: Paul Causey Hurst, born 10/15/1888 in California, Mother's maiden name of Martin, and he passed away on 2/27/1953. There is no corresponding record in the Social Security Death Index (SSDI).

  Although some of the data is incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has information on Paul Hurst:

Jim Tipton's Find A Grave website has a photo of the marker for Paul Hurst who is interred at Reedley Cemetery, Reedley, Fresno County, California:

(From Old Corral collection)

Above - Roy Barcroft has the drop on Paul Hurst and star Monte Hale in this lobby card from PRINCE OF THE PLAINS (Republic, 1949). Hurst was the local sheriff in this one.

(From Old Corral collection)

Before his days with Arkansas 'Slim' Andrews at Monogram, Tex Ritter's most frequent screen pal was Horace Murphy (William Horace Murphy; 1880-1975) (above, right) who portrayed characters named 'Stubby' or 'Ananias'. On the left is silent film clown Snub Pollard, who was also a helper to Tex, and went by the moniker of 'Pee Wee'. This still is from ROLLIN' PLAINS (Grand National, 1938).

There's a profile on William Horace Murphy in the 'Villains and Supporting Players' section of the Old Corral.

Harry 'Snub' Pollard (real name: Harold Fraser) (1886 or 1889 - 1962) was born in Australia and was a full-fledged star of silent comedies, beginning his career with Essanay around 1910. Pollard is best remembered for his prolific work at Hal Roach's studio where he worked with Harold Lloyd as well as in his own comedy series.

Les Adams has Horace Murphy identified in about 120 sound films - that number includes 95 westerns and 2 serials. Les' sound film count for Pollard is 104 films of which 34 are westerns and 3 are chapterplays.

  Although some of the data is incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has information on Horace Murphy and Snub Pollard:
   Horace Murphy:
   Harry 'Snub' Pollard:

Jim Tipton's Find A Grave website has a photo of the marker for Snub Pollard at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles, California. The marker shows Pollard's birth year as 1889:

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