|The 'brains' and 'action' heavies who had meaty roles and lots of dialog ... and the players who were fathers, ranch owners, lawman, mayors, judges, lawyers, storekeepers, newspaper editors, wardens, etc.|
|Stanley 'Stan' Blystone|
William Stanley Blystone
1894 - 1956
(Courtesy of Jack Tillmany)
|Thanks to Jeff Blystone for the info and updates on the four Blystone brothers.|
Stanley Blystone and his three brothers hailed from Wisconsin - and all four wound up California a few years prior to World War I.
John Gilman "Jack" Blystone (1892-1938) had scores of directing jobs in silents and 1930s sound films. He's probably best remembered for helming Tom Mix westerns as well as SWISS MISS and BLOCKHEADS, two Laurel and Hardy comedies released in 1938 by Hal Roach and MGM. Jasper Kepler Blystone (1899-1965) was an assistant director, and he also began in silents. Some of his sound era work includes MY FRIEND FLICKA (20th Century Fox, 1943), THUNDERHEAD-SON OF FLICKA (20th Century Fox, 1945) and several in the Mr. Moto and Charlie Chan series. The oldest brother was George O. Blystone (1890-1947), and he was not in the movie business (though he did migrate from Wisconsin to California as did his three siblings).
Stan was born August 1, 1894 in Rice Lake, Barron County, Wisconsin.
(Courtesy of Les Adams)
Note the "J. G. Blystone Production" mention in the above lobby card from OH, YOU TONY! (Fox, 1924) - this was one of many Tom Mix silents churned out by Stan's brother John Gilman "Jack" Blystone.
Based on the census records and tradepaper articles, big, gruff Stanley Blystone was in Hollywood circa 1917, working as an assistant director. A few years later, he shifted from duties behind the camera to acting jobs.
In sound films, he free-lanced anywhere and everywhere, sometimes billed and sometimes in uncredited roles. In westerns, he was the brains heavy or second-in-command ... but most often played a gruff and burly galoot who was a gang member. In non-westerns, he was a cop in uniform, plain clothes detective, prison guard, sailor, ship's captain, barkeep, prisoner ... you name it.
Les Adams has him identified in about 375 sound era films - of those, 105 are westerns and 33 are serials. Pay attention to those quantities as over half of Stan's film work was NOT in oaters and cliffhangers. Instead, he was picking up paydays doing various A and B grade features as well as forty or so shorts. His extensive work in two-reelers (shorts) includes over twenty losing battles with the Three Stooges at Columbia Pictures during the years 1933 - 1954. Blystone did some work at Republic Pictures - from 1936 - 1955, he appeared in 50+ films which are a mix of westerns, serials and other features.
In his later years, Stan did mostly uncredited roles in television programs including the LONE RANGER, ROY ROGERS show, HOPALONG CASSIDY, WYATT EARP, more.
He married stage and silent screen actress Alma Tell in 1932. Alma passed away from a heart attack at their home in December, 1937. They had no children.
In the early 1940s, he married Clara (Claire) E. Siebrecht (1891 - 1968). She was born in Minnesota and had been previously married to a Solen Crum who was a dentist. In the census for 1920 and 1930, the Crums lived in Fargo, North Dakota and had several children.
Newspaper reports indicate that Stan Blystone collapsed on a street corner on July 16, 1956 and was dead on arrival at Hollywood Receiving Hospital.
|Left is Alma Tell (1898-1937) as the female lead in THE SILENT COMMAND (Fox, 1923) which co-starred Edmund Lowe. Photo from the November 3, 1923 issue of Exhibitors Trade Review which is available at the Internet Archive.|
Stan and Alma married on December 18, 1932. She passed away from a heart attack at their home on December 29, 1937. They had no children.
Above is a photo ad for Stanley Blystone from the 1925 Standard Casting Directory (available at the Internet Archive).
(From Old Corral image collection)
Above from L-to-R are Stanley Blystone, Hoot Gibson and Skeeter Bill Robbins in a lobby card from Gibson's offbeat and dreary THE FIGHTING PARSON (Allied, 1933). Skeeter Bill Robbins turned up in several of Gibson's films - in real life, he was the foreman of Hoot's ranch.
(Courtesy of Les Adams)
Above from left to right are Buzz Barton, Rex Bell, Tom Mix's daughter Ruth Mix, and Stanley Blystone in a scene from SADDLE ACES (Resolute, 1935).
(Courtesy of Dorothy Hack)
Above from L-to-R are Stanley Blystone, Tom London, Herman Hack (with moustache), old codger Jack Duffy and Gaylord (Steve) Pendleton in a scene from TRAIL'S END (Beaumont, 1935), which starred Conway Tearle.
(From Old Corral collection)
Above are Budd Buster (left) and Stanley Blystone (right) in a scene from the Hoot Gibson THE RIDING AVENGER (Diversion, 1936). Budd was about 45 years old and Blystone was around 42 when they did this oater.
Although some of the data is incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has information on three of the Blystone brothers as well as Stan's wife Alma Tell:
William Stanley Blystone: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0090008/
Stan's wife, Alma Tell Blystone: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0854374/
John Gilman Blystone: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0090007/
Jasper Kepler Blystone: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0090006/
Find A Grave website has a photo of the markers for Stanley, his wife Alma, and his brother John G. Blystone. All three are interred at Pierce Brothers Valhalla Memorial Park in North Hollywood, California:
Stanley Blystone: https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/5933667/stanley-blystone
Alma Tell Blystone: https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/6674517/alma-blystone
John Gilman Blystone: https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/7992843/john-g-blystone
The Three Stooges Net website includes a listing of the various cast members in the Stooges' shorts. Note that Blystone worked in more Stooges shorts than bad guy Dick Curtis: https://threestooges.net/cast/actor/133/
Jeffrey W. Blystone compiled a Blystone Family History which includes Stan and his brothers. This link will take you to a webpage where you can download the Blystone family which is a 350 page pdf file: https://familysearch.org/search/catalog/988586?availability=Family%20History%20Library
Jeff Blystone website: https://www.angelfire.com/pa/JWBlystone/page4.html
Jeff Blystone notes that Jaspar Blystone's grandson Peter Blystone is a documentary film maker.
On the trail of Stan / Stanley Blystone.
The Family Search website (free), Film Daily tradepaper, California Death Index, newspaper reports, and the death certificate provide more on Stan Blystone and family: