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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.

Above - Frank Hagney in 1932, and in his late forties.

Above - Frank Hagney in 1943, and almost sixty years old.

Frank Hagney

Full name: Francis Sydney Hagney

1884 - 1973

Born 1884 in Australia, rough and tough looking Frank Hagney had several sports careers prior to acting. He was a bicyclist, a professional boxer, and a Champion sculler (sculling / rowing). And there's various newspaper articles on Hagney as the trainer and sparring partner to Heavyweight Champion Jack Johnson circa 1915 (which was the year Johnson lost (or threw) his title to Jess Willard in a controversial bout in Havana, Cuba).

Hagney's Hollywood career spanned nearly fifty years, from about 1919 through the mid 1960s. His silent film work began with stunting/doubling, but he soon was playing bit parts and support roles which continued when sound arrived.

Hagney became a familiar face in B westerns, sometimes as a villain and sometimes in a minor/background role. However, he did not specialize in westerns. His movie appearances were spread among serials as well as A and B grade features at various studios and production companies. And he portrayed boxers, Indians, police officers, bartenders, posse riders, saloon patron/barfly, seamen, etc., and was often unbilled/uncredited.

In the early 1930s, he was the brains heavy or second-in-command in westerns starring John Wayne, Ken Maynard, and others. By the 1940s, Hagney was past the half century mark in age and turns up often as a no-good in Lone Rider, Frontier Marshal and Buster Crabbe oaters at Producers Releasing Corporation (PRC). And if you look closely, you might be able to spot him in some late 1940s Sam Katzman serials at Columbia as well as a half dozen 1950s Randolph Scott westerns. In his later years, Hagney appeared in many 1950s - 1960s TV shows.

Les Adams has Frank identified in 250+ sound films, and of that number, about a hundred are westerns and serials. Hagney was an infrequent employee at Republic Pictures, and his work there amounted to sixteen westerns and other features during the period from 1936-1955.

There's several Hagney roles that I recall:

The Ellis Island website has records on the Frank Sidney Hagney, a passenger on the ship "Vestris" which departed Buenos Aires and arrived in New York City on January 25, 1917. The passenger manifest notes that Hagney is 30 years old and 6 feet, 1 1/2 inches tall; he lists himself as married and his occupation as "pugilist"; he first came to the U.S. circa 1915; and had a uncle named Patrick Hagney that resided in Bridgeport, Connecticut. (Footnotes: If Hagney was married as of 1917 and age 30, his wife Edna in the 1930 census had to be his second wife, as she would have been about 12 years old in 1917. Frank was in Buenos Aires for a fight with Luis Firpo (which Hagney lost).)

The Statue of Liberty - Ellis Island Foundation website allows free searches for relatives, etc. that immigrated to the United States. However, in order to see the full records, you need to register (free) which is quick and easy to do. Go to:

Frank Hagney passed away on June 25, 1973 in Los Angeles.

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

The Family Search website (free), California Death Index, and ProQuest obituaries have more on Frank Hagney:

Find A Grave website has a picture of the grave marker for Frank Hagney who is interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Glendale), Glendale, California:

There are many newspaper articles about Hagney as the trainer and sparring partner to heavyweight boxing champ Jack Johnson, and their travels to England, Cuba and other locales circa 1915. This was during the period up to Johnson's April 5, 1915 fight with Jess Willard in Havana, Cuba. Johnson lost his heavyweight crown in that bout, and about a year later, Johnson confessed that he had thrown that fight. Go to:,128912&hl=en

The Boxing Records website has some information on Hagney's boxing career, including his 1917 Buenos Aires bout against Luis Firpo. Hagney's boxing career was brief and not very successful:

(From Old Corral collection)

The above lobby card from THE RAWHIDE KID (Universal, 1928) is one of the strangest western lobby cards in my collection. Above from left to right are: Tom Lingham, Frank Hagney, Hoot Gibson, Georgia Hale and William H. Strauss. I asked Hans Wollstein for info on this 1928 Universal silent, and he writes: "This is a curious western in which Hoot, as the very Irish Dennis O'Hara, comes to the aid of a Jewish haberdasher, Simon Silverberg (William H. Strauss), and his daughter Jessica (Georgia Hale). Town boss Frank Hagney attempts to drive the Silverburgs out of town but Gibson beats him in the Big Race, winning not only a heap of money but also the hand of Jessica. I'm sure this western was inspired by 'Abie's Irish Rose' and its many successors both on Broadway and in Hollywood."

(From Old Corral collection)

Above - Kermit Maynard gives Budd Buster an overhead toss while Frank Hagney looks on from the left in a lobby card from WILD HORSE ROUND-UP (Ambassador/Conn, 1936). In this one, Hagney is employed by brains heavy John Merton.

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Jack Randall is on the piano and behind him from L-to-R are Frank Hagney, unidentified player (black hat), Oscar Gahan, Chick Hannan/Hannon, unidentified blonde saloon gal, Archie Ricks, and an unidentified tall galoot in a scene from RIDERS OF THE DAWN (Monogram, 1937), Randall's first starring oater. Hagney was a henchman working for Warner Richmond. The blonde isn't Peggy Keys, who was the heroine in this western - the saloon gal may be Ella McKenzie.

(From Old Corral collection)

Above is the title lobby card from THE LONE RIDER AMBUSHED (PRC, 1941). In this yarn, Houston has a dual role - as Tom Cameron (The Lone Rider) and the outlaw Keno Harris. From L-to-R are George Chesebro, Jack Ingram, Frank Hagney (kneeling) and an unidentified performer. In this, Hagney was "Blackie Dawson", the brains heavy.

(From Old Corral collection)

Above from left to right are Hal Price, Al 'Fuzzy' St. John, Frank Hagney and George Houston as Tom Cameron, the Lone Rider in a lobby card from THE LONE RIDER FIGHTS BACK (PRC, 1941). Notice the height of Houston who towers over the other players. This was another Lone Rider adventure with Hagney as the boss, and his henchies included Frank Ellis and Curley Dresden.

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above from left to right are Marjorie Manners, Archie Ricks, Ray Jones, Buster Crabbe, unidentified man and woman, Frank Hagney, unidentified woman, I. Stanford Jolley (with the six-shooter), and on the far right is an unidentified player. Production still from Crabbe's BLAZING FRONTIER (PRC, 1943). Don't be fooled by the badge on Hagney as he and Stan Jolley are the gang leaders in this Billy the Kid yarn.

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