Hopalong Cassidy

For the American football player, see Howard "Hopalong" Cassady.

Enlarge picture
Hopalong Cassidy #30, April 1949, published by Fawcett Comics.

Hopalong Cassidy is a cowboy-hero, created in 1904 by Clarence E. Mulford and appearing in a series of popular stories and novels. In print, the character appears as a rude, rough-talking 'galoot'. Beginning in 1935, the character, played by William Boyd, was transformed into the clean-cut hero of a series of 66 immensely popular films, only a few of which were based on Mulford's works. Mulford actually rewrote his earlier stories to fit the movie conception, and these led in turn to a comic book series modeled after the films.

As portrayed on the screen, the white-haired Bill "Hopalong" Cassidy was usually clad strikingly in black. He was reserved and well spoken, with a fine sense of fair play. He was often called upon to intercede when dishonest characters were taking advantage of honest citizens. "Hoppy" usually traveled through the west with two companions: one young and trouble-prone with a weakness for damsels in distress, the other comically awkward and outspoken.

The juvenile lead was played by James Ellison, Russell Hayden, or Rand Brooks. Gabby Hayes originally played Cassidy's grizzled sidekick Windy Halliday. After Hayes left the series due to a salary dispute with producer Harry Sherman, he was replaced by comedian Britt Wood as Speedy McGinnis, and finally by veteran movie comedian Andy Clyde as California Carlson. Clyde, the most durable of the sidekicks, remained with the series until it ended.

The Hopalong Cassidy pictures were filmed not by movie studios, but by independent producers who released the films through the studios. Most of the "Hoppies," as the films were known, were distributed by Paramount Pictures to highly favorable returns, and were noted for their fast action and excellent outdoor photography (usually by Russell Harlan). Harry Sherman was anxious to make more ambitious movies and tried to cancel the Cassidy series, but popular demand forced Sherman to go back into production, this time for United Artists release. Sherman gave up the series once and for all in 1944, but star William Boyd wanted to keep it going. To do this, he gambled his entire future on Hopalong Cassidy, mortgaging virtually everything he owned to buy both the character rights from Mulford and the backlog of movies from Sherman.

Boyd resumed production himself in 1946, on lower budgets, and continued through 1948, when "B" westerns in general were being phased out. Boyd thought that Hopalong Cassidy might have a future in television, and approached the fledgling NBC television network to use the old films. The initial broadcasts were so successful that NBC couldn't wait for a TV series to be produced, and simply re-edited the old feature films down to broadcast length. Boyd, who owned the TV rights to his films, was paid $250,000. [1] On June 24, 1949, Hoppy became the first network Western television series.

The TV exposure started a huge merchandising boom, and Boyd made millions in licensing and endorsement deals. The Mutual Broadcasting System began broadcasting a radio version of Hopalong Cassidy, with Andy Clyde as the sidekick, in January 1950; at the end of September, the show moved to CBS Radio, where it ran into 1952.[1] Also in 1950, Hopalong Cassidy was featured on the first lunch box to bear an image, causing sales for Aladdin Industries to jump from 50,000 units sold the previous year to 600,000 units sold. Hopalong Cassidy also appeared on the cover of national magazines, such as Look, Life and Time. In stores, there was a line of Hopalong Cassidy children's dinnerware, as well as Hopalong Cassidy roller skates, Hopalong Cassidy soap, Hopalong Cassidy wristwatches, and Hopalong Cassidy jackknives.[2] There was also a new demand for Hopalong Cassidy features in movie theaters, and Boyd licensed reissue distributor Film Classics to make new film prints and advertising accessories. Another 1950 enterprise saw the home-movie company Castle Films manufacturing condensed versions of the Paramounts for 16mm and 8mm projectors; they were sold through 1966.

Boyd began work on a separate series of half-hour westerns made especially for television. Edgar Buchanan was the new sidekick, Red Connors. The theme music for the TV show was written by veteran songwriters Nacio Herb Brown (music) and L. Wolfe Gilbert (lyrics). The show ranked number 7 in the 1949 Nielsen ratings. The success of the show and tie-ins inspired several juvenile TV Westerns, including The Gene Autry Show and The Roy Rogers Show.

Boyd's company devoted to Hopalong Cassidy (U. S. Television Office) is still active and has released many of the features to DVD, many of them in sparkling prints prepared by Film Classics.

Louis L'Amour wrote a handful of Hopalong Cassidy novels, which are still in print. In 2005, author Susie Coffman published Follow Your Stars, containing new stories starring the character. In three of these stories, Coffman has written the wife of actor William Boyd into the stories.

There have been a number of museum displays of Hopalong Cassidy. The major display is at the Autry Center at Griffin Park in Los Angles. 15 miles east of Wichita KS at the Prairie Rose Chuckwagon Supper was the Hopalong Cassidy Museum. This museum was dedicated to the heroic image of Hopalong Cassidy. Unfortunately the Museum and its contents were auctioned on 24 Aug 2007, due to the failure of the its parent company Wild West World.


Reference to Hopalong Cassidy is alluded to in the novel The Great Gatsby as the material on which the central character, Jay Gatsby, writes a precise schedule to follow to achieve his dreams of success.


1. ^ Radio Broadcast Log Of: Hopalong Cassidy part of Audio Classics Archive. Retrieved 12/9/06.

Further reading

  • Drew, Bernard A. (2005) The Hopalong Cassidy Radio Program. Albany: BearManor Media ISBN 1-59393-006-2

See also

cowboy (Spanish: vaquero) tends cattle and horses on cattle ranches in North and South America. The cowboy is normally an animal herder most commonly in charge of the horses and/or cattle, whereas the wrangler's work is more specific to horses.
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galoot is a handtool aficionado, specifically old handtools (antique tools). This is contrasted with users of any hand tools who are called neanderthals in a number of internet woodworking communities. For many, the two terms are interchangeable.
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William Boyd (June 5, 1895 - September 12, 1972) was an American actor.

Born William Lawrence Boyd in Cambridge, Ohio, he was raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He became famous as a Hollywood leading man in silent film romances with a yearly salary of $100,000, but by the
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A comic book is a magazine or book containing sequential art in the form of a narrative. Comic books are often called comics for short. Although the term implies otherwise, the subject matter in comic books is not necessarily humorous, and in fact it is often serious and
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James Ellison can refer to:
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  • James Ellison (motorcycle racer)
  • James Ellison (terminator), fictional character from The Sarah Connor Chronicles.
  • James T.

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Russell "Lucky" Hayden (b. June 12 1912, Chico, California - d. June 9 1981, Palm Springs, California) was an American film and television actor.

He was born as Pate Lucid, son of Francis J.
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George 'Gabby' Hayes

Publicity photo of Gabby Hayes (left) and Roy Rogers from the early 1940's.
Birth name George Francis Hayes
Born May 7 1885(1885--)
Wellsville, New York
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Andrew "Andy" Clyde (born March 25, 1892, in Blairgowrie, Perthshire, Scotland - died May 18, 1967, in Los Angeles, California) was a movie and TV actor whose career spanned more than four decades. He broke into silent films in 1925 as a Mack Sennett comic.
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Paramount Pictures Corporation

Founded Los Angeles, California, USA (1912)
Headquarters Los Angeles, California, USA

Key people Brad Grey, Chairman and CEO
Frederick D. Huntsberry, COO

Industry Motion pictures
Revenue $3.
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This article or section is written like a personal reflection or and may require .
Please [ improve this article] by rewriting this article or section in an . (, talk)

This article or section may contain original research or unverified claims.
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National Broadcasting Company

Type Broadcast television network
Country  United States
Availability    United States, also distributed in Canada, Mexico, Bermuda and the Caribbean
Founder David Sarnoff
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June 24 is the 1st day of the year (2nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 0 days remaining.


  • 972 - Battle of Cedynia, the first documented victory of Polish forces.

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19th century - 20th century - 21st century
1910s  1920s  1930s  - 1940s -  1950s  1960s  1970s
1946 1947 1948 - 1949 - 1950 1951 1952

Year 1949 (MCMXLIX
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Western is a fiction genre seen in film, television, radio, literature, painting and other visual arts. Westerns are devoted to telling stories set primarily in the later half of the 19th century in what became the Western United States (known as the American Old West or Wild
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Mutual Broadcasting System

Type Cooperative radio network (1934–52); corporate-controlled radio network (1952–99)
Country United States (and Ontario, Canada)
Founded September 29, 1934 (organized); October 29, 1934 (incorporated)
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CBS Radio Inc., formerly known as Infinity Broadcasting Corporation, is one of the largest owners and operators of radio stations in the United States, third behind main rival Clear Channel Communications (which interestingly owns many of the radio stations previously owned
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worldwide view.

The lunch box, also referred to as a lunch pail or lunch kit, is a rigid container used for carrying food.
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Look was a weekly, general-interest magazine published in Des Moines, Iowa from 1937 to 1971, with more of an emphasis on photographs than articles. A large-size magazine of 11 by 14 inches, it was generally considered the also-ran to Life magazine.
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Life generally refers to two American magazines:
  • A humor and general interest magazine published from 1883 to 1936. Henry Luce bought all rights to this magazine solely so that he could acquire the rights to its name, which he then gave to...

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Time (whose trademark is capitalized TIME) is a weekly American newsmagazine, similar to Newsweek and U.S. News & World Report. A European edition (Time Europe, formerly known as Time Atlantic) is published from London.
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Castle Films was a home-movie distributor founded by Eugene W. Castle in 1924, primarily to handle business/advertising films. In 1936, Castle branched out into the 8mm and 16mm home movies, buying old theatrical films for home use.
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Edgar Buchanan (March 20, 1903 – April 4, 1979) was an American actor with a long career in both film and television, most familiar today as Uncle Joe Carson from the Petticoat Junction and Green Acres television sitcoms of the 1960s.
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Nacio Herb Brown (February 22, 1896 - September 28, 1964) was an American writer of popular songs, movie scores, and Broadway theatre music in the 1920s through the early 1950s.

Brown was born as Ignacio Herb Brown in Deming, New Mexico.
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Louis Wolfe Gilbert (August 31, 1886–July 12, 1970) was a Russian-born American songwriter. Born in Odessa, Russia, he moved to the United States as a young man and eventually established himself as one of the leading songwriters on Tin Pan Alley.
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Nielsen Media Research (NMR) is an American firm that measures media audiences, including television, radio, theatre films (via the AMC MAP program) and newspapers. NMR, headquartered in New York City and operating primarily from Oldsmar, Florida, is best-known for the
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Orvon Gene Autry (September 29 1907 – October 2 1998) was an American performer who gained fame as The Singing Cowboy on the radio, in movies and on television.

Early life

Autry, the grandson of a Methodist preacher, was born near Tioga, Texas.
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Leonard Franklin Slye (November 5, 1911 – July 6, 1998), who became famous as Roy Rogers, was a singer and cowboy actor. He and his second wife Dale Evans, his golden palomino Trigger, and his German shepherd, Bullet, were featured in over one hundred movies and
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Louis L'Amour (March 22, 1908 – June 10, 1988) was an American author of primarily Western fiction. He was born Louis Dearborn L'Amour of French-Canadian background March 22, 1908 in Jamestown, North Dakota.
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The Great Gatsby

The cover of the first edition, 1925.
Author F. Scott Fitzgerald
Country United States
Language English
Genre(s) Novel
Publisher Charles Scribner's Sons
Publication date April 10, 1925
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Harry Sherman / Paramount Pictures
  • Hop-A-Long Cassidy (1935) (reissued as "Hopalong Cassidy Enters")
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