Thursday, June 21, 2012

Reel Cowboys of the Santa Susanas -- Joel McCrea

Joel McCrea (1905-1990) was an American actor who made movies for more than 50 years.  While still in high school he began working as a stunt double, and handled horses for cowboy actors Tom Mix and Bill Hart.

He got his first leading role in 1929 -- just as sound was being ushered in -- and by 1930 he was under contract with RKO where his versatility won him lead roles in everything from drama to comedy.

McCrea was probably best known for his cowboy roles, and was quoted saying, "I always felt so much more comfortable in the Western. The minute I got a horse and a hat and a pair of boots on, I felt easier. I didn't feel like I was an actor anymore.  I felt like I was the guy out there doing it." -- TCM Movie Database

He made more than 90 films, but just a handful were lensed at Santa Susana locations:

Gunfight at Dodge City, The (1959) starring Joel McCrea, Julie Adams and John McIntire - United Artists

Gunsight Ridge (1957) starring Joel McCrea, Mark Stevens and Joan Weldon (Bell Ranch)(Iverson Ranch) United Artists

Oklahoman, The (1957) starring Joel McCrea, Barbara Hale and Brad Dexter (Iverson Ranch) Allied Artists

Saddle Tramp (1950) starring Joel McCrea, Wanda Hendrix and John Russell (Iverson Ranch) Universal (photo at top of post is also from Saddle Tramp)

Wells Fargo (1937) starring Joel McCrea, Bob Burns and Frances Dee (Iverson Ranch) Paramount

'Reel Cowboys of the Santa Susanas' is a continuing series about "six-gun heroes that performed on movie location ranches in Chatsworth, California.  For more information about Chatsworth filming locations see to find information about my books: Rendezvous at Boulder Pass: Hollywood's Fantasyland - 2010 and Reel Cowboys of the Santa Susanas - 2008.

Index for 'Reel Cowboys of the Santa Susanas' -- Chatsworth's Six-Gun Heroes

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