Clayton Moore

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Clayton Moore
Lone ranger silver 1965.JPG
Clayton Moore as The Lone Ranger
BornJack Carlton Moore[1]
(1914-09-14)September 14, 1914
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
DiedDecember 28, 1999(1999-12-28) (aged 85)
West Hills, California, U.S.
Cause of deathHeart attack
Resting placeForest Lawn Memorial Park
ResidenceCalabasas, California
OccupationActor
Years active1934–1999
Known forThe Lone Ranger
TelevisionThe Lone Ranger
Spouse(s)Mary Moore (1940-1942)
Sally Allen (1943-1986) (her death) 1 child
Connie Moore (1986-1989)
Clarita Moore (1992-1999) (his death)
 
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Clayton Moore
Lone ranger silver 1965.JPG
Clayton Moore as The Lone Ranger
BornJack Carlton Moore[1]
(1914-09-14)September 14, 1914
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
DiedDecember 28, 1999(1999-12-28) (aged 85)
West Hills, California, U.S.
Cause of deathHeart attack
Resting placeForest Lawn Memorial Park
ResidenceCalabasas, California
OccupationActor
Years active1934–1999
Known forThe Lone Ranger
TelevisionThe Lone Ranger
Spouse(s)Mary Moore (1940-1942)
Sally Allen (1943-1986) (her death) 1 child
Connie Moore (1986-1989)
Clarita Moore (1992-1999) (his death)

Clayton Moore (September 14, 1914 – December 28, 1999) was an American actor best known for playing the fictional western character the Lone Ranger from 1949–1951 and 1954–1957 on the television series of the same name.

Early years[edit]

Born Jack Carlton Moore in Chicago, Illinois, Moore became a circus acrobat by age 8 and appeared at the Century of Progress exposition in Chicago in 1934 with a trapeze act.[2] He graduated from Stephen K. Hayt Elementary School in Chicago.

As a young man, Moore worked successfully as a John Robert Powers model. Moving to Hollywood in the late 1930s, he worked as a stunt man and bit player between modeling jobs. According to his 1996 autobiography I Was That Masked Man, around 1940, Hollywood producer Edward Small persuaded him to adopt the stage name "Clayton" Moore. He was an occasional player in B westerns and the lead in four Republic Studio cliffhangers, and two for Columbia. Moore served in the U.S. Army Air Forces during World War II and made training films (Target--Invisible, etc.) with the First Motion Picture Unit.

As the Lone Ranger[edit]

Moore's career advanced in 1949, when George Trendle spotted him in the Ghost of Zorro serial. As creator-producer of The Lone Ranger radio show (with writer Fran Striker), Trendle was about to launch the television version. Moore landed the role.

Moore trained his voice to sound like the radio version of The Lone Ranger, which had then been on the air since 1933, and succeeded in lowering his already distinctive baritone even further. With the first notes of Rossini's "William Tell Overture" and actor Gerald Mohr's "Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear ... ," Moore and co-star Jay Silverheels, in the role of Tonto, made television history as the stars of the first Western written specifically for that medium. The Lone Ranger soon became the highest-rated program to that point on the fledgling ABC network and its first true hit, earning an Emmy nomination in 1950. Moore starred in 169 episodes of the television show.[3]

Leaving series[edit]

After two successful years presenting a new episode every week, 52 weeks a year, Moore had a pay dispute and left the series. As "Clay Moore", he made a few more westerns and serials, sometimes playing the villain. Moore was replaced for a time by actor John Hart. Eventually the producers of The Lone Ranger came to terms and rehired Moore, and he remained with the program until it ended first-run production in 1957. He and Jay Silverheels also starred in two feature-length Lone Ranger motion pictures. Moore appeared in other television series too, including a role in the 1952 episode "Snake River Trapper" of Bill Williams's syndicated western, The Adventures of Kit Carson. He appeared twice on Jock Mahoney's syndicated western series, The Range Rider, as Martin Wickett in "Ambush in Coyote Canyon" in 1952 and as Dan Meighan in "The Saga of Silver Town" in 1953.

After completion of the second feature, The Lone Ranger and the Lost City of Gold in 1958, Moore embarked on what would be 40 years of personal appearances, TV guest spots, and classic commercials as the legendary masked man. Silverheels joined him for occasional appearances during the early 1960s. Throughout his career, Moore expressed respect and love for Silverheels.

The Finale or "cavalry charge" of the The William Tell Overture by Gioachino Rossini was used as the theme music for The Lone Ranger in the movies, serials, television and on radio and for Lark (cigarette) television commercials in the 1960s. Clayton Moore and Jay Silverheels appeared in Stan Freberg's Jeno's Pizza Rolls commercial, incorporating all three cultural icons.

Lawsuit over public appearances[edit]

In 1979, the owner of the Ranger character, Jack Wrather, obtained a court order prohibiting Moore from making future appearances as The Lone Ranger.[4] Wrather anticipated making a new film version of the story, and did not want the value of the character being undercut by Moore's appearances. Also, Wrather did not want to encourage the belief that the 65-year-old Moore would be playing the role in the new picture. This move proved to be a public relations disaster. Moore responded by changing his costume slightly and replacing the Domino mask with similar-looking Foster Grant wraparound sunglasses, and by counter-suing Wrather. He eventually won the suit, and was able to resume his appearances in costume, which he continued to do until shortly before his death. For a time he worked in publicity tie-ins with the Texas Rangers baseball team. (Wrather's new motion picture of the character, The Legend of the Lone Ranger, was released in 1981 and was a critical and commercial failure.)

Moore often was quoted as saying he had "fallen in love with the Lone Ranger character" and strove in his personal life to take The Lone Ranger Creed to heart. This, coupled with his public fight to retain the right to wear the mask, linked him inextricably with the character. In this regard, he was much like another cowboy star, William Boyd, who portrayed the Hopalong Cassidy character. Moore was so identified with the masked man that he is the only person on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, as of 2006, to have his character's name along with his on the star, which reads, "Clayton Moore — The Lone Ranger". He was inducted into the Stuntman's Hall of Fame in 1982 and in 1990 was inducted into the Western Performers Hall of Fame at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Moore also was awarded a place on the Western Walk of Fame in Old Town Newhall, California.

Death[edit]

Clayton Moore died on December 28, 1999, in a West Hills, California, hospital after suffering a heart attack at his home in nearby Calabasas. He was survived by his fourth wife, Clarita Moore, and an adopted daughter, Dawn Angela Moore. Moore was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale.[1][5][6][7]

Filmography[edit]

Film
YearTitleRoleNote
1937Forlorn RiverCowboyuncredited
1937Thunder TrailCowboyuncredited
1938Go Chase YourselfReporteruncredited
1939Burn 'Em Up O'ConnorHospital Interneas Jack Moore
1940Kit CarsonPaul Terry
1940The Son of Monte CristoLieutenant Fritz Dorner
1941International LadySewell
1941Tuxedo JunctionBill Bennett
1942Black DragonsFBI Agent Richard 'Dick' Martin
1942Perils of NyokaDr. Larry Grayson
1942Outlaws of Pine RidgeLane Hollister
1946The Bachelor's DaughtersBill Cotter
1946The Crimson GhostAshe
1947Jesse James Rides AgainJesse James
1947Along the Oregon TrailGregg Thurston
1948G-Men Never ForgetAgent Ted O'Hara
1948Marshal of AmarilloArt Crandall
1948Adventures of Frank and Jesse JamesJesse James
1949The Far FrontierTom Sharper
1949Sheriff of WichitaRaymond D'Arcy
1949Riders of the Whistling PinesHenchman Pete
1949Ghost of ZorroKen Mason/ el Zorro
1949Frontier InvestigatorScott Garnett
1949The Cisco KidLieutenant
1949South of Death ValleyBrad
1949Masked RaidersMatt Trevett
1949The Cowboy and the IndiansHenchman Luke
1949Bandits of El DoradoB. F. Morgan
1949Sons of New MexicoRufe Burns
1949/1957The Lone RangerThe Lone Ranger(TV series) 169 episodes
1952Son of Geronimo: Apache AvengerJim Scottas Clay Moore
1952Radar Men from the MoonGraber
1953Jungle Drums of AfricaAlan Kingas Clay Moore
1953Kansas PacificHenchman Stone
1953The Bandits of CorsicaRicardo
1953Down Laredo WayChip Wells
1954Gunfighters of the NorthwestBram Nevin
1956The Lone RangerThe Lone Ranger(1956 film)
1958The Lone Ranger and the Lost City of GoldThe Lone Ranger(1958 film)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Clayton Moore, the 'Lone Ranger,' dead at 85". CNN. Retrieved 2009-10-19. 
  2. ^ Goldstein, Richard (1999-12-29). "Clayton Moore, Television's Lone Ranger And a Persistent Masked Man, Dies at 85". New York Times. Retrieved 2010-04-25. 
  3. ^ Ibid.
  4. ^ "Who's That Masked Man? Hi-Yo-It's Clayton Moore!". The Los Angeles Times. 1985-01-15. Retrieved 2010-11-01. 
  5. ^ Vallance, Tom (1999-12-30). "Obituary: Clayton Moore". The Independent (London). Retrieved 2009-10-19. 
  6. ^ Stassel, Stephanie (1999-12-29). "Clayton Moore, TV's 'Lone Ranger,' Dies". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2009-10-19. 
  7. ^ "Lone Ranger star dies". BBC. 1999-12-29. Retrieved 2009-10-19. 

Autobiography[edit]

Firearm[edit]

External links[edit]