Lila Ashear did some sleuthing and was able to locate various information on Art and Bert/Burt Dillard:
- Parents of Charles A. Dillard and Bert/Burt Dillard are Samuel B. Dillard and Roberta Lee Scott.
1910 census: Hill County, Texas, dated May 2-3, 1910
Sam Dillard - 31 years old - Married 9 years, born Alabama, farmer
'Bob' Dillard (wife) - 28 years old, married 9 years, born Texas, 5 children born, 5 living
Robert Dillard (son) - 9 years old, born Texas
Jeff Dillard (son) - 7 years old, born Texas
Gretchen Dillard (daughter) - 5 years old, born Texas
ARTHUR DILLARD (son) - 3 years old, born Texas
BARTON DILLARD (son) - 1 year 1 month old, born Texas (would indicate March or April 1909 birthdate)
1920 census: Jones County, Texas, dated March 10-11, 1920
Samuel B. Dillard - 40 years old
Roberta Lee Dillard - 37 years old
Jeff Dillard - 17 years old
Bessie - 15 years old
ARTHUR - 12 years old
BARTON - 10 years old
Ruthie - 8 years old
Claudie - 5 years old
Jessie (daughter) - 6 months old
- Bert/Burt Dillard is listed in 1910 and 1920 censuses as "Barton", and in the 1940 Los Angeles Voter Registration as Burt C Dillard, living on Hattaras Street, and listed as "stunt man".
- There is a July, 1945 Abilene, Texas newspaper article regarding a new theater in Lawn, Texas, and visitors for the opening included Art Dillard and his wife. Some quotes from the article:
"a local and well known boy, Art Dillard ..."
"is the son of Mr. and Mrs. S. B. Dillard who lived in Rogers community 25 years ..."
"he learned how to do all the tricks of the trade on the local ranch of his parents, and has been a stunt man in Hollywood for several years."
"His brother, Jack Dillard, ranching in Rogers community, worked as stunt man in Hollywood for two years beginning in 1935 ..."
"A third brother, Bert Dillard, is now in Hollywood carrying out the family tradition as stunt man."
- Funeral Arrangements listed in Los Angeles Times for Burt C Dillard, Sr., June 24, 1960 publication. Indicates that Forest Lawn is handling the arrangements.
I did contact Forest Lawn and they responded with "Unfortunately, the only information we have on file is that Mr. Burt Cefus Dillard was transported to Mission Cemetery, San Fernando, California for interment."
- California Death Records database has a record on: Charles A. Dillard, born 2/20/1907, Mother's maiden name of Scott, and he died in the Los Angeles area on 3/30/1960. Nothing found in the California Death Records database on Bert/Burt/Barton Dillard (which MAY mean he passed away in another state, but was interred in California).
- The Internet Movie database listed Burt's real name as "Rufellow Dillard" and that appears to be in error. I found a "Rufellow Dillard" (son) listed in the 1910 Census, age 3/12 (3 months old), living with his father Cary and mother Katie. However, in the 1920 Census "Rufellow" Dillard (son) morphed into "Ruth Ella Dillard", daughter. This is why it is necessary to chart family members through various years (and census takers). Since I find absolutely no other evidence of a "Rufellow" Dillard, I think we might be able to assume "Ruth Ella" a far more reasonable take on the name.
- As for "Jack" Dillard in the 1945 newspaper article, I can't tell for certain but think that "Jack" was Claude Ray Dillard, youngest brother of Art. He was born in 1914 in Texas and died in Los Angeles County, California in 1982. Art and Burt had two other, older brothers named Jeff and Robert.
Author and Old Corral contributor Ken Jones communicated often with movie bad guy Black Jack O'Shea. Jack mentioned to Ken that Art Dillard passed away from a heart attack while visiting O'Shea's J-R Trading Post in Chatsworth, California.
Lila Ashear connected with Jennifer Stubbs, Reference Librarian at the Ruidoso (New Mexico) Public Library who located Burt Dillard's obituary in the Friday, June 24, 1960 issue of the The Ruidoso News
newspaper. Ye Old Corral webmaster can send to you if you wish. A summary of his obituary follows:
"Autopsy Is Held In Death Of Man At Race Track"
"Burt Dillard, Sr., aged 55, was found dead in bed at his living quarters at Ruidoso Downs early Sunday, and an autopsy was ordered ...
... the autopsy revealed death was due to a heart condition.
... he was survived by one son, Burt, Jr., of North Hollywood, Calif.
Funeral services and interment for Dillard were to be held in North Hollywood where his body was shipped this mid-week.
Dillard was a pioneer trainer, and one of the first sponsors of Ruidoso Downs Race Track.
Dillard was born in Texas in 1905. Following his retirement in Hollywood, Calif., he was employed from time to time as a character actor and bit player in the motion picture industry. He was at the time of his death preparing one of his horses for entry in this year's Ruidoso Downs racing season."