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(Image courtesy of Jack Tillmany)
Evelyn Finley

Full name:
Evelyn Ruth Finley

1916 - 1989

(Courtesy of Minard Coons)

Above - Evelyn Finley, soaking up the sun in a two-piece swimsuit, circa 1940s.
The great female equestrians of the movies included Nell O'Day, Betty Miles and a few others.

Born in Douglas, Arizona, Evelyn Finley became one of these top riders ... she certainly was far better than most of the male cowboy stars of that period.  Finley played the heroine role in over a dozen 1940s westerns --- with Tom Keene, Tex Ritter, and the Range Busters at Monogram and with Buster Crabbe at PRC (Producers Releasing Corporation). But her best work was stunt doubling and riding for many of Hollywood's more famous lady stars (such as doubling for Loretta Young in ALONG CAME JONES (1945) which starred Gary Cooper).

You can see Finley at her best in the Johnny Mack Brown GHOST GUNS (Monogram, 1944). Apparently Monogram needed to fill out some time on this feature, so they included several minutes of Finley's riding skills and JMB's amazing gun twirling routine.

As a blonde - and using the screen name of "Eve Anderson" - Evelyn was the heroine in the Columbia serial PERILS OF THE WILDERNESS (1956).

As the B-western faded away, she worked in early TV shows and can be spotted doing roles in a few programs such as THE ADVENTURES OF KIT CARSON and the ROY ROGERS SHOW. She continued doing stuntwork and riding for many years, frequently doubling the female lead in various films.

Evelyn also did some circus performances including an act with Betty Miles with the S. L. Cronin Circus in 1944.

Les Adams has Finley identified in about two dozen films and that includes 16 westerns and 1 cliffhanger. Les adds: "in Paramount's TAKE IT BIG (1944), Evelyn Finley has a short but pivotal role as cowgirl "Violet Thompson" and helps Harriett Hilliard organize a group of cowgirls to save the old Bar X."

You may also want to visit the In Search Of ... page on the Old Corral, and then check the California Death Index and Social Security Death Index (SSDI). There you will find records for Evelyn Ruth Finley, born 3/11/1916 in Arizona, Mother's maiden name of Osborne, last residence of Big Bear Lake, California, and she passed away on 4/7/1989 in California.

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

Sunset Carson and producer/director/friend Jerry Whittington were developing a TV series when Sunset passed away. There were dozens of interviews with B western personalities and most were filmed circa 1982 at Movieland Frontier Town, Colton, California. The Sunset interview with Evelyn Finley is on YouTube:

(Image courtesy of Jack Tillmany)

Above is B western and serial bad guy Lee Roberts.
B western villain and supporting player Lee Roberts is shown in the photo on the left.

He and Evelyn Finley were briefly married. Buck Rainey, in his book Sweethearts of the Sage (McFarland, 1992), notes that Roberts and Finley met while working together on the serial PERILS OF THE WILDERNESS (Columbia, 1956), and their marriage lasted about six years.

Roberts played a hero once - he had the starring role in the last serial that was produced, BLAZING THE OVERLAND TRAIL (Columbia, 1956).

Circa 1959 - early 1960s, he vanished and Finley said: "One day he left. We have never heard from him again. He was without a doubt one of the finest, most clean-minded men, a gentleman at all times. I can't put my finger on the reason Lee wasn't successful in motion pictures - unless he just didn't care that much about acting."

Miss Finley was unable to discover what happened to Lee Roberts.

Recent information indicates that Lee Roberts was born Robert R. Allen on June 17, 1913 in Ohio and he passed away on April 24, 1989 in Stockton, San Joaquin County, California.

(Courtesy of Gene Blottner)

Wearing Indian dress are Evelyn Finley (left) and Betty Miles (right) during their brief time working on the S. L. Cronin Circus circa 1944.

(Courtesy of Dale Crawford)

Above - Dale Crawford and Evelyn Finley at The Masquers' Club in Hollywood circa 1983-85.

(Courtesy of Minard Coons)

Above from left to right are Evelyn Finley, John "Dusty" King, Max Terhune and Dave Sharpe in a scene from TRAIL RIDERS (Monogram, 1942).  Appears that Sharpe doesn't approve of King's romantic interest in Finley.

(From Old Corral image collection)

Above, from left to right are Dave Sharpe, Evelyn Finley and John "Dusty" King in a lobby card from THE TRAIL RIDERS (Monogram, 1942).

(Courtesy of Minard Coons)

Above from left to right are Max Terhune, John King, Dave Sharpe, Forrest Taylor and Evelyn Finley in another still from the Range Busters THE TRAIL RIDERS (Monogram, 1942).

(Courtesy of Minard Coons)

Above from left to right are Max Terhune, Ray "Crash" Corrigan, Evelyn Finley and Dennis Moore in COWBOY COMMANDOS (Monogram, 1943), one of the last of the Range Busters westerns.

(Courtesy of Minard Coons)

Above are Evelyn Finley and the final three members of the Range Busters taking a break on their trusty steeds during the filming of COWBOY COMMANDOS (Monogram, 1943). Finley is riding 'Lucky/Tex', which was ridden by Jack Randall, John 'Dusty' King, Raymond Hatton, Jimmy Wakely and others. From left to right are Finley, Max Terhune, Ray Corrigan and Dennis Moore.

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above are Johnny Mack Brown and Evelyn Finley in a pressbook ad cut from THE SHERIFF OF MEDICINE BOW (Monogram, 1948).

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