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Saddle Pals & Sidekicks
The Juvenile Helperss

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Tommy and Sonny Bupp

Special thanks to Tom Bupp, Tommy Bupp's son, for photos and help in the preparation of this webpage on the Bupp Brothers.

Tommy and Sonny Bupp were two of the more prolific kid actors of the 1930s (along with Dick Jones, Bobby Nelson and a few others).

Younger brother Sonny worked in major films like CITIZEN KANE and ANGELS WITH DIRTY FACES.  Sonny, whose nickname is now 'Mac', became an executive with the Ford Motor Company, initially in Detroit, followed by a tour in Australia.

While Sonny was in a few westerns, older brother Tommy did about a dozen, appearing with Dick Foran, Tim McCoy, Reb Russell, more. Tommy's non-westerns include SAN FRANCISCO and IT'S A GIFT, and he also was a member of the Our Gang/Little Rascals.  After Hollywood, Tommy had four sons and worked in the wholesale electrical business.  Note the pressbook ad on the left with Tommy Bupp's photo below Dick Foran --- note also that Bupp is not among the cast listing.

There were two Bupp sisters who also worked in films.  June did a few movies and her solo western was with Reb Russell in BORDER VENGEANCE (Willis Kent, 1934).  Ann appeared in a variety of bit parts, but none were in westerns.

Tommy Bupp died in Santa Ana, California, on December 24, 1983, at age 59.

Sonny Bupp passed away on November 1, 2007 in Henderson, Nevada, at age 79.

Les Adams' database shows Tommy and Sonny appearing together in the following movies: KID MILLIONS, SAN FRANCISCO, WOMAN WISE, LOVE IS ON THE AIR, SWING YOUR LADY, HUNTED MEN, WHEN TOMORROW COMES, NO PLACE TO GO and QUEEN OF THE MOB.  Both also did shorts: Tommy was in the Our Gang HI'-NEIGHBOR (1934), and Sonny did CASH AND CARRY (1937, Three Stooges), MEN IN FRIGHT (1938, Our Gang), OUR GANG FOLLIES OF 1938 (1938, Our Gang), FEATHERED PESTS (1939, Edgar Kennedy) and DAY OF REST (1939, Robert Benchley).  There are probably more short appearances by the Bupps.

Les' database has the following film appearance statistics for Sonny and Tommy:

Name Westerns Serials Features Shorts Total
Tommy Bupp 13 0 45 1 59
Sonny Bupp 5 0 53 5 63

  Although some of the data is incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) has information on Tommy and Sonny Bupp:

     Tommy Bupp:
     Sonny Bupp:

Jim Tipton's Find A Grave website has some photos and a picture of the grave marker for:
World War II veteran Moyer MacClaren 'Sonny' Bupp is interred at the Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Boulder City, Nevada:
World War II veteran Edmond Thomas 'Tommy' Bupp is interred at Riverside National Cemetery, Riverside, California:

Moyer MacClaren 'Sonny' Bupp
1928 - 2007

(Courtesy of Tom Bupp)

Above, William Boyd and youngster Sonny Bupp in a quieter moment during the Hopalong Cassidy adventure, RENEGADE TRAIL (Paramount, 1939).  Baddie Roy Barcroft slaps little Sonny around in the opening reel of this film.

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above is a clipping about Sonny Bupp and his film experience from the pressbook for RENEGADE TRAIL.

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above, Sonny and his pooch are in the wagon while Charlotte Wynters has a scattergun on Hoppy in another scene from RENEGADE TRAIL.

Tommy Bupp
1927 - 1983

(Courtesy of Tom Bupp)

Above - Reb Russell and Tommy Bupp in a scene from an unidentified film. Bupp did three oaters with Reb Russell.

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above, Reb Russell, Tommy Bupp and Lois January in a scene from ARIZONA BAD MAN (Willis Kent, 1935).

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above from L-to-R are Tommy Bupp, Lois January, Reb Russell, and on horseback is Edmund Cobb.  From Reb's ARIZONA BAD MAN (Willis Kent, 1935).

(Courtesy of Tom Bupp)

Above are Tim McCoy and Tommy Bupp in a scene from ROARIN' GUNS (Puritan, 1936).

(Courtesy of Tom Bupp)

Seated from L-to-R are Tommy Bupp, Marjorie Reynolds and Tex Ritter, and in the background are Tex's sidekicks, the moustached Snub Pollard and Horace Murphy.  From TEX RIDES WITH THE BOY SCOUTS (Grand National, 1937), and this scene occurs at the finale.

(Courtesy of Tom Bupp)

Above, the sleeping Tommy Bupp with Dick Foran in THE CHEROKEE STRIP (Warners, 1937).  In the film, Foran crooned a tune called "My Little Buckaroo" to Bupp, and the song became a hit.

Tommy and Sonny Bupp Western Film Appearances
Westerns only
Special thanks to Les Adams for providing these film lists

Tommy Bupp
Western Films Only
Date Title Company Star Director Bupp Role
11/29/34 MAN FROM HELL, THE Willis Kent Reb Russell Lew Collins Timmy McCarroll
12/1/34 RAWHIDE TERROR, THE Security Art Mix Jack Nelson & Bruce Mitchell Tommy Brent
2/1/35 ARIZONA BAD MAN Willis Kent Reb Russell S. Roy Luby Davey Dunston
2/1/35 OUTLAW RULE Willis Kent Reb Russell S. Roy Luby Timmy Grady
1/15/36 CALLING OF DAN MATTHEWS, THE Columbia Richard Arlen Phil Rosen Young Boy
1/27/36 ROARIN' GUNS Puritan Tim McCoy Sam Newfield Buddy Morgan
4/9/36 SUTTER'S GOLD Universal Edward Arnold James Cruze Young Boy
12/9/36 ROARIN' LEAD Republic Three Mesquiteers Mack V. Wright & Sam Newfield Bobby
1/30/37 ARIZONA DAYS Grand National Tex Ritter John English Billy Workman
4/3/37 HITTIN' THE TRAIL Grand National Tex Ritter Robert N. Bradbury Billy Reed
5/1/37 CHEROKEE STRIP Warners Dick Foran Noel Smith Barty Walton
10/6/37 IT HAPPENED IN HOLLYWOOD Columbia Richard Dix Harry Lachman Young Boy
1/21/38 TEX RIDES WITH THE BOY SCOUTS Grand National Tex Ritter Ray Taylor Buzzy

Sonny Bupp
Western Films Only
Date Title Company Star Director Bupp Role
9/17/38 VALLEY OF THE GIANTS Warners Claire Trevor William Keighley Young Boy
7/25/39 RENEGADE TRAIL Paramount William Boyd Lesley Selander Joey Joyce
7/26/41 BAD MEN OF MISSOURI Warners Dennis Morgan Ray Enright Grat Dalton (Boy)
12/15/41 WEST OF CIMARRON Republic Three Mesquiteers Lester Orlebeck Young Boy
1/30/42 CODE OF THE OUTLAW Republic Three Mesquiteers John English Young Boy

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