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The 'brains' and 'action' heavies who had meaty roles and lots of dialog ... and the players who were fathers, ranch owners, lawman, mayors, judges, lawyers, storekeepers, newspaper editors, wardens, etc.

Emmett Vogan

Full name:
Charles Emmett Vogan

1893 - 1969

Emmett Vogan was a prolific movie performer whose face is recognized by many of us ... but we don't know his name.

During Summer, 2012, Turner Classic Movies (TCM) ran a few Dick Foran oaters including EMPTY HOLSTERS (Warners, 1937). In that, Vogan is a real nasty, playing the boss baddie role with vim and vigor ... and did I mention he was really nasty. After viewing EMPTY HOLSTERS, I wondered why Vogan never specialized in westerns or why production companies and directors didn't utilize him more often as a B western brains heavy.

Emmett Vogan learned his acting skills on the stage and traveling repertory companies. When he registered for the World War I draft, he was performing in St. Louis with the Lakeside Musical Comedy Company. Newspaper and tradepaper articles circa 1918 - early 1930s have him acting with the Woodward Players (Spokane, Washington), Wilkes Stock Company (Seattle, Washington), George Sharp Players (Pittsburg), Orpheum Players (Kansas City), more. He often worked with his wife Edythe who was billed as Edythe Lawrence. For example, in 1925, Emmett and Edythe were at the Hippodrome in Peoria, Illinois with the Gifford Stock Company and wifh the Dorothy Gale Players at the Temple, Hammond, Indiana.

Vogan began his Hollywood career circa 1933.

Les Adams has him identified in about 450 sound films - and of that number, about fifty are westerns and cliffhangers. That quantity is significant as his movie career spanned about twenty years, from 1933 through the mid 1950s. He was the recipient of a large quantity of paychecks from Republic Pictures - during the period from 1936-1954, he appeared in 71 Republics which were a mix of musicals, dramas, mysteries, westerns and serials. His Republic oaters were mostly with Roy Rogers (seven films), but he also can be spotted in sagebrush adventures starring Gene Autry, Don Barry, Bill Elliott, Allan Lane, Monte Hale, Rex Allen and John Wayne.

In many of his A and B grade film appearances, he was an unbilled/uncredited newspaper reporter, police officer, judge, doctor, attorney, member of the military ... or just a face in a crowd. Examples: he's a doctor attending Susan Hayward (as songstress Jane Froman) in WITH A SONG IN MY HEART (20th Century Fox, 1952); he's a backstage manager at a theater in THE JOLSON STORY (Columbia, 1946); Vogan was a military doctor in the John Ford directed THEY WERE EXPENDABLE (MGM, 1945) which starred Robert Montgomery and John Wayne; he was an officer (or Captain) of the ship transporting Warner Oland and others from New York to Berlin in CHARLIE CHAN AT THE OLYMPICS (20 Century Fox, 1937). He turned up in eight of the Chan mysteries - two with Warner Oland, four with Sidney Toler, and two with Roland Winters.

Several Vogan B western and serial roles come to mind:

Courtesy of Boyd Magers)

Above from left to right are George Chesebro, Emmett Vogan, Anderson Lawler, Dick Foran, Tom Brower and Patricia Walthall in a scene from Foran's EMPTY HOLSTERS (Warners, 1937). This is a standout role for Vogan as both he and Foran have romantic feelings for Pat Walthall. To eliminate his competition, Vogan gets Foran sent to prison on a trumped up charge. Vogan was in his mid forties when he did this role.

Courtesy of Boyd Magers)

Above from left to right are Douglas Fowley, Emmett Vogan, Roy Rogers and Roy Barcroft in a 1954 blue duotone re-release lobby card from ALONG THE NAVAJO TRAIL (Republic, 1945). Fowley and Barcroft report to Vogan who is the president of an oil drilling company that needs Dale Evans' ranch for a pipeline.

There is a controversy with Vogan's full name. In the links below, you'll find his Ohio birth record as Charles E. Vogan and he was Charles Emmett Vogan on his World War I and World War II draft registration documents. However, the California Death Records database and his grave marker at Forest Lawn reads Emmett C. Vogan. The controversy continues with the spelling of his wife's name - on his WW2 draft registration, Vogan lists her as Edith but the grave marker shows Edythe.

  Although some of the data is incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) has information on Emmett Vogan:

The Family Search website (free), California Death Index, Social Security Death Index (SSDI)newspaper funeral notices and ProQuest obituaries provide more on Emmett Vogan and family:

Jim Tipton's Find A Grave website has a picture of the marker for Emmett C. Vogan and his wife Edythe who are interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills), Los Angeles, California:

In that 1940 census, the Vogans have a 21 year old son named Emmett. The IMDb has a few 1946-1947 films for Emmett Vogan Jr. (1918-2002) whom I assume is their son:

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above is the title lobby card for THE OIL RAIDER (Mayfair, 1934) which Buster Crabbe did 'on loan' from Paramount. The Mayfair company existed from the late 1920s through mid 1930s, and was originally called Action Pictures. THE OIL RAIDER was the last - or among the last - of Mayfair's films. This was one of Emmett Vogan's early film appearances, and he does get billing credit.

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