|Unkempt, rough and tough looking members of the gang, or lynch mob, or vigilantes, or posse riders, or cow herders. They had minimal or no dialog, not much screen time, and were generally not listed in the film credits. Some would show up as a face in the crowd, portraying townspeople, barflys, deputies, wagon drivers, ranch hands, etc. We tend to recognize some of their faces, but have no clue as to their real names.|
Above - 1941
Charles Fredrick Morrison
1896? - 1963
Charles Fredrick 'Chuck' Morrison was born June 17, 1896 in Cambridge, Massachusetts to George and Jennie Morrison.
His movie career lasted ten+ years, from approximately 1933 - 1944. He was generally a henchman ... often unbilled / uncredited ... and was relatively easy to spot due to a protruding jawline and misalignment of teeth (malocclusion).
In the 1930s, he did oaters with Rex Bell, Reb Russell, Harry Carey Sr., Bob Steele, Buck Jones, Bob Baker, and Johnny Mack Brown. He was busiest in the early 1940s in sagebrush adventures with Tex Ritter at Monogram; at Paramount in Hopalong Cassidys; at Columbia with Wild Bill Elliott and Charles Starrett; with Johnny Mack Brown at Universal; and at Republic Pictures with the Three Mesquiteers, Don Barry, Gene Autry, and Roy Rogers.
Les Adams has him in about 65 features and serials ... and, as noted above, the bulk of his film work occurred in the early 1940s. Bulk also describes Morrison's physical appearance - when he registered for the World War II draft in 1942, he was 5 feet, 9 inches tall and weighed 215 pounds.
He married Lulie Burroughs Larner (1898 - 1981) on January 21, 1933 in Manhattan, New York City. This was his first marriage and her second. Her father was New York attorney Ambrose Hammett Burroughs, and he passed away in 1929 and left an estate valued at nearly five million dollars. Wealthy from her share of the estate, Lulie (nicknamed "Lee") and Chuck settled in Palm Springs, California. Chuck became heavily involved in Palm Springs society, community activities, and law enforcement, and did an occasional movie job. And the Morrisons entertained Hollywood elite including Rex Bell and his wife Clara Bow.
Further down this webpage, there's a link to the Palm Springs Historical Society website which has photos and newspaper articles on Chuck and Lee Morrison including the mid 1930s construction of their main and guest houses, swimming pool and tennis court. And Chuck was head of the Palm Springs Property Owners Association.
In April, 1937, Morrison was appointed Deputy U. S. Marshal.
Chuck's Palm Springs lifestyle came to an end in 1939 when Lee filed for divorce. He moved to Los Angeles, concentrated on acting, and during 1940 - 1942, appeared in about forty films. Good Morrison movie portrayals from this period include:
- In RAINBOW OVER THE RANGE (Monogram, 1940), Chuck has a credited role as henchman "Buck" who winds up helping Tex Ritter clean up a gang of horse thieves led by Warner Richmond and Gene Alsace (Rocky Camron).
- Morrison gets billing credit and a fair amount of screen time playing "Trask", the subordinate to villain Anthony Warde, in the fourth and last Dick Tracy serial, DICK TRACY VS. CRIME, INC. (Republic, 1941).
In the early 1940s, he married a second time to a Mary Wood. Then he exited Hollywood and began a new career with the Las Vegas Police Department and later, in casino security in Vegas.
Charles Fredrick Morrison passed away on April 18, 1963 from a heart attack at his Las Vegas home. At the time of his passing, he was chief of security at the Tallyho Hotel and Country Club. And there was a third marriage - on his death certificate, his wife is named Cecilia.
Old Corral contributor Phil Arnold had a copy of Chuck Morrison's "Screen Actors Guild Minimum Contract for Free Lance Players" for the Tex Ritter RAINBOW OVER THE RANGE (Monogram, 1940). His pay was $75.00/week and the contract was dated June 19, 1940 between Morrison and producer Edward Finney and his Boots and Saddles production company. Morrison's home address was 1825 North Kingsley Drive, Los Angeles (same as the 1940 census). The contract had his Social Security number, and with that newfound tidbit, I was able to trace his life after Hollywood.
Above - 1937
Above - 1941
Although some of the data is incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has information on Chuck Morrison: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0607108
The Palm Springs, California Historical Society has several photos and newspaper articles on Chuck Morrison and wife Lee: http://palmspringshs.pastperfectonline.com/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&search_criteria=%22chuck+morrison%22&searchButton=Search
Google Maps has photos of Chuck and Lee Morrison's home at 784 North Patencio Road, Palm Springs, California which was built in 1934: https://www.google.com/maps/place/784+N+Patencio+Rd,+Palm+Springs,+CAemail@example.com,-116.5547188,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x80db1bb649f82db5:0x8b09d3b02de20244!8m2!3d33.8335967!4d-116.5525301?hl=en
Morrison timeline and events from trade publications and newspapers.
Hollywood trade publications at the Internet Archive along with newspapers available at the Newspaper Archive and other sources provide more on Chuck Morrison's Palm Springs, California life and later years with the Las Vegas Police Department and Vegas casino security.
1930s in Palm Springs, California:
- October 9, 1935 Film Daily had a blurb on Harry Carey's ACES WILD oater: "Chuck Morrison, known as the Mayor of Palm Springs, returns to Hollywood after a three months' tour of the country, to play a featured heavy role in the picture ..."
- November 8, 1935 The Desert Sun of Palm Springs, California newspaper: "Mrs. Chuck Morrison will return Thursday, accompanied by Mr. and Mrs. Rex Bell, who will spend Armistice week at the Morrison home."
- April 2-9, 1937 The Desert Sun of Palm Springs, California newspaper: Headline: "Chuck Morrison is Deputy U. S. Marshal" Excerpt: "Mr. Morrison received his appointment early this week and went to Los Angeles to take the oath of office before the United States Commissioner and U. S. Marshal Robert Clark."
- June 16, 1937 Variety had a blurb on Buck Jones' LAW FOR TOMBSTONE: "Chuck Morrison loped in from Palm Springs to play the heavy."
- October 20, 1937 Variety in the "Chatter" column for Palm Springs, California: "Chuck Morrison back as ex-officio police commissioner."
- November 12-19, 1937 The Desert Sun of Palm Springs, California newspaper: ... "Rex (Bell) and his wife, the lovely Clara Bow, will soon come to Palm Springs to visit with Chuck and Lee Morrison."
- February 25-March 4, 1938 The Desert Sun of Palm Springs, California newspaper: "The smiling faces of Lee and Chuck Morrison are again in evidence here and Chuck's big yellow super-charged Auburn is again conspicuous on the streets, for the Morrisons have returned from a month's trip to the East, where they visited with Mrs. Morrison's mother, Mrs. A. H. Burroughs, in New York City."
- May 5-12, 1939 The Desert Sun of Palm Springs, California newspaper: "Mrs. Lulie Burroughs Morrison has filed suit for divorce from Charles F. Morrison, Palm Springs sportsman and U. S. marshal here. Mrs. Morrison charges extreme cruelty ..." ; "The Morrisons were married in New York City on January 21, 1933. They have no children."
Las Vegas, 1940s through Chuck's death in 1963:
- June 4, 1947 Variety in the "Chatter" column for Las Vegas, Nevada: "Chuck Morrison, Chief of Detectives, quit to become public relations counsel of the Rancho Vegas."
- December 22, 1949 Reno Evening Gazette newspaper had an article on applicants for police chief of Las Vegas. One applicant was
"Charles 'Chuck' Morrison, former inspector in the police department and now a special officer in a downtown club ..."
- January 30, 1954 Reno Evening Gazette newspaper had an article on Clark County, Nevada Republicans filing for local office: "First Republican to file for county office was C. F. (Chuck) Morrison, who submitted his candidacy for sheriff. Morrison ran unsuccessfully for the post in 1950 ..."
- The Las Vegas Sun newspaper had reports on Morrison's death:
In the April 23, 1963 "Vegas Daze and Nites" column: "The sudden death of chief security guard, Chuck Morrison, of the Tallyho Hotel, shocked many of the entertainers and locals who knew him well." ; "... dead from a heart attack."
The April 24, 1963 issue reported on the April 23, 1963 funeral. Excerpts: "... Charles F. (Chuck) Morrison, chief of security at the Tallyho Hotel and Country Club, and a veteran of more than 30 years in law enforcement." ; "... heart attack last Thursday at his home in North Las Vegas."
On the trail of Charles Fredrick 'Chuck' Morrison.
The Family Search website (free), Ancestry.com (subscription), Newpaper Archive (subscription) and the death certificate provide more on Chuck Morrison. While draft registration, death certificate, and 1940 census have him born in 1896, the 1920 and 1930 census indicate a 1900 - 1901 birth year.
- 1920 census summary and census takers worksheet - renting in Cambridge, Middlesex County, Massachusetts are 41 year old George Morrison (born New Brunswick; occupation "Foreman - soap company"), his 42 year old wife Jennie (born Canada), and 19 year old son Charles (born Massachusetts; occupation "Clerk - soap company"): https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MXBL-173
- 1930 census summary and census takers worksheet - renting at 287 West 12th Street, Manhattan, New York, are 29 year old Charles F. Morrison (born Massachusetts) and 22 year old Bradley M. Laybarn (born New York). Morrison's occupation is "Inspector - Insurance" and he was a World War I veteran: https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:X423-H5P
- Ancestry had the New York Marriage Index - Charles F. Morrison married Lulie B. Larner on January 21, 1933 in Manhattan, New York. (She was previously married and divorced. There's family trees on Ancestry for Lula (Lulie) Davis Burroughs (1898 - 1981).)
- May, 1939 - Lulie Burroughs Morrison filed for divorce from Chuck Morrison.
- Ancestry had the 1939-1940 Palm Springs, California City Directory - Lulie B. 'Lee' Morrison lived at 784 North Patencio Road. Their divorce was probably finalized prior to the printing of this city directory as Chuck is not listed.
- 1940 census summary and census takers worksheet - owning her home at 784 West (???) Patencio, Palm Springs, Riverside County, California is 40 year old Lulie B. Morrison (born Virginia). She is divorced and no occupation is listed: https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K94F-FP8
- 1940 census summary and census takers worksheet - 44 year old Charles F. Morrison (born Massachusetts about 1896) and 24 year old Mary Wood (born Missouri) are renting at room/unit #315, 1825 North Kingsley Drive, Los Angeles. Morrison is divorced; lived in rural California in 1935; completed 4 years of college; occupation is "Actor - Motion Picture Studio"; and in 1939, he worked 28 weeks and earned $1500.00. Mary is single and her occupation is "Model - ladies clothing": https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/K9CC-C2L
- Ancestry.com had Los Angeles County voter registrations and City Directories. The 1942 voter registration (shown below) has actor Charles F. and model Mary E. Morrison residing at 1422 Riverside Drive, Burbank, California. The 1940 Burbank city directory also shows them as married and living at that Riverside Drive address.
- 1942 World War II draft registration dated April 26, 1942 in Las Vegas, Nevada - 45 year old Charles Fredrick Morrison was born June 17, 1896 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He's 5 feet, 9 inches tall and weighs 215 pounds. Employer is the Las Vegas Police Department, and he and wife Mary live at 604 Clark Avenue, Las Vegas: https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1-16533-10796-4?cc=1861144
- Ancestry had the 1944 and 1946 Los Angeles county voter registrations for Mary E. Morrison. But Charles is not present.
- Death certificate: 66 year old Charles Fredrick Morrison was born June 17, 1896 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and parents were George and Jennie Morrison. He passed away on April 18, 1963 from a heart attack at his home at 212 West Owens Street, North Las Vegas, Nevada. Occupation was "security officer and law enforcement officer", and he was a World War I veteran. Wife Cecilia Morrison was the death certificate informant. Burial at Woodlawn Cemetery, Las Vegas, Nevada. (And the Social Security number on the death certificate matches the Social Security number on Morrison's RAINBOW OVER THE RANGE contract.)
Jim Tipton's Find A Grave website has a photo of the gravestone for Charles F. Morrison who is is interred at Woodlawn Cemetery, Las Vegas, Clark County, Nevada. The headstone reads "Pvt U S Army World War I" and "June 17, 1896 - April 18, 1963": https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/120047746
|(Courtesy of Les Adams)
Above from left to right Dick Botiller's back and hat, unidentified player, Harry Carey, Francis/Frank Walker (tall hat), Chuck Morrison and Bob Kortman in a scene from Carey's WILD MUSTANG (Ajax, 1935).
(Courtesy of Les Adams)
Above are Harry Carey Sr. battling Chuck Morrison in a crop from a lobby card from GHOST TOWN (Ajax, 1936). Note the jaw and teeth alignment on Morrison. Morrison appeared in five of Carey's mid 1930s adventures.
(Courtesy of Les Adams)
Above - the title lobby card for THE GOLDEN TRAIL (Monogram, 1940). On the left, Tex is dukin' it out with Chuck Morrison. In the bottom right are Tex and leading lady Patsy Moran. A crop / blowup of Morrison vs. Ritter is shown below.