|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, barflies, deputies, wagon drivers, ranch hands, etc. We tend to recognize some of their faces, but have no clue as to their real names.|
Full name: Jesse Cavin
1885 - 1967
in sound films, he appeared in at least 50 westerns, and his movie career ran from the mid 1920s through the early 1960s.
Jess Cavin was born and raised in Indiana ... in 1918, he's a tractor mechanic in Indianapolis ... and in the 1930 census, he's an actor, living in Los Angeles with a wife and four children.
In 1920s silents, he most frequently played heavies, and his roles were much more substantial than his later B-western jobs.
In sound films, he was one of many unbilled / uncredited B western background faces and was recognizable because of his moustache. I don't recall him ever having a line of dialog, and his roles were generally that of a townsman, settler, barfly, etc.
His film work dropped to near zero by the late 1940s - early 1950s. Then we jump ahead 10+ years and find him as a juror in the Gregory Peck TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD (Universal, 1962). If anyone has a DVD of MOCKINGBIRD, see if you can spot Cavin doing jury duty. He was about 77 years of age.
Although some of the data may be incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has information on Jess Cavin: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0146886/
The Family Search website (free), Ancestry.com (subscription) and the California Death Records database have information on Cavin:
Find A Grave website has a (poor quality) photo of the well worn grave marker for Cavin at Pierce Brothers Valhalla Memorial Park, North Hollywood, California: https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/48836122/jess-cavin
The Google Newspaper archive has several 1933 articles from the St. Petersburg, Florida Evening Independent newspaper about Jess Cavin. He is living in St. Petersburg, Florida and working on a couple very low budget movies for Aubrey Kennedy's production company. The films are CHLOE (1933) and PLAYTHINGS OF DESIRE (1933). It appears that Cavin was an investor (and he probably lost his investment):
There's a production still from TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD at Liam's United States of Cinema blog. On the left is Cavin with white hair, white mustache and white suspenders sitting next to jury foreman Guy Wilkerson (of PRC's Texas Rangers). On the far right is presiding judge Paul Fix, a close friend to John Wayne and director John Ford: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_34acDXkrjGI/TCys4PbtjxI/AAAAAAAAAAc/_Hei-PKCLfA/s1600/tkam1.jpg
(Courtesy of Les Adams)
Above from left to right are Jess Cavin, Rex Lease, Pascale Perry, Earle Hodgins and Bob Wilke in a crop from a lobby card from FIREBRANDS OF ARIZONA (Republic, 1944), one of the early Sunset Carson series in which Smiley Burnette was given top billing. Cavin was a townsman in this. Hodgins was the sheriff and his deputies were Wilke, Lease and Perry.
(Courtesy of John White)
Left to right are Curley Dresden, Jess Cavin, Carl Mathews, Jimmy Aubrey and Dan White in a scene from the Buster Crabbe VALLEY OF VENGEANCE (PRC, 1944). Aubrey, Cavin and White are settlers, while Dresden and Mathews play gang members employed by Jack Ingram and Lynton Brent. All five in this photo were unbilled.
Full name: Victor Vern Cox
1902 - 1972
appeared in at least 86 westerns and 7 serials, and his film career ran from the late 1930s through the early 1950s.
Victor Cox hailed from Oklahoma and his movie career began in the mid 1930s. Rarely credited and rarely with any dialog, he can be spotted portraying townsmen, barflies, posse riders, deputies, henchmen, et al. He also worked in a few early 1950s western TV programs. After his film career ended, Victor Vern Cox moved to Lubbock, Texas and raised horses.
Although some of the data may be incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has information on Victor Cox: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0185275/
The Family Search website (free), Ancestry.com (subscription), and the death certificate provide more on Victor Cox:
Find A Grave website has a photo of the grave marker for Victor Cox at Plainview Cemetery, Plainview, Hale County, Texas: https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/47438051/victor-vern-cox
(From Old Corral collection)
Left to right are Al 'Fuzzy' St. John, Frank Ellis, Lorraine Miller and Buster Crabbe in a lobby card from BORDER BADMEN (PRC, 1945). Left to right In the background are an unidentified guy, Victor Cox and Jack Hendricks (AKA Ray Henderson). Cox, Hendricks and Ellis are henchmen reporting to boss Charlie King. See crop/blowup below.
Unidentified player, Victor Cox, Lorraine Miller, Crabbe and Jack Hendricks (AKA Ray Henderson).
Full name: Charles Manford Furey
1882 - 1938
in sound films, he appeared in at least 19 westerns and 3 serials, and his movie career ran from about 1912 through 1937.
Born in 1882 or 1886, Barney Furey began his movie career circa 1912 and passed away in 1938 at age 51 or 55. He was born and raised in Idaho and census records have his birth location as Idaho ... except for the 1930 census which indicates Canada (probably an error - Barney's father was Canadian).|
Furey did many silent oaters with Tom Mix, Pete Morrison, Tom Tyler, others, and he successfully migrated into talking pictures.
A good example of his later film appearances is Bob Steele's THE LAW RIDES (Supreme, 1936). Furey is billed eighth in the opening credits and gets lots of screen time and dialog as the assistant to no-good Charlie King. At the end, Steele is chasing after King and Furey into the desert ... and poor ol' Barney - who was about 50 years old when this was filmed - dies after a drink from a poisoned water hole. This was one of six mid 1930s A. W. Hackel productions released under the Supreme and Republic brands in which Furey appeared opposite Steele. In silents, he did a couple with Steele for Film Booking Office (FBO).
Although some of the data may be incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has information on Barney Furey: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0298854/
The Family Search website (free), Ancestry.com (subscription), the death certificate, and ProQuest obituaries have more about Barney Furey:
(Courtesy of Les Adams)
Left to right are Carl Mathews, Pat Harmon, Barney Furey and Benny Corbett in a lobby card from the Kane Richmond mountie adventure SILENT CODE (International/Stage & Screen, 1935).
(From Old Corral collection)
Perpetual baddie Charlie King has the grips on whiskered codger Buck Connors while Barney Furey has a sixgun on Bob Steele in a lobby card from THE LAW RIDES (Supreme, 1936).