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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.

Jess Cavin
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:

The Family Search website (free), (subscription) and the California Death Records database have information on Cavin:

  • 1910 census - 50 year old Alonzo Cavin (born Indiana; occupation farmer), 50 year old wife Nancy A. (born Indiana), 15 year old son Jesse (born Indiana; occupation farm laborer), 13 year old son Albert C. (born Indiana; occupation farm laborer), 10 year old daughter Acy Pearl (born Indiana), 8 year old Goldie May (born Indiana), and 5 year old daughter Bertha M. (born Indiana) were living in Boone County, Indiana:
  • Indiana marriage ledger (not the license) - Jesse Cavin and Cora Bailey were married on June 29, 1910 in Vigo, Indiana:
  • 1918 World War I draft registration - 33 year old Jesse Cavin was living and working in Indianapolis, Indiana. His birth date was May 5, 1885, occupation was "Tractor mechanic - Waterloo Tractor Co.", and wife Cora was his contact:
  • 1920 census - 34 year old Jessie Cavin (born Indiana), 27 year old wife Cora (born Indiana), 8 year old son Harold (born Indiana), 4 year old son Herbert (born Indiana), and newborn daughter Helen (born Indiana) were living in Van Buren, Fountain County, Indiana. Cavin's occupation is "Mechanic - Machine Shop":
  • 1930 census - 44 year old Jesse Cavin (born Indiana), 37 year old wife Cora F. (born Indiana), 18 year old son Harold M. (born Indiana), 14 year old son Herbert W. (born Indiana), 4 year old daughter Mildred V. (born California), and 2 year old daughter Dorothy M. (born California) were renting at 11045 Weddington Street, Los Angeles, and Jesse reported his occupation as "Actor - Motion Picture":
  • 1940 census - 54 year old Jesse Cavin (born Indiana), 47 year old wife Cora (born Indiana), 14 year old daughter Mildred (born California) and 12 year old daughter Dorothy (born California) were renting at 11127 Hesby Street in Los Angeles and they lived there in 1935. Cavin reports his occupation as "Actor - Motion Picture", and in 1939, he worked 26 weeks and earned $1632.00:
  • Social Security Death Index (SSDI) and California Death Index for Jess Cavin. He was born May 5, 1885 in Indiana, Mother's maiden name of McColm, and passed away in the Los Angeles area on July 20, 1967:

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:

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):,4619417&dq=jess-cavin&hl=en
This article has a good summary of Cavin's silent screen work as a heavy:,3566350&dq=jess-cavin&hl=en
Take a gander at the photo at the top of this newspaper page - the caption mentions "Jess Cavin, veteran Hollywood player and heavy investor in the local production":,254720&dq=jess-cavin&hl=en

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:

(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.


Victor Cox
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:

The Family Search website (free), (subscription), and the death certificate provide more on Victor Cox:

  • 1920 census - 52 year old James A. Cox (born Kansas), his 49 year old wife Jennie (born Pennsylvania), their six sons and one daughter were living in Plainview, Hale County, Texas. One of the sons is 17 year old Victor Cox (born Oklahoma):
  • 1940 census - 38 year old Victor V. Cox (born Oklahoma), 29 year old wife Sylvia E. (born Texas), 11 year old son Lexi Ray (born Texas), and 9 year old son Jimmy V. (born Texas) were renting in Burbank, California. In 1935, they lived in San Antonio, Texas. Victor's occupation was "Actor - Motion Picture Studio", and in 1939, he worked 47 weeks and earned $600.00:
  • Death certificate - 69 year old Victor Vern Cox was born July 7, 1902 in Oklahoma; parents were James A. Cox and Jennie McCaslin; and his occupation was "Stockman - Horses". He passed away from prostate cancer on June 20, 1972 at Methodist Hospital, Lubbock, Texas. Death certificate informant was wife Sophia Cox. Burial at Plainview Cemetery, Plainview, Texas:
  • Obituary/funeral notice from the June 22, 1972 Lubbock (Texas) Avalanche-Journal newspaper. Excerpts: "Services for Victor Vern Cox, 69, veteran western movie star and stuntman ... died Tuesday in Methodist Hospital. ... reared near Plainview and Petersburg and moved to Lubbock from Hollywood several years ago. He raised stock and race horses here." Go to:

Find A Grave website has a photo of the grave marker for Victor Cox at Plainview Cemetery, Plainview, Hale County, Texas:

(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.

L-to-R are Victor Cox, Lorraine Miller, Crabbe and Jack Hendricks (AKA Ray Henderson).


Barney Furey
Full name: Charles Manford Furey
1882 - 1938
in sound films, he appeared in about 30 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:

The Family Search website (free), (subscription), the death certificate, and ProQuest obituaries have more about Barney Furey:

  • 1900 census - 51 year old Charles H. Furey (born Canada), 51 year old wife Clara S. (born Iowa), 18 year old son Charles M. (born Idaho; this is Barney Furey), 16 year old son Sherman F. (born Idaho), 13 year old daughter Anne G. (born Idaho), and 9 year old Gwendolin I. (born Idaho) were living in Blaine County, Idaho:
  • 1918 World War I draft registration - Charles Manford Furey registered September 12, 1918 in Los Angeles. His birth date was September 7, 1882, occupation was "Actor - Vitagraph", and his contact was his mother, Clara L. Furey in Pocatello, Idaho. In response to the question of U.S. Citizenship, Barney responded "Yes" to "Native born":
  • Ancestry had many City Directory and Voter Registration records on Barney Furey. Here's a few:
    1914 Los Angeles City Directory: Barney Furey (actor) was renting at 426 W. 7th.
    1916 Los Angeles Voter Registration: Barney M. Furey (actor) lists his address as Universal City.
    1920 Portland, Oregon City Directory: Barney Furey (actor) works for the Beaver Film Company, and was living at the Oregon Hotel.
    1924 Los Angeles Voter Registration: Barney M. Furey (actor) and wife Florence M. Furey (housewife) were living at 7124 1/2 Grant Avenue in Los Angeles.
    1930 Los Angeles Voter Registration: Barney M. Furey (actor) and wife Florence M. Furey (housewife) were living at 2656 Benedict Street in Los Angeles.
    1934 Los Angeles Voter Registration: Barney M. Furey (no mention of wife Florence) were living at 171 S. Commonwealth Avenue in Los Angeles.
  • 1930 census - 42 year old Charles M. Furey (born Canada), 33 year old wife Florence (born Wisconsin), 7 year old son Charles W. (born California) and 6 year old daughter Patricia (born California) were living in Los Angeles, California:
    There's confusion here - the census takers worksheet on Ancestry has Barney born in "French Canada" and he migrated to the United States in 1920.
  • Death certificate: 51 year old Barney Furey, AKA Charles Manford Furey, passed away on January 18, 1938 at the Hollywood Hospital. Cause of death was peritonitis due to an intestinal perforation. His occupation was "Actor-Screen"; was born September 7, 1886 in Boise Idaho; and parents were Charles Furey and Clara Kaufman. Death certificate informant was Barney's wife Florence Furey, and they lived at 32 Avenue 19, Venice, California. He was cremated and Pierce Brothers was the funeral director.
  • Ancestry and ProQuest obituaries had death/funeral notices on Furey in January 21, 1938 newspapers. Excerpts:
    "Los Angeles ...Funeral Slated For Idaho Actor ... Charles Manford Furey, 51 year old character actor. Known on the screen as Barney Furey ..."
    "Funeral services for Charles Manford Furey, 51 ... screen actor known as Barney Furey, will be conducted today ... Interment in Hollywood Cemetery. ... died suddenly Tuesday. ... native of Boise, Idaho. ... leaves widow Florence, and two children, Patricia and Billy."

(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).

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