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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.

Charles B. Murphy

Full name:
Charles Bernard Murphy

Nickname: "Charlie"

1881 - 1942

(Courtesy of Fabian Cepeda)

Ken Jones, co-author of Heroes, Heavies and Sagebrush provides some biographical info on Charles B. Murphy: he was born in Independence, Missouri on December 12, 1881 and began his film career about 1920. He appeared in many western and non-western films, and rarely received billing. He was killed while working in a Hopalong Cassidy film, reportedly LOST CANYON (United Artists, 1942). He was driving a wagon and was thrown from the seat when the front wheel hit a rock and the vehicle overturned. He died from his injuries on June 11, 1942 in a Bakersfield, California hospital.

Les Adams has Murphy in 60+ sound era films, and that includes 29 westerns and 16 chapterplays. That's not a large quantity of film work considering his career ran from circa 1920 through his 1942 death.

Information from the 1930 census, newspapers, trades and movie fan magazines provide more on Charles Bernard Murphy's other career. Prior to Hollywood, he was 'Carlo Bernardi' / 'Carlos Bernardo', animal trainer and lion tamer in vaudeville and circuses. From about 1924 through the early 1930s, Murphy was in charge of the Universal Pictures' zoo (and his titles included curator, superintendent, more). During this period, Murphy and wife Lillian lived at Universal City. Following are a few blurbs on Charles B. Murphy, animal trainer, keeper of Universal's zoo, and movie actor:

The Family Search website (free), California Death Index and newspaper obituaries provide more on Charles Bernard Murphy and family:

  Although some of the data is incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has information on Murphy:

Find A Grave website confirms that Charles Bernard Murphy is interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale, California:

Above photo clipped from a multi-page article on Universal's zoo and animal trainer Charles B. Murphy titled "Baby Animal Stars of 1925" in the August, 1925 Picture Play magazine (available at the Internet Archive).

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above from left to right are Murphy, Buck Jones pummeling Le Roy Mason, and Syd Saylor in a scene from WHEN A MAN SEES RED (Universal, 1934).

(Courtesy of Ken Jones)

Above from left to right are Earl Dwire, Steve Clark, Tom Keene, Oscar Gahan, lawman Charles B. Murphy, and Denver Dixon (Victor Adamson) in Tom Keene's ROMANCE OF THE ROCKIES (Monogram, 1937).

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