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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.



Above is a screen capture of Sherry Tansey from THE LAW OF 45's (Normandy, 1935) which starred Big Boy Williams and Al St. John.

Below is a screen capture of Sherry from THE PHANTOM COWBOY (Aywon, 1935) which starred Ted Wells. In this, Sherry's name is mangled and he's billed as "Cherry Tausie".


Sherry Tansey

Birth name: Sheridan James Tansey

1904 - 1961

Sometimes credited as: James/Jim Sheridan

Special thanks to Dave Tansey for sharing memories and photos of his 'Uncle Sherry'. Sherry's brother John was Dave's father. The third Tansey brother was Robert Emmett Tansey and Bob was a prolific writer, production manager, director and producer and is best remembered for the Monogram Trail Blazers and the Eddie Dean series at Producers Releasing Corporation (PRC).


A familiar face in B westerns was Sherry Tansey. He was born July 29, 1904 in Queens, New York and was the youngest of three sons born to Harry and Emma (nee Purcell) Tansey.

In the silent era, he did 'kid' roles (as 'Sheridan Tansey'). Reaching adulthood, he re-started his movie career in the late 1920s as a bad guy in FBO and Pathe westerns.

Thanks to Hans Wollstein for checking some of his silent film references where he found the following credits for 'Sheridan Tansey': CONQUERED HEARTS (Rialto del Luxe Films, 1916); A LUCKY GOLD PIECE (Imperial, 1916); THE RUNAWAY (Empire All Star, 1917): THE FOOLISH VIRGIN (Selznick, 1917); THE LITTLE DUCHESS (World/Peerless, 1917); THE POWER AND THE GLORY (World, 1918); THE TWO BRIDES (Paramount, 1919); OVER THE HILL TO THE POOR HOUSE (Fox, 1920) and UNCLE SAM OF THE FREEDOM RIDGE (Levey Service Co., 1920). Silent western appearances included THE FIGHTING BOOB (FBO, 1926) starring Bob Custer, CODE OF THE COW COUNTRY (Action Pictures/Pathe, 1927) with Buddy Roosevelt, and THE OBLIGIN' BUCKAROO (Action Pictures/Pathe, 1927) starring Buffalo Bill, Jr.

From about 1930 through the early 1940s, Sherry appeared in about 150 sound films, and most were B westerns. Tall and thin, he generally portrayed a henchman and gang member and generally sported lots of beard stubble to make him look mean and ornery.

Much of his film work was uncredited. Director and producer brother Bob Tansey ensured that Sherry was frequently employed, and the two worked together on about 65 westerns.

You can spot Sherry menacing Fred Scott, Rex Bell, the Range Busters, George Houston, and John Wayne (his Lone Stars and early Republic films). But the bulk of his oaters were with Tex Ritter (in 21 films), Bob Steele (in 19), Tim McCoy (in 11), Jack Randall (in 10), Wally Wales (in 8), Tom Keene (in 8), and Johnny Mack Brown (in 7).

His last film appearances were in the early 1940s at Monogram with Tom Keene, Tex Ritter and the Range Busters. Then he exits the movie business. That's a bit strange as brother Bob was very busy during 1943 - 1946 doing producing and directing chores on the Monogram Trail Blazers followed by the Eddie Dean series at Producers Releasing Corporation (PRC). But Sherry doesn't show up either series. Was he ill ... injured ... tired of movie work ... found another job ... or on the outs with brother Bob? I posed that question to Dave Tansey and he didn't recall why Sherry dropped out of films.

Suffering from heart problems, Sherry Tansey died April 12, 1961 at the Sacramento County Hospital. At the time of his passing, he was custodian at a union hall in Sacramento, California.

Don't forget to visit the Old Corral page on "The Tansey Family in Hollywood" which includes more on producer / director / writer / jack-of-all-trades Robert Emmett 'Bob' Tansey, Sherry Tansey, John Tansey and their mother, actress Emma Tansey.

  Although some of the data is incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has information on Sherry Tansey: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0792175/

The IMDb has a "people working together" search function. Sherry Tansey did about 65 films in which his brother Bob Tansey / Robert Emmett Tansey was the writer or director or producer, etc.: https://www.imdb.com/search/title/?roles=nm0792175,nm0849806




Dave Tansey
Dave Tansey remembers his 'Uncle Sherry':

"Uncle Sherry was my favorite uncle. He would come by the house, scoop me up, and take me for a four hour adventure - great for a little kid."

"When I was on location he included me in everything he did (except the filming of course) - riding, roping, make believe stunts. It was wonderful."

Dave didn't recall why Sherry exited the film business: "I heard he worked in the C&H sugar factory in the San Francisco area and was a custodian in Sacramento at the veterans hall and was buried in Woodland, California."




(Courtesy of Dave Tansey)
Above - Sherry Tansey.




(Courtesy of Dave Tansey)

Above - a Hollywood henchman ridin' the range. No date or film reference on this photo of Sherry.



(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above - Sherry Tansey is about to take a board to Lane Chandler who is poundin' away on an unidentified player in a lobby card from the lost/missing RIDERS OF THE RIO (Round-Up Pictures, 1931).



(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above from L-to-R are Al Hoxie, unidentified player, Yakima Canutt, Barney Beasley, Wally Wales, Sherry Tansey and Peggy Djarling in a scene from CARRYING THE MAIL (William Pizor/Imperial, 1934), one of the several two to three-reel (20 minutes to a half hour) oaters churned out by producer William Pizor in the mid-1930s. The Pizor/Imperial series marked the end of Wally Wales' starring career - a few years later, he changed his name to Hal Taliaferro and became a prolific sidekick and supporting player in scores of A and B grade westerns and serials into the 1950s.



(Courtesy of Dave Tansey)

Above - Sherry Tansey is menacing a very young Fay McKenzie (with blonde hair). And on the right is Barney Beasley. From the short, THE SUNDOWN TRAIL (William Pizor/Imperial, 1934), which starred Wally Wales (Hal Taliaferro). In this,Tansey is billed as "James Sheridan" and gets a lot of dialog and screen time, much more than his usual henchman-in-the-background roles.



(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above - Wally Wales versus Sherry Tansey in this lobby card and crop/blowup from ARIZONA CYCLONE (William Pizor/Imperial, 1934). Directing was Sherry's brother Robert Emmett Tansey.



(Courtesy of Bruce Hickey)

L-to-R are Sherry Tansey, Jim Corey, Claire Rochelle, Johnny Mack Brown, Frank LaRue, and Ed Cassidy in a lobby card from BOOTHILL BRIGADE (A. W. Hackel/Republic, 1937).



(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above from L-to-R are Lew Meehan, Sherry Tansey and Bob Steele in a crop from a lobby card from THUNDER IN THE DESERT (A. W. Hackel/Republic, 1938).



(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Ken Maynard has the drop on Carl Mathews (dark hat), Sherry Tansey (light blue shirt), and kneeling is Dave O'Brien. Lobby card from Maynard's PHANTOM RANCHER (Colony, 1940).



(From Old Corral collection)

Above, an interesting lobby card from RIDING THE SUNSET TRAIL (Monogram, 1941), and from L-to-R are: Betty Miles, Tom Keene, Kenne Duncan, Sherry Tansey, Earl Douglas, and Tom London. Earl Douglas' real name was Lou Yaconelli and he was the brother of Frank Yaconelli. If you look close, you might make out the moustached Arkansas Slim Andrews to the right of Keene's face. Can you spot the error on this lobby card - look at all the gunbelts and the holsters as they are on the left side. Apparently, the photo used in preparation of this card was reversed.



(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above is a title card included in the pressbook for WESTERN MAIL (Monogram, 1942). In this one, Keene wore twin gunbelts buckled in the back rather than his usual single gun rig (buckled in the back). The baddies in the background are, from L-to-R, Sherry Tansey, Rocky Camron (Gene Alsace), Karl Hackett and Fred Kohler, Jr.



The Family Search website (free), Ancestry.com (subscription), newspapers, California Death Index, and the death certificate provide more on Sherry Tansey.

There is a question on his full birth name - is he Sheridan James Tansey or James Sheridan Tansey? He's Sheridan Tansey with no middle name or initial on his New York birth certificate. However, his World War II draft registration has him as Sheridan James Tansey.

Find A Grave website has a photo of the grave marker for Sherry James Tansey (1904 - 1961) who is interred at Woodland Cemetery, Woodland, Yolo County, California: https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/88066721/sheridan-james-tansey



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