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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.

Joe Garcio
Joe Garcia

Real name:
Israel Kominsky

1905 - 1982

Joe Garcio / Garcia was born Israel Kominsky in Wilmington, New Castle County, Delaware on April 24, 1905 and his parents were Jewish and born in Russia. Father Herman / Hyman Kominsky was a shoemaker / shoe shop owner, and the family was in Chicago at the time of the 1920 census. By the mid 1930s, Joe Kominsky was an actor in Hollywood ... had shortened his legal / last name to "Komins" ... and his movie moniker was sometimes "Joe Garcia" and sometimes "Joe Garcio".

Joe's first wife was Elise De Montmollin and they married in 1927 in Cook County, Illinois. They had two children: daughter Barbara Garcio (born 1933) and son Jean Milton Garcio (born 1928), and both were born in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois.

He and Rebecca Steinberg tied the knot in Los Angeles in 1938 and they had two sons: E. Leslie Komins (born 1941) and I. Ross Komins (born 1945).

In 1950, he married Lucille Ruth Kaplan and they had three daughters: Elyse Komins (born 1953), Ina Komins (born 1955), and Lynne Komins (born 1960).

Joe's film and TV career spanned 30+ years, from the mid 1930s through the late 1960s. And most were uncredited roles playing a townsman, henchman, barfly, bartender, etc. And he turns up in seven Three Stooges comedy shorts at Columbia Pictures. In addition to acting jobs, Joe also did some stuntwork and doubling. His volume of work amounts to over sixty movies and lots of 1950s and 1960s television programs including many episodes of SOLDIERS OF FORTUNE, LARAMIE, BONANZA, THE VIRGINIAN, TALES OF WELLS FARGO, and RIVERBOAT.

Prior to movies and TV, Garcio may have done some pro wrestling - from the "Behind The Movie Sets" column in July, 1952 newspapers: "... Joe Garcio, former South Philly wrestler is now 'wrastlin' with cowboy leading men as a villain in Westerns."

There is confusion with that Garcia / Garcio last name. As noted, Joe was rarely credited, but I did check a couple films in which he was billed in the opening titles and credits:

  • One of his earliest appearances was Jack Randall's WHERE THE WEST BEGINS (Monogram, 1938). He's billed as "Joe Garcia" and portrays a henchman.
  • In the Range Busters BULLETS AND SADDLES (Monogram, 1943), he does another henchman role and is credited as "Joe Garcia".

The Garcio surname pops up in a few newspaper articles. A UPI syndicated article from early 1946 was about Linda Darnell and the John Cromwell directed ANNA AND THE KING OF SIAM (20th Century Fox, 1946). Portraying executioners were former wrestler Constantine Romanoff and Joe Garcio, who was described as "ex-pride of the merchant marine who packs 225 pounds ...". And a syndicated article from April, 1947 noted that "Joe Garcio, who plays a blacksmith in Columbia's color production of Zane Grey's 'Twin Sombreros' is an expert shoer of horses. He has 12 horses on his own Ventura ranch ..." (A title change occurred - Randolph Scott's Twin Sombreros became GUNFIGHTERS (Columbia, 1947). Viewed the film and didn't spot Garcio in it.)

Researcher Phil Arnold has autographs of many cast and crew members from the gangster / film noir THE BIG COMBO (Allied Artists, 1955). And Joe's signature is "Joe Garcio".

In his later years, he put on weight, had health issues, and resided at the Motion Picture Home and Hospital, Woodland Hills, California. Joe passed away there on April 11, 1982 from a heart attack due to arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease and is interred at Valhalla Memorial Park, North Hollywood.

The scant biographies on Joe mention that John Wayne helped him gain entry to the Motion Picture Home and Hospital. But that appears to be doubtful as Wayne passed away on June 11, 1979, nearly three years prior to Garcio's death.

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

The Three Stooges Net website has Joe in about a half dozen 1940s Three Stooges comedy shorts:

1947 article on Joe Garcio's Ventura, California ranch, raising horses, and shoeing horses:

(Courtesy of Minard Coons)

Left to right above are Forrest Taylor, Max 'Alibi' Terhune, Joe Garcia, John Merton (sitting), Ed Cassidy, and Steve Clark. Still from BULLETS AND SADDLES (Monogram, 1943), the 24th and last of Monogram's Range Busters trio adventures.

Crop / blowup below of Joe Garcia.

On the trail of Joe Garcia / Joe Garcio.

The Family Search website (free), (subscription), California Death Index, Social Security Death Index (SSDI), tradepapers, newspapers, and other sources provide more on Joe and family.

There's three common threads in the information below:

  1. The last name of Joe and parents was Kominsky ... which Joe shortened or "Americanized" to Komins. The Kominsky and Komins last name variations are highlighted in this color.
  2. Joe's mother was Ida Newman (born Russia), and is highlighted in this color.
  3. Joe's date of birth was April 24, 1904 or 1905, and is highlighted in this color.

Find A Grave website confirms that Joe Garcio is interred at Valhalla Memorial Park, North Hollywood, Los Angeles County, California:

Two children with Elise De Montmollin:

  • Son Jean Milton Garcio was born in 1928 in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois.
  • Illinois Birth Index for Barbara Eudore Garcio. She was born March 26, 1933 in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois to 29 year old Joseph Fredrick Garcio and 29 year old Elise De Montmollin:

Two children with Rebecca Steinberg:

  • California Birth Index for son E. Leslie Komins, born February 27, 1941 in Los Angeles and mother's maiden name was Steinberg:
  • March 5, 1941 issue of Variety had a birth announcement: "Mr. and Mrs. Joe Garcio, son in Hollywood, Feb. 27. Father is stunt man in films."
  • California Birth Index for son I. Ross Komins, born June 29, 1945 in Los Angeles, and mother's maiden name was Steinberg:
  • July 4, 1945 issue of Variety had a birth announcement: "Mr. and Mrs. Joe Garcio, son, Hollywood, June 29. Father is a screen actor."
  • Find A Grave website has a photo of the marker for Ross Komins (1945-2006) who is interred at Sholom Memorial Park, San Fernando, Los Angeles County, California:

Three children with Lucille Ruth Kaplan:

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