|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.|
Born in Minsk, Russia, Issy Targownik/Targownick emigrated to the U.S. around 1903 and did two hitches in the U.S. Army circa 1908 and 1918. And according to citizenship/naturalization paperwork dated 1918, he also did a name change to "Jack Tornek". When he filed his World War I draft registration in 1917, Tornek was just starting his movie career, employed as an actor for Universal.|
Fifty years later, he was still working and you can spot him (and his mustache and hat) in 1950s-1960s episodes of THE RIFLEMAN, CHEYENNE, GUNSMOKE, BONANZA, WILD WILD WEST, WAGON TRAIN, DEATH VALLEY DAYS, RAWHIDE, lots more. Never a main heavy or principal player, Tornek was a prolific "face in the crowd", mostly in westerns of the A and B grade variety. He generally portrayed a barfly or townsman ... and occasionally hit the saddle as a henchman, ranch hand or posse rider.
I don't recall him ever having much dialog. I do remember a few times when he responded with a nod, a grunt, a laugh, or a one or two word reply. Perhaps he had a Russian or European accent which limited his speaking roles.
|Jack Tornek did films prior to 1940 and after 1956. But 1940-1956 was his busiest movie making period. Below are his FILM quantity totals by year of release. TV program appearances are NOT included.|
Although some of the data may be incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has information on Jack Tornek: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0868177
The Family Search website (free), Ancestry.com (subscription), ProQuest obituaries, California Death Index and Social Security Death Index (SSDI) have information on Jack Tornek and family:
Jim Tipton's Find A Grave website notes that "Jack (Issy) Targownik Tornek" had a non cemetery burial somewhere in California: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=81690743
Tex 'Squint' Palmer
Real name: Luther W. Palmer
appeared in at least 240 westerns and 10 serials.
Right is a crop/blowup of a young Tex 'Squint' Palmer from a still from the John Wayne THE LUCKY TEXAN (Lone Star/Monogram, 1933).
|There's a genealogical website with info on Tex Palmer (links below). In summary, he was one of four children born to Frank Perle Palmer and Bertha Alice Perrine Palmer, and the family lived in Xenia, Greene County, Ohio. Luther left home at around 15 years of age and headed west, winding up at the LaSalle Ranch which is near Newhall, California. There he met the owners daughter, Francine Marie La Salle. They married in 1934, and circa 1940, they adopted daughter Saundra.
Tex Palmer's Hollywood career lasted about thirty years, from approximately 1930 through TV shows in the late 1950s - early 1960s. His movie and television work was mostly uncredited roles as a henchman, posse rider, barfly, townsman, etc. And he frequently drove a stagecoach or wagon.
On television, you can spot Palmer in background roles in many programs churned out by Gene Autry's Flying A production company (THE GENE AUTRY SHOW, BUFFALO BILL JR., ANNIE OAKLEY, ADVENTURES OF CHAMPION). And while Tex only appeared in one Hopalong Cassidy film, he turns up in 25 of the half hour Hoppy television programs.
As to his B western career - Palmer can be seen in oaters with Tim McCoy, Buck Jones, Ken Maynard, Tim Holt, Bill Elliott, Charles Starrett, George O'Brien, Bob Allen, Eddie Dean and Lash LaRue. But roughly half of Tex's work occurred in films starring the following:
79 year old Luther Palmer passed away March, 1982, and his last residence was Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. His remains were transported to California and he is interred at San Fernando Mission Cemetery, Mission Hills, Los Angeles County, California.
SCTV History website has more on the La Salle / Lassalle's vineyard in the Wiley Canyon area west of the town of Newhall: http://scvhistory.com/scvhistory/ap0723.htm
The Family Search website and Social Security Death Index (SSDI) provide more on Tex Palmer and family:
Jim Tipton's Find A Grave website confirms that Palmer is interred at San Fernando Mission Cemetery, Mission Hills, Los Angeles County, California: https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=102194535
Genealogy website on the Palmer family:
(From Old Corral collection)
In the above lobby card from ROGUE OF THE RANGE (A. W. Hackel/Supreme, 1936), a two-gunned Johnny Mack Brown points an accusing finger at Jack Rockwell. Thx to Les Adams for help in identifying several of the players - from L-to-R are Tex Palmer, Jack Rockwell, Blackie Whiteford (in purple shirt), Art (Arturo) Felix, unidentified player (behind Brown), Brown and George Ball.
(From Old Corral collection)
Above is a crop from the ROGUE OF THE RANGE lobby card shown above. From L-to-R are Tex Palmer, Jack Rockwell, and 'Blackie' Whiteford.
(Courtesy of Les Adams)
From L-to-R are Tex Palmer, Oscar Gahan, Merrill McCormick, Charlie King and Denver Dixon in a scene from the Jack Randall DANGER VALLEY (Monogram, 1937).
(Courtesy of Les Adams)
Above from L-to-R are Jack Randall, Tex Palmer and Frank Yaconelli in a crop from a lobby card from Randall's THE CHEYENNE KID (Monogram, 1940).