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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.

Allen Greer
Birth name: Allen James Greer
1910 - 1956
Lawman, actor, and son-in-law
of B western actor Budd Buster.

(Courtesy of Bruce Hickey)

Above - Allen Greer as 'Wild Bill Hickok' in the serial CUSTER'S LAST STAND (Stage & Screen, 1936). He was about twenty five years old when CUSTER was filmed.


Screen captures of Allen Greer as ranch foreman 'Bill' in DESERT MESA (Security, 1935), a no budget oater produced by Victor Adamson / Denver Dixon.

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above is a Chapter 8 lobby card from CUSTER'S LAST STAND (Stage & Screen, 1936). L-to-R are Rex Lease, William Farnum, Allen Greer (as 'Wild Bill Hickok'), and sitting is Budd Buster (playing a Cavalry officer).

Allen James Greer was born November 6, 1910 in Coleraine, Itasca County, Minnesota and his parents were Dorance D. Greer and Ann Francis Alexander.

He did about three dozen films in the 1930s and most were uncredited roles.

Before and after Hollywood, Greer was a law enforcement officer, gunsmith, and a firearms / fast-draw expert.

Greer got a fair amount of screen time portraying 'Wild Bill Hickok' in the serial CUSTER'S LAST STAND (Stage & Screen, 1936). Filming on CUSTER wrapped in late Summer, 1935, and a few months later, Allen Greer became the son-in-law of prolific B western movie actor Budd Buster. He and Budd Buster's daughter, Mary Jane Buster, tied the knot on October 5, 1935 and son Allen Jr. was born in 1937. The couple divorced in the 1940s and both he and Mary Jane settled down with new spouses.

In 1946, Greer married Melvia Argene McCollum and they were together through his death in 1956. Was her second marriage and her birth name was Melvia Argene Lewis. His occupation on their marriage license was "Peace Officer".

Appears that Greer had some serious scuffles working in law enforcement. His World War II draft registration had the following notation: "Gun shot scar left breast and right hip. Knife scar in right breast."

Allen Greer passed away from a heart attack on July 27, 1956 at his home at Shaver Lake, Fresno County, California. Survivors included his wife Mel and son Allen Jr.

Death notices mention that he was a Santa Monica, California policeman, Los Angeles County deputy sheriff, U. S. Border Patrolman, and deputy U. S. Marshal.

Budd BusterLeft is prolific B western actor Budd Buster (1891 - 1965), Allen Greer's father-in-law.

Above from a September 15, 1934 issue of
Hollywood Low-Down magazine available at the Internet Archive.

  Although some of the data is incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has information on Allen Greer in about three dozen films:

Family Search (free), (subscription), California Death Index, Minnesota Historical Society, newspapers, and other sources have info on Allen Greer and family:

More on Allen Greer's first wife, Mary Jane Buster, daughter of actor Budd Buster:

Some California newspaper articles on Allen Greer:

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

L-to-R are Allen Greer, Budd Buster, William Farnum, Bobby Nelson, Nancy Caswell, Josef Swickard, and Milburn Morante in a Chapter 9 lobby card from CUSTER'S LAST STAND (Stage & Screen, 1936).

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