|Jill Jackson Miller|
|Our (my) nearly five year search for the answer to "Whatever happened to Harlene Wood, Harley Wood, Jill Martin?" involved a lot of people. Hats off (in no particular order) to Marilyn Moir, Billy Doyle, Jack Tillmany, Les Adams, Garry Dashner and Frank Reighter for their assistance. A big thanks to Jan Tache and Harley White, Jill Jackson Miller's daughters, for sharing information and photos with me.|
(Pressbook cover courtesy of Les Adams)
Above is the cover of the pressbook for THE LAW RIDES (Hackel/Supreme, 1936), one of many Bob Steele films for producer A. W. Hackel which was directed by Bob's father, Robert North Bradbury. Her name in this oater is Harley Wood, and the old-timer with the white beard is Buck Connors.
Above - crops/enlargements from the pressbook cover and lobby card shown left and below.
|This "gal of many names" came and went during the 1930s, and her Hollywood career consisted of about twenty films. B western and serial fans remember her as the heroine to 1928 Olympic shot-put Silver medalist Herman Brix (Bruce Bennett) in the serial, HAWK OF THE WILDERNESS (Republic, 1938).
One of her earliest roles was the star (and being first billed as Harley Wood) in MARIHUANA (Road Show Attractions, 1936), one of many exploitation films of the 1930s. Somehow she survived that bit of misfortune and was cast as the feminine lead in seven westerns. In those seven, she used three different name variations:
Billed as Harley Wood in LAW AND LEAD (Colony, 1936) with Rex Bell
Three Stooges researcher Frank Reighter also has her identified in several 1937 Three Stooges shorts (DIZZY DOCTORS, BACK TO THE WOODS and CASH AND CARRY).
Although some of the data is incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) has information on Harlene Wood / Harley Wood / Jill Martin: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0939738/
You can download or stream the public domain MARIHUANA (Road Show Attractions, 1936) from the Internet Archive website: http://www.archive.org/details/Marihuana-the_Devils_Weed
What happened to our actress named Harley/Harlene/Jill. Our search began in 2005, and you'll find out more below and on the next page.
(From Old Corral image collection)
Above is the title lobby card for the Kermit Maynard starrer WHISTLING BULLETS (Ambassador/Conn, 1937).
(From Old Corral image collection)
In the above lobby card from WHISTLING BULLETS (Ambassador/Conn, 1937), Kermit and Harlene Wood check out the prone Jack Ingram.
(Courtesy of Les Adams)
Above from left to right are John Merton, Hank Bell, Harlene Wood and Kermit Maynard in a crop from a lobby card from Kermit's VALLEY OF TERROR (Ambassador/Conn, 1937).
2005 - the Search Begins!
In 2005, ye Old Corral webmaster began exchanging e-mails with Garry Dashner. He asked if I knew anything about a songwriter who was a heroine in some 1930s westerns. Gary wrote: "I do a history website for my former high school alma mater, NORTHEAST HIGH SCHOOL in Kansas City, Missouri. An alumnus by the name of JILL JACKSON MILLER attended there. I am currently trying to feature distinguished graduates at the NE History site. JILL wrote the song, "LET THERE BE PEACE ON EARTH" and is supposed to have appeared in 7 western movies sometime in the 30's and 40's."
| The Internet Movie Database also has a film list and biography for an actress named Jill Jackson and the IMDb biography mentions her 1913 birth year and writing the song "Let There Be Peace On Earth". However, this is an error. This Jill Jackson is NOT our Jill Jackson Miller / Harlene Wood / Harley Wood / Jill Martin. This Jill Jackson may be the female member of the 1960s singing duo "Paul and Paula" who had the 1963 hit "Hey Paula".|
Jill Jackson - Film/TV Listing: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0413672/
Jill Jackson - Biography: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0413672/bio
Wikipedia for "Paul and Paula" (real names: Ray Hildebrand, born 1940, and Jill Jackson, born 1942): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_&_Paula
Above - yearbook photo courtesy of Garry Dashner
August, 2009 updates:
Received e-mails from Garry Dashner and Three Stooges researcher Frank Reighter. Our "gal of many names" is listed in the high school yearbook as Evelyn Cowan, and she graduated in 1930 from Northeast High School, Kansas City, Missouri. During her 1929 - 1930 Senior year, she was on the student council, a member of the National Honor Society, in the drama club and Christmas play, and more.
September-October, 2009 updates:
In September-October, 2009, ye Old Corral webmaster connected with Jan Tache, Jill Jackson Miller's daughter. Jan and her sister Harley White provided a bunch of photos and biographical info on their Mom. You'll find that on the next page.