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The 'brains' and 'action' heavies who had meaty roles and lots of dialog ... and the players who were fathers, ranch owners, lawman, mayors, judges, lawyers, storekeepers, newspaper editors, wardens, etc.

Murdock Mac Quarrie

Full name: Murdock James Mac Quarrie

Last name sometimes spelled: McQuarrie, McQuarie, MacQuarrie, etc.

Nickname: "Mac"

1878 - 1942

MacQuarrie in 1935 and about 57 years old.

MacQuarrie in 1914 and about 36 years old.

Born in San Francisco on August 25, 1878, Murdock MacQuarrie attended public schools there. His acting career began around the age of seven or eight in child roles in stock and repertory companies on the West coast. He also served in the U. S. Navy during the Spanish American War.

Murdock and his three brothers - Albert, Frank and George - came to Hollywood in the early days of silent film.

In silents, Murdock did lead and character roles as well as some directing. Circa 1914, he was on Universal's payroll. His next stop was directing for the Signal Film Corporation. And he also worked for Biograph, FBO, many other production companies. Trade papers and fan magazines indicate he specialized in character roles, generally portraying an older gent.

MacQuarrie was a charter member of the Los Angeles branch of the Motion Picture Directors Association (MPDA) which was formed in 1915.

When talkies arrived, Murdock had hit the half century mark in age. He became a fairly prolific performer in 1930s B westerns, appearing as a friendly rancher, father of the heroine, occasional lawman ... as well as a background face in crowd scenes and saloons. Most of his sound film appearances were uncredited / unbilled and you can spot him in oaters with Rex Bell, Tom Tyler, Bob Baker, Gene Autry, Buck Jones, Johnny Mack Brown, Three Mesquiteers, Reb Russell, Ken Maynard, others.

One of his best roles - and one of his last - was playing a crooked judge and gang boss in the Rough Riders adventure GHOST TOWN LAW (Monogram, 1942). He was billed fifth in the opening titles and credits, behind Buck Jones, Tim McCoy, Raymond Hatton and heroine Virginia Carpenter. Alas - they (mis)spelled his last name as McQuarrie.

Les Adams has him pegged in about 190 sound era films, of which 134 are westerns and 8 are serials.

Murdock passed away on August 20, 1942 at St. Vincents Hospital, Los Angeles, and cause of death was coronary occlusion and peritonitis from a stomach perforation.

  Although some of the data is incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has information on Murdock and his three brothers:

     Murdock MacQuarrie:
     George MacQuarrie (1873-1951):
     Albert MacQuarrie (1882-1950):
     Frank MacQuarrie (1875-1950):

Above - photo ad for MacQuarrie in the 1930 Motion Picture News Bluebook (available at the Internet Archive).

The Family Search website (free), (subscription), California Death Index, and the death certificate provide more on Murdock MacQuarrie:

Find A Grave website has a photo of the grave marker for Navy veteran Murdock James Mac Quarrie at the Los Angeles National Cemetery:

The Google Newspaper archive has a January, 1915 article which mentions his early stage career and current Hollywood work:,3063321&dq=murdock-macquarrie&hl=en

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Jack Perrin did a series for Bernard B. Ray and Harry S. Webb at Reliable Pictures in the mid 1930s. Above is a scene from Perrin's NORTH OF ARIZONA (Reliable, 1935), a disappointing and disjointed mess. From left to right are Perrin, Jack Hendricks (background), Barney Beasley (background), Lane Chandler, unidentified older man, Blackie Whiteford, Blanche Mehaffey, and Murdock MacQuarrie (as the local lawman).

(From Old Corral collection)

Above from left to right are John Wayne, Muriel Evans, Murdock MacQuarrie and Mary MacLaren in Wayne's THE NEW FRONTIER (Republic, 1935).

Horace B. Carpenter

Full name: Horace Bernard Carpenter

1875 - 1945

(Courtesy of Jack Tillmany)

Horace Bernard Carpenter was born January 31, 1875 in Minnesota.

His acting career began on the stage and with traveling repertory companies. Carpenter's earliest film work was for Selig and the Lasky Picture company in the 1910s. In the 1920s, he even did some directing.

He had a kindly face and meek demeanor, and got work as a ranch owner, an old miner, etc. (but Lafe McKee, Lloyd Ingraham and John Elliott seemed to be the luckier ones getting meatier roles). Generally, Carpenter was a background performer, bystander, spectator - i.e., one of the townsmen, one of the ranchers, an old-timer in the saloon, etc. and many of his 1930s-1940s roles were uncredited.

Bob Steele lost a lot of fathers in his many oaters. SMOKEY SMITH (A. W. Hackel/Supreme, 1935) is one of his best and includes a closing battle with the good guys, led by Bob and Earl Dwire (as the sheriff), wearing white bandanas on their foreheads to identify themselves from the outlaws. Warner Richmond was the nasty gang boss - to get his hands on a ring, he shoots off the finger of Steele's dad, kindly ol' Horace Carpenter. Another good (unbilled) Carpenter role is portraying toothless oldtimer "Pop" in the Johnny Mack Brown FLAME OF THE WEST (Monogram, 1945).

Les Adams has Carpenter in 300+ sound era films, and that includes 218 westerns and 22 serials.

Suffering from heart problems, he passed away on May 21, 1945 at Cedars of Lebanon Hospital, Los Angeles.

There is confusion with his birth location (Minnesota vs. Wisconsin vs. Michigan). Some biographies (such as the Internet Movie Database) have him born in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Based on marriage and census records as well as trade biographies and his amended death certificate, Carpenter was born in Sauk Rapids, Minnesota.

(Courtesy of Ed Phillips)
Carpenter circa 1936
Above - 1911 newspaper ad for Horace and company doing a play in Utah.

(Courtesy of Les Adams)
Carpenter circa 1934

The Family Search website (free), (subscription), California Death Index, ProQuest obituaries, and the death certificate provide more on Horace Carpenter and family:

For those with a subscription to, locate the Carpenter Family Tree. There you'll find a bunch of photos of Horace and Dr. Earl Carpenter (his son from his first marriage to Ella).

  Although some of the data is incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has information on Horace B. Carpenter:

And the IMDb has a record for Beatrice Allen, who appears to be Horace's second wife Beatrice:

Find A Grave website confirms that Carpenter is interred at Hollywood Forever Cemetery, Los Angeles, California:

(Courtesy of Ed Tabor)

The above lobby card - and crop/blowup - is from GROWING BETTER (Sanford, 1923), a Bill Patton silent helmed by Carpenter. A youngish Carpenter (in his late 40s) is wearing the checkerboard shirt. The other two players are unidentified.

Fred Parker

? - ?

Fred Parker was another familiar performer who was an occasional lawman, ranch owner, father of the heroine ... and he was also a background face and bystander in crowd scenes and saloons. Most of Parker's movie roles were unbilled/uncredited. Les Adams has him in about 130 sound era films, which includes 111 westerns and 1 serial.

He began doing movies in the 1920s and his last film appearance was circa 1944.

From mid 1930 through mid 1940, California voter registrations included an occupation with each name. had several Los Angeles County voter registrations and city directories for an actor named Fred F. Parker ... which may be our guy, There was no "Mrs. Parker" listed at his address.

1925 San Diego City Directory: Parker, Fred F, actor, 1230 31st
1936 Los Angeles County voter registration: Parker, Fred F, 1155 N Las Palmas av, actor
1938 Los Angeles County voter registration: Parker, Fred F, 942 N Seward st, actor
1940 Los Angeles County voter registration: Parker, Fred F, 942 N Seward st, actor
1942 Los Angeles County voter registration: Parker, Fred F, 543 N Arden blvd, actor
1944 Los Angeles County voter registration: Parker, Fred F, 23430 Ventura blvd, actor
1946 Los Angeles County voter registration: Parker, Fred F, 23430 Ventura blvd, no occupation listed
1948 Los Angeles County voter registration: Parker, Fred F, 23430 Ventura blvd, no occupation listed

Other than that, I found nothing on Parker at Family Search,, Newspaper Archive, ProQuest obituaries, and other sources. The problem is the "Fred Parker" name is too generic. Was his first name really Fred ... or Frederick, Alfred, Wilfred, etc.? We need a middle name or a birth location ... just about any additional detail to narrow the search.

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

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above from L-to-R are Franklyn Farnum, Fred Parker, hero Wally Wales and Karla Cowan in a scene from the three reel short, ARIZONA CYCLONE (Imperial, 1934).

(Courtesy of Ed Tabor)

Above is a lobby card from the Wally Wales starrer THE LONE RIDER (William Pizor/Imperial, 1934). On the left are Fred Parker and Myrla Bratton (billed as Merla Bratton). The "directed by Robert Emmett" is Robert Emmett 'Bob' Tansey. This was the last of the three reel shorts (approximately 27 minutes running time) that Wales did for Pizor/Imperial.

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above - Wally Wales holds a very young Fay McKenzie in in a lobby card and crop/blowup from SUNDOWN TRAIL (William Pizor/Imperial, 1934). On the far left are Herman Hack and Fred Parker and on the far right is Jack Kirk.

(From Old Corral collection)

Above from L-to-R are Fred Parker, Forrest Taylor, Johnny Mack Brown (all 'duded' up) and Hal Price in a lobby card from DESERT PHANTOM (A. W. Hackel/Supreme, 1936).

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