William Boyd (actor)

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William Boyd 1931

William Lawrence Boyd (born June 5, 1895 in Hendrysburg , Ohio , † September 12, 1972 in Laguna Beach, California ) was an American western actor whose fame reached its peak in the 1930s and 1940s.


Boyd was best known as the actor who played the cowboy Hopalong Cassidy in the film series of the same name and as the leading actor in the Western Enmity with which Clark Gable began his sound film career. In 1919, Boyd arrived in Hollywood and quickly became a sought-after leading actor in the silent film era, as well as a matinee idol. In the early 1930s his career took a turn when scandals over a William Boyd were attributed to him. However, it was an acting colleague of the same name, but the role offers became sparse towards the end of the silent film era . In 1935 he signed a contract with Paramount Pictures for a western series, the character of Hopalong Cassidy from then on accompanied him in his further career. After moving to United Artists , the series was discontinued in 1944. Two years later, however, Boyd continued by producing the films himself. After 70 films he recognized the possibilities of television early on and switched to the screen, where fifty-two half-hour episodes were made from 1952 onwards. In addition, he marketed the character in the circus, variety shows and on advertising tours.

He made the cover of Time Magazine in the November 27, 1950 issue and received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame . In 1995 he was immortalized in the Western Performers Hall of Fame at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City . There is also a Hopalong Cassidy Museum in Cambridge, Ohio .


Boyd was married a total of five times:

  • Grace Bradley (June 5, 1937 - September 12, 1972) - his death
  • Dorothy Sebastian (December 19, 1930 - May 30, 1936) - divorced
  • Elinor Fair (January 13, 1926 - November 16, 1929) - divorced
  • Ruth Miller (1921-1924) - divorced
  • Laura Maynard (1917–1921) - divorced

He has a child from his third marriage.

Filmography (selection)

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. cf. discoverourtown.com
  2. cf. imdb.com