Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Hopalong Cassidy Rides Forever

Today is the anniversary of the birth of William Boyd, born in Cambridge, Ohio in 1895. Boyd is better known to movie-goers and TV audiences throughout the world as Hopalong Cassidy. He first played the role of the cowboy hero in the 1935 movie, Hop-a-long Cassidy.

What most of us don’t know is that Clarence E. Mulford, the author and creator of the original Hopalong, described him as a rather unsavory character rather than the straight-thinking, straight-shooting cowboy that William Boyd portrayed.

Boyd was Hopalong Cassidy in 66 films through 1948 (he bought the rights to the character in 1945), and then he starred as Hopalong in the successful TV series in the 1950s. For over twenty years, children and adults, alike, thrilled to the adventures of Hopalong Cassidy, his horse Topper, and his sidekick played by George ‘Gabby’ Hayes, and later, by Andy Clyde.

Although William Boyd starred in Cecil B. DeMille’s Volga Boatman; and in many silent movies and a slew of westerns other than the Hopalong Cassidy series; he will always be remembered as ‘Hoppy’.

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