ken-maynard-01.jpg KEN MAYNARD
INFORMATION FROM IMDb
Date of Birth
21 July 1895,
Vevay, Indiana, USA
Date of Death
23 March 1973,
Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California, USA
Kenneth Olin Maynard
Height 6' (1.83 m)
Bertha (1940 - 1968) (her death)
Mary Leeper (1926 - ?)
Jeanne Knudsen (1924 - ?)
Arlie Green Harlan (? - ?) (1 child)
Studio publicity incorrectly puts his birthplace at Mission, Texas.
Ken was a trick rider with the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show
and later with Ringling Brothers and was also a champion rodeo rider.
His movie debut, The Man Who Won (1923), was the first of many
for this early cowboy movie superstar.
He was famous for the stunts he could enact with his horse Tarzan.
Maynard was the first singing cowboy in the movies.
During the 1930s, he dropped out of movies and went back to rodeo work.
He did a few more low-budget films in the early 1940s,
and then retired for good except for bit parts.
His last years were miserable; poor and unremembered, he lived alone in a trailer,
an alcoholic who at his death was a victim of serious malnutrition.
- IMDb Mini Biography By: Ed Stephan
Brother of cowboy actor Kermit Maynard.
The Vevay Public Library at 210 Ferry Street, Vevay, Indiana 47043, maintains an archive on him.
His horse was Tarzan, a half-Arabian, half-American Saddle horse.
Maynard bought him in the mid-1920's.
Prince Norodom Sihanouk, former ruler of Cambodia, idolized Maynard.
He said, "He was my idol as a cowboy 'dispenser of justice.'
He had an incomparably beautiful white horse who was as intelligent as a man
and behaved like an angel." Sihanouk never missed a Maynard movie in Phnom Penh,
and when his father bought him two horses, "I could practice horse riding 'a la cowboy.'"
In 1933 he raced follow cowboy star Hoot Gibson in the National Air Race.
He flew his J6-7 Stearman biplane. Hoot crashed the plane he was flying.
Maynard's saddle, used in his films from about 1935-on sold for $23,000
at the High Noon auction in Mesa, AZ in January, 2003.
Deteriorating finances forced Maynard to work for circuses as his film career waned after 1936,
including an attempt that year at his very own "Wild West Circus",
also called the Diamond K Wild West Show, which operated out of his California ranch.
He completed at least three stints with the Cole Brothers-Clyde Beatty Circus from 1937-1940,
and worked the Arthur Brothers Circus and the Biller Brothers Circus.
The exact number of times Maynard was married is unknown.
He was married at least three times but the number could be as high as five.
He met his last wife Bertha, a high-wire artists,
in the late 1930s while the two were employed with the Cole Brothers Circus.
Maynard never had any children.
Contrary to his screen image, off-screen Maynard was thoroughly disliked
by pretty much everyone he worked with.
He was a foul-mouthed, bullying alcoholic who threw his weight around
on the set after he achieved stardom and delighted in terrorizing
the cast and crews of his pictures.
He was variously described as everything from "a bad-tempered drunk" to "downright mean".
This behavior, coupled with his constant and heavy drinking,
eventually cost him his film career, despite having numerous opportunities
to redeem himself.
For the last few years of his life he lived in a broken-down house trailer
on an empty lot in North Hollywood, CA, and was pretty much kept alive
by his brother Kermit Maynard, who visited him regularly,
bringing him food and cleaning up both Ken and the trailer,
as Ken had gained a tremendous amount of weight, which caused him health problems,
and was usually too drunk to take care of himself.
From 1932 through 1940 nearly every character he played was named Ken;
from 1943 through 1944 all the characters he played were named either Ken Maynard,
Marshal Ken Maynard or U.S. Marshal Ken Maynard.
According to Western film scholar William K. Everson,
"Maynard's two series at Universal were something else again.
Although he was still in good physical shape, he was beginning to use doubles
(either his brother Kermit or Cliff Lyons) rather more.
His propensity for the bottle was increasingly making him more unreliable in films
where he had to deliver dialogue.
Since he was apparently a somewhat abrasive and surly character OFF-screen,
his ability to project a friendly and likable ON-screen certainly indicated
some acting ability.
Maynard frequently ad-libbed, especially in scenes where he had forgotten his dialogue.
Tom London, an actor who appeared in the Guinness Book of Records as appearing in more films
than any other actor, was quoted as saying about working with Maynard:
"I did six pictures with him, then refused offers after that.
He was mean to his horses and mean to the people he thought he could buffalo.
He was often half drunk on a picture and sometimes didn't even show up.".
Janice Meredith (1924) $1,000 /week
In Old Santa Fe (1934) $10,000 /week
Arizona Whirlwind (1944) $850
1972 The Marshal of Windy Hollow ...Texas Ranger
1970 Bigfoot ...Mr. Bennett
1944 Harmony Trail ...Marshal Ken Maynard
1944 Arizona Whirlwind ...Ken Maynard
1944 Westward Bound ...Ken Maynard
1943 Death Valley Rangers ...Ken Maynard
1943 Blazing Guns ...Marshal Ken Maynard
1943 The Law Rides Again ...U.S. Marshal Ken Maynard
1943 Wild Horse Stampede ...Marshal Ken Maynard
1940 Lightning Strikes West ...Lightning Ken Morgan
1940 Phantom Rancher ...Ken Mitchell
1939 Death Rides the Range ...Ken Baxter
1939 Flaming Lead ...Ken Clark
1938 Six-Shootin' Sheriff ...Jim Trigger Morton
1938 Whirlwind Horseman ...Ken Morton
1937 Trailin' Trouble ...John Friendly Fields / Blackie Burke
1937 Boots of Destiny ...Ken Crawford
1936 Law and Order ...Ken Marshall
1936 The Cattle Thief ...Ken
1936 Avenging Waters ...Ken Morley
1936 Heroes of the Range ...Ken Smith
1935 Lawless Riders ...Ken Manley
1935 Western Courage ...Ken Baxter
1935 Heir to Trouble ...Ken Armstrong
1935 Western Frontier ...Ken Masters
1934 Mystery Mountain ...Ken Williams
1934 In Old Santa Fe ...Ken aka Kentucky
1934 Doomed to Die ...Ken Masters
1934 Honor of the Range ...Sheriff Ken Bellamy / Clem Bellamy
1934 Wheels of Destiny... Ken Manning
1933 Gun Justice ...Ken Lance
1933 Fargo Express ...Ken Benton
1933 Flying Fury ...Ken Masters
1933 The Trail Drive ...Ken Benton
1933 The Fiddlin' Buckaroo ...Fiddlin'
1933 King of the Arena ...Captain Ken Kenton
1933 The Lone Avenger ...Cal Weston
1933 Phantom Thunderbolt ...Thunderbolt Kid
1933 Drum Taps ...Ken Cartwright
1932 Tombstone Canyon ...Ken
1932 Between Fighting Men ...Ken
1932 What Price Beauty? ...Ken Maynard - in Nightclub (uncredited)
1932 Come On, Tarzan ...Ken Benson
1932 Dynamite Ranch ...Blaze Howell
1932 Whistlin' Dan ...Whistlin' Dan Savage Posing as Ed Black
1932 Hell-Fire Austin ...Ken 'Hell-Fire' Austin
1932 Texas Gun Fighter ...Bill Dane
1932 The Sunset Trail ...Jim Brandon
1931 The Pocatello Kid ...The Pocatello Kid / Sheriff Jim Bledsoe
1931 Branded Men ...Rod Whitaker
1931 Range Law ...Hap Conners
1931 Arizona Terror ...The Arizonian
1931 Alias the Bad Man ...Ranger Ken Neville - posing as Red River Gantz
1931 Two's Company ...Blackie Weed
1930 Fighting Thru; or, California in 1878 ...Dan Barton
1930 Sons of the Saddle ...Jim Brandon
1930 Song of the Caballero ...Juan Posing as El Lobo
1930 Mountain Justice ...Ken McTavish
1930 The Fighting Legion ...Dave Hayes
1930 The Voice of Hollywood No. 9 (Short) ...Ken Maynard (uncredited)
1930 Lucky Larkin ...'Lucky' Larkin
1930 Parade of the West ...Bud Rand
1929 Señor Americano ...Lieutenant Michael Banning
1929 The Wagon Master ...The Rambler
1929 The California Mail ...Bob Scott
1929 The Lawless Legion ...Cal Stanley
1929 The Royal Rider ...Dick Scott
1929 Cheyenne ...Cal Roberts
1928 The Phantom City ...Tim Kelly
1928 The Glorious Trail ...Pat O'Leary
1928 The Code of the Scarlet ...Bruce Kenton
1928 The Upland Rider ...Dan Dailey
1928 The Canyon of Adventure ...Steven Bancroft
1928 The Wagon Show ...Bob Mason
1927 Gun Gospel ...Granger Hume
1927 The Red Raiders ...Lieutenant John Scott
1927 The Devil's Saddle ...Harry Morrel
1927 The Land Beyond the Law ...Jerry Steele
1927 Somewhere in Sonora ...Bob Bishop
1927 The Overland Stage ...Jack Jessup
1926 The Unknown Cavalier ...Tom Drury
1926 Senor Daredevil ...Don Luis O'Flaherty
1926 Haunted Range ...Terry Bladwin
1926 The Grey Vulture ...Bart Miller / Sir Arthur
1925 North Star ...Noel Blake
1925 Fighting Courage ...Richard Kingsley
1925 The Demon Rider ...Billy Dennis
1924 Winning a Woman ...Tex Sherwood
1924 The Beautiful Rebel ...Paul Revere
1923 Somebody Lied (Short)
1923 Cameo Kirby (uncredited)
1923 The Gunfighter (uncredited)
1923 The Man Who Won ...Conroy
1923 Brass Commandments (uncredited)