BOYD, William

(1895–1972)
   Born in Hendrysburg, Ohio, William Boyd worked as a wildcatter in the Oklahoma oil fields before making his way to the California fruit orchards, evidently planning all along to try for the movies. He landed his first part in 1919 in a Cecil B. DeMille silent and continued working regularly for DeMille. From 1919 to 1934, Boyd appeared in nearly 70 films. Among his major roles for DeMille was the lead in The Volga Boatman (1926) and the part of Simon of Cyrene in The King of Kings(1927). His career nearly ended when another actor named William Boyd was involved in a sordid Hollywood scandal and the two Boyds were confused for one another. In 1935 Harry Sherman cast Boyd, now “Bill” Boyd, as the lead in Hop-Along Cassidy. The original character, from a series of novels by Clarence Mulford, had a permanent limp from a gunshot wound. Boyd, who had rarely mounted a horse before, sprained his ankle doing so and, conveniently for the film, developed a limp. In the film he is introduced as Bill Cassidy, but he gets shot and thereafter everybody on the ranch calls him old Hopalong. This is the only movie in which Hopalong limped. Sherman ran the Hopalong Cassidy series through 54 episodes after which Boyd took over production for 12 episodes. The series was so successful that Boyd became completely identified with his character.
   A smart businessman, Boyd bought all rights to the character of
   Hopalong Cassidy after Sherman relinquished interest. He was one of the first to purchase rights to a property for television. When the film series started winding down, Boyd began franchising the Hopalong Cassidy character on everything he could market—lunch pails, bicycles, milk bottles, costumes. He also launched a radio series, a magazine, and a long-running comic book series. Then in 1950, The Hopalong Cassidy Show became the first network dramatic television series. By this time Boyd was showing his age pretty well and so ended the Hopalong Cassidy era with a few parades and rodeo appearances. By the early 1950s, Hopalong Cassidy had run its course and Boyd retired to Palm Desert, California. In 1968 after surgery on a lymph gland, he ceased all public appearances or photographs because of his perceived disfigurement. William Boyd was a much better actor than he is usually given credit for. Even in the 1950s after the “Hoppy Craze” ended, Cecil DeMille asked him to play Moses in The Ten Commandments (1956). Boyd wisely declined, knowing that Hopalong Cassidy playing Moses would probably not help the picture. Even if his acting was not recognized, many believe that William Boyd revolutionized American popular culture by being one of the first to market his film character far beyond the limits of a movie theater.
   See also TELEVISION WESTERNS.

Historical Dictionary of Westerns in Cinema. . 2012.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Boyd, William — ▪ American actor born June 5, 1898, Hendrysburg, Ohio, U.S. died Sept. 12, 1972, Hollywood  American motion picture and television actor who was best known for his portrayal of Hopalong Cassidy in a series of western films.       Although born in …   Universalium

  • Boyd , William Clouser — (1903–1984) American biochemist. See Landsteiner, Karl …   Scientists

  • Boyd (surname) — Boyd is a surname of Scottish origin, and may refer to:A*Adam Boyd, English footballer *Alan Lennox Boyd, British politician (Viscount Boyd) *Alan Stephenson Boyd, American politician *Alex Boyd, Scottish photographer *Alfred Boyd, Canadian… …   Wikipedia

  • William Boyd — may refer to:*William Boyd, 3rd Earl of Kilmarnock (died 1717), Scottish nobleman *William Boyd, 4th Earl of Kilmarnock (1704 1746), Scottish nobleman *William Boyd (pathologist) (1885 1979), Scottish Canadian professor and author *William Boyd… …   Wikipedia

  • William Boyd (ecrivain) — William Boyd (écrivain, réalisateur) Pour les articles homonymes, voir William Boyd et Boyd. William Boyd (né le 7 mars 1952 à Accra, Ghana) est un écrivain, scénariste et réalisateur britannique. Sommaire 1 Biographie …   Wikipédia en Français

  • William Boyd (Willy) — William Boyd (musicien) Pour les articles homonymes, voir William Boyd et Boyd. William Boyd, né le 27 avril 1979, est un musicien américain membre du groupe Evanescence. Il joue de la basse. Il est entré dans le groupe en juin 2003, et a co… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • William boyd (musicien) — Pour les articles homonymes, voir William Boyd et Boyd. William Boyd, né le 27 avril 1979, est un musicien américain membre du groupe Evanescence. Il joue de la basse. Il est entré dans le groupe en juin 2003, et a co écrit deux de leurs… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • William — puede referirse a: Contenido 1 Nombre 1.1 Personajes 1.2 Desambiguaciones de nombre y apellido 2 Véase también …   Wikipedia Español

  • William Stukeley — Naissance 1687 Décès 1765 Nationalité …   Wikipédia en Français

  • William Mathias — CBE (1 November 1934 29 July 1992) was a Welsh composer. Contents 1 Brief biography 2 List of works 2.1 Choral Works 2.2 Opera …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.