CARSON, Sunset

   Virtually every detail of Sunset Carson’s early biography is in dispute because Carson deliberately falsified the details through the years. He was probably born Winifred Maurice Harrison in Gracemont, Oklahoma, somewhere between 1920 and 1924. Carson claimed to have been discovered by Tom Mix while performing in rodeos. After an audition with Republic Studios in 1944, Carson appeared in Call of the Rockies, second billed to Smiley Burnette. The two made four films together, with Burnette in the lead. Carson’s first leading role was in Republic’s Sheriff of Cimarron (1945). For two years Carson was a regular star for Republic, but in 1946 Republic’s Herbert J. Yates fired him when he appeared at a studio party drunk, with an underage girl in tow. After a two-year absence from pictures, Carson made a series of obscure films with Astor Pictures and then gave up acting in 1952 to become a circus performer. His last film was a low-budget sciencefiction Western, Alien Outlaw (1985), costarring Lash La Rue. Carson’s costume in the film consisted of a regular white neckerchief and a set of pistols butts facing forward. His horse was Cactus.

Historical Dictionary of Westerns in Cinema. . 2012.

Look at other dictionaries:

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