Tom Mix: The Real Deal

"Silent-film star Thomas Edwin "Tom" Mix was the most flamboyant and popular of all the early movie cowboys. His colorful clothing and action-filled plots set a pattern for a generation of "B" Western heroes. He was a true "legend of the Old West. At eighteen Mix left home for the U.S. Army. In 1902 he married Grace Allin, went absent without official leave, and headed "out west" to Guthrie, Oklahoma Territory.

He found work as a bartender in the Blue Belle Saloon, wrangled horses, and even performed at the 1904 St. Louis Exposition as the drum major for the Oklahoma Cavalry Band. This exposure took him to the Miller Brothers 101 Ranch Wild West show near Ponca City, and he performed from 1905 to 1908 as a bronc buster for thirty-five dollars a week.

In 1909 Mix appeared in his first film when the Selig Polyscope Company hired Wild West show performers for horse scenes while filming near Dewey. A legitimate prize winner in the rodeo world, he joined with Guy Weadick in 1912 to organize the first Calgary Stampede. Mix signed with Fox Studios in 1917, but throughout his film career he continued to "hit the road" occasionally with a Wild West show or a circus.

Noted for his horsemanship, daring stunt work, and fancy wardrobe, Mix became the highest-paid actor in Hollywood by 1928, earning seventeen thousand dollars per week. He starred in such classics as the Lone Star Ranger (1923), Riders of the Purple Sage (1925), and Destry Rides Again (1932). Mix made more than three hundred films before he died in a car wreck near Tucson, Arizona, on October 12, 1940."

                                                                       Donald W. Reeves,

Now let's go to Will Roger's movies based on Zane Grey novels!