Bill Patton

Active - 1921 - 1945  |   Born - Jun 1, 1894   |   Died - Dec 1, 1951   |   Genres - Western, Action

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A former cowpuncher and rodeo rider who doubled in films for Roy Stewart, William Desmond, and William S. Hart, American silent screen actor Bill Patton became a Western star in his own right with Outlawed (1921). Patton actually managed to inject quite a bit of humor into this mundane ranger melodrama but the low-budget film nevertheless failed to develop into a series. Producer Wid Gunning attempted to turn Patton into a modern dress crime fighter with Alias Phil Kennedy (1922), filming on location in Long Beach, but, again, no series materialized. Personable enough and a splendid rider, Patton bore an unfortunate resemblance to white-faced slapstick comic Larry Semon and was quite simply not hero material. But not for the lack of trying: Patton went on to star for various fly-by-night organizations all through the 1920s, usually playing his stock-in-trade of a lawman disguising himself as a dim city dude in order to infiltrate the outlaw gang. The Patton Westerns, however, remained bottom-of-the-barrel fare and Patton was finished as a star at the advent of sound, dropping in status to become a mere member of the posse.

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