Fred Humes

Active - 1924 - 1935  |   Born - Feb 27, 1901   |   Died - Nov 1, 1985   |   Genres - Western, Action

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Biography by Hans J. Wollstein

Considering his status as runner-up in popularity at Universal in the 1920s to Hoot Gibson and Jack Hoxie, the faith of Fred Humes, the cowboy with the "Million Dollar Smile," remains somewhat of a mystery. A former rodeo performer, Humes spent the decade exclusively at Universal, first as a wrangler, stunt performer, and bit player, then headlining a series of two-reelers and finally starring in his own series of feature-length Westerns, a few directed by the very young William Wyler. Better looking and younger than most of his contemporaries, Humes was an expert horseman whose thrilling Pony Express mount was much admired. His trademark was the tallest Stetson hat in films (taller even than Tim McCoy's), a fashion necessitated by his awkwardly short stature. Like so many of his rivals, Humes fell victim to the sound revolution in the late '20s and spent the remainder of his screen career in bit parts. According to fellow Universal cowboy, Fred Gilman, Humes left Hollywood in 1935 to work in the Alaskan oilfields.