Jack Hoxie

Active - 1915 - 1933  |   Born - Jan 1, 1885   |   Died - Mar 2, 1965   |   Genres - Western, Action

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Square-jawed and with piercing eyes, American silent screen star Jack Hoxie was the most successful of the independent cowboy stars of the early '20s. Part Nez Perce Indian and a champion rodeo rider, Hoxie was limited as an actor, but was one of Hollywood's finest horsemen. He first gained notice supporting the Kalem company's action heroines, most notably Marin Sais, whom he married in 1920. Through the influence of Sais, Hoxie signed with independent producer Benjamin F. Wilson and starred in a series of fast-paced and popular low-budget Westerns. Moving on along Gower Gulch, Hoxie left Wilson in favor of Greek-born Poverty Row entrepreneur Anthony J. Xydias, whose Sunset Productions featured him in another eight Westerns, all geared to the States Rights market. Increasingly popular, Hoxie was signed by major studio Universal in 1923 and quickly placed himself squarely in the runner-up position to the company's reigning Western star, Hoot Gibson, despite a certain grind-house look to most of his vehicles. He portrayed Buffalo Bill in The Last Frontier and considered it to be his best role, but the fans disagreed, and the arrival of sound finished his career. While not unintelligent or illiterate as some have suggested, Hoxie had little formal education and was not good at memorizing lines. He did return for a low-budget Western series in 1932, but it was poorly received and he turned his back on Hollywood for good. After running an unsuccessful cattle ranch in Arizona, Hoxie spent the remainder of his life touring various wild west shows and making personal appearances, keeping up a hectic schedule until illness forced his retirement in 1959.

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