Max Terhune

Active - 1936 - 1956  |   Born - Feb 12, 1891   |   Died - Jun 5, 1973   |   Genres - Western, Action

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Biography by Hal Erickson

Max Terhune developed his gift for mimicry at an early age, amazing parents and friends with his accurate impersonations of barnyard animals. He toured vaudeville with a musical group called the Hoosier Hotshots; after a brief career as a toolmaker, he returned to the stage with such countrified acts as the Weaver Brothers. In 1932, he became the master of ceremonies of radio's WLS Barn Dance, and in this capacity made the acquaintance of a young crooning cowboy named Gene Autry. When Autry headed to Hollywood in 1935, he asked Terhune to come along; somewhat reluctantly, Terhune finally made his movie debut in Autry's Ride, Ranger, Ride (1936). No ordinary one-note comical sidekick, Terhune was a man of many talents, including ventriloquism and sleight-of-hand. He co-starred in Republic's popular Three Mesquiteers series, then sidekicked for such cowboy heroes as Charles Starrett, Tex Ritter, and Johnny Mack Brown. In his final years, Max Terhune showed up on several TV series, and was a fixture of the movie-convention circuit.

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