Bill Cody

Active - 1924 - 1948  |   Born - Jan 5, 1891 in St. Paul, MN  |   Died - Jan 24, 1948 in Santa Monica, CA  |   Genres - Western, Action

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A former member of the Metropolitan Stock company and a riding double for Marion Davies, the old-fashioned, gallant Bill Cody became a star on the independent market in the 1920s and was especially well liked by those who steadfastly resisted the flamboyant style of showmen like Tom Mix. Veteran genre director Harry L. Fraser found him to be "one of the most unimpressive Western stars" he had ever worked with, adding that Cody "couldn't memorize lines no matter how hard he tried." Not surprisingly, Cody's starring Westerns in the 1930s are considered some of the era's worst. Looking emaciated, he last costarred with son Bill Cody, Jr. (1924-1989) in a no-budget series for Spectrum in 1934-1936, but was obviously no longer any threat to virile newcomers like John Wayne or Charles Starrett. Cody, a native of Minnesota and no relation to legendary Buffalo Bill Cody, left films in the late '30s to tour with "Bill Cody's Ranch Wild West Show." His final screen appearance was a bit in Joan of Arc (1948).

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