Kermit Maynard

Active - 1931 - 2017  |   Born - Sep 20, 1902   |   Died - Feb 22, 1971   |   Genres - Western, Action

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Biography by Hal Erickson

The brother of western star Ken Maynard, Kermit Maynard was a star halfback on the Indiana University college team. He began his career as a circus performer, billed as "The World's Champion Trick and Fancy Rider." He entered films in 1926 as a stunt man (using the stage name Tex Maynard), often doubling for his brother Ken. In 1927, Kermit starred in a series for Rayart Films, the ancestor of Monogram Pictures, then descended into minor roles upon the advent of talking pictures, taking rodeo jobs when things were slow in Hollywood. Independent producer Maurice Conn tried to build Kermit into a talkie western star between 1931 and 1933, and in 1934 launched a B-series based on the works of James Oliver Curwood, in which the six-foot Maynard played a Canadian mountie. The series was popular with fans and exhibitors alike, but Conn decided to switch back to straight westerns in 1935, robbing Maynard of his attention-getting gimmick. Kermit drifted back into supporting roles and bits, though unlike his bibulous, self-indulgent brother Ken, Kermit retained his muscular physique and square-jawed good looks throughout his career. After his retirement from acting in 1962, Kermit Maynard remained an active representative of the Screen Actors Guild, lobbying for better treatment and safer working conditions for stuntpersons and extras.

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