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The Lone Ranger Trivia

The Lone Ranger and Tonto

Classic TV Shows

At the beginning of the TV series The Lone Ranger, the masked man says:”Only you, Tonto, know I’m alive. To the world, I’m buried here beside my brother and my friends… forever.”

Here’s a little bit of trivia about this enduring icon of American culture:

  • The Lone Ranger TV series aired from 1949 to 1957.
  • The Lone Ranger was played by Clayton Moore (1914-1999) for the first two seasons, then by John Hart until a contract dispute was settled, and then by Clayton Moore again.
  • Clayton Moore was born Jack Carlton Moore in Chicago, Illinois. As a youth, he was a circus acrobat and part of a Trapeze act. He was a John Robert Powers model and moved to Hollywood in the late 1930s, where he worked as a model and a stuntman, also getting parts in B-Westerns. Moore served in the U.S. Army Air Forces during World War II and made training films.
  • Moore loved the Long Ranger character and took the creed to heart. He identified closely with that masked man. He is the only one on the Hollywood Walk of Fame to have a character’s name next to his own. His star reads,” Clayton Moore — The Lone Ranger.
  • Moore died at the age of 85 in 1999.
  • Jay Silverheels (1912-1980) played Tonto. He was a Mohawk First Nations actor, born Harold J. Smith on the Six Nations Indian Reservation in Branford, Ontario. He was on the Canadian National Lacrosse Team and came to the U.S. in 1938. He was also a boxer. After his acting career, he became a successful horse breeder.
  • Silverheels died in 1980 at the age of 67, and his ashes were returned to the Six Nations Reserve in Ontario.
  • The “Hi-Yo Silver!” shouted at the beginning of each episode was a recording of Earle W. Graser, who played The Lone Ranger on radio from 1933-1941.
  • Tonto’s horse was named Scout.
  • The Lone Ranger’s real last name is Reid. His first name was eventually revealed to be John.
  • The Lone Ranger character for radio and TV was created by George W. Trendle and Fran Striker.
  • Trendle and Strike also created the character The Green Hornet, whose name was Britt Reid. (The Reids were quite a special fictional family, it seems, with a penchant for masks.) Britt was a lady’s man and owner and publisher of The Daily Sentinel. Britt Reid began this dual life with the Green Hornet persona because his father, Dan Reid, died in prison, even though he was framed and incarcerated for a crime he did not commit.
  • Who was that masked man? The character of the Lone Ranger was originally believed to be inspired by John R. Hughes, a Texas Ranger Captain. Author Zane Grey dedicated his 1915 book The Lone Star Ranger to Hughes.
  • However, other evidence suggests that U.S. Deputy Marshal Bass Reeves was the inspiration. He was an African-America, who began life as a slave in Arkansas. During the American Civil War, he fled into Indian Territory in Oklahoma and lived with Cherokee, Seminole, and Creek Indians. He became free through the thirteenth amendment in 1865, which abolished slavery. Reeves became a federal judge for Indian Territory and became a U.S. Marshal. He worked as a peace officer for thirty-two years, arresting more than 3,000 felons and shot and killed fourteen outlaws in self-defense. He even had to arrest his own son for murder. Reeves was known for his excellent ethics and detective work.

For More Classic TV Shows

The TV in The Daily Doo Wop Rec Room has several selections from the golden age of television. Check it out.

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