Hoot Gibson: 1892 – 1962
From rodeo champion to stuntman to movie cowboy star for nearly 20 years, Hoot Gibson was one of the most popular western stars on the silent screen, ranking second only to Tom Mix. With his easy combination of light, breezy, boyish charm comedy and riding abilities, 5' 9" Hoot filled a gap between the austere William S. Hart or Harry Carey and the flamboyant Tom Mix. Hoot appealed to both children and adults --- especially women. By the mid '20s, he was one of Universal's top paid stars, earning $14,500 per week. And he spent it, rivaling even Mix in self indulgence ... fast cars, motorcycles and airplanes.
What made Gibson so popular over the years? He was not what one might call handsome, being a little on the homely side, nor did he cut a dashing figure on horseback, although he could ride like a demon. Neither was he a polished scrapper of the Bob Steele school of fisticuffs, but could mix it up with the best of them. He mostly never wore a gun in the standard cowboy hero way, instead shoved it in his belt or boot. So what made this cowboy hero one of the greats? You could call it character, a certain boyish charm, or simply a naturalness that appealed to the western fan. He had a contagious smile, and while most heroes had a sidekick who provided the comedy routine, Hoot was his own best sidekick.
Kildare (Hooper Atchley) kills Curt Fremont's (Hoot Gibson) brother Jim (Edward Hearn).
When Curt arrives he poses as a coward in public but sneaks out unseen to become the daring El Capitan as he looks for the killer.
Bill Clary has robbed the stage and planted some of the money at Luke Avery's ranch. Dan Alton (Hoot Gibson) arrives at the same time posing as a Lawyer to sell his book. When Avery is charged with the robbery, Luke's sister Ruth gets Dan to take the case. His defense entails robbing another stage. Luke is found innocent but Dan is exposed as a stage robber.
After Burton kills Dad Mason and makes it look like a suicide, Ace Cooper (Hoot Gibson) arrives to investigate. He poses as a coward during the day but at night he becomes the daring Dude Bandit.
When Peaceful Patton (Hoot Gibson) goes to work at the Martini ranch he is mistaken for the notorious outlaw the Hard Hombre. This enables him to force the ranchers to divide up the water rights. But he is in trouble when his mother arrives and exposes the hoax.
Losing a barroom brawl, the unconscious Gibson and Kendall are put on a train heading west where they get jobs on Ware's ranch. There they get involved with Ware's fight against Stark, the man who just happens to be the crooked partner of Gibson's father.
6. Sunset Range (1935) – Hoot Gibson:
Grant hides stolen money in the luggage of Bonnie Shea who is moving west. Later when he and his men arrive to retrieve the money, they also kidnap Bonnie. This sends Reasonin' Bates (Hoot Gibson) and his cowhands on their horses after the gangsters in their cars.
7. Lucky Terror (1936) - Hoot Gibson
A sharpshooter (Hoot Gibson) in a traveling sideshow is falsely accused of murdering a local miner.
US government agents Ken Maynard and Hoot Gibson, aka "The Trail Blazers", make a deal with captured outlaw Duke Dillon (Jack La Rue) to catch crooked Indian agent John Hampton (Kenneth Harlan), who has been using his authority to steal from the local tribe. Dillon double-crosses the inept and lethargic heroes, making it difficult for them to carry out their mission.
9. Marked Trails (1944) - Bob Steele and Hoot Gibson
Jack Slade (Mauritz Hugo) and Mary Conway, alias Blanche (Veda Ann Borg), being recognized as known and wanted crooks by deputy marshal Harry Stevens (Steve Clark) and, when he orders them out of town, Slade kills him. His son, Bob Stevens (Bob Steele) and friend Parkford (Hoot Gibson) become U.S. Marshals and proceed to rid the town of the cut-throat gang that has been terrorizing the citizens.