The Ominous Octopus

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Clayton Moore And The Lone Ranger

I was once on television with the Lone Ranger.

Clayton Moore

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Clayton Moore

Clayton Moore as The Lone Ranger
BornJack Carlton Moore[1]
(1914-09-14)September 14, 1914
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
DiedDecember 28, 1999(1999-12-28) (aged 85)
West Hills, California, U.S.
Cause of deathHeart attack
Resting placeForest Lawn Memorial Park
ResidenceCalabasas, California
Years active1934–1999
Known forThe Lone Ranger
TelevisionThe Lone Ranger
Spouse(s)Mary Moore (1940-1942)
Sally Allen (1943-1986) (her death) 1 child
Connie Moore (1986-1989)
Clarita Moore (1992-1999) (his death)
Clayton Moore (September 14, 1914 – December 28, 1999) was an American actor best known for playing the fictional western character The Lone Ranger from 1949–1951 and 1954–1957 on the television series of the same name.

Early years

Born Jack Carlton Moore in Chicago, Illinois, Moore became a circus acrobat by age 8 and appeared at the Century of Progress exposition in Chicago in 1934 with a trapeze act.[2] He graduated from Stephen K. Hayt Elementary School in Chicago.
As a young man, Moore worked successfully as a John Robert Powers model. Moving to Hollywood in the late 1930s, he worked as a stunt man and bit player between modeling jobs. According to his autobiography, around 1940 Hollywood producer Edward Small persuaded him to adopt the stage name "Clayton" Moore. He was an occasional player in B westerns and the lead in four Republic Studio cliffhangers, and two for Columbia. Moore served in the U.S. Army Air Forces during World War II and made training films (Target--Invisible, etc.) with the First Motion Picture Unit.

As The Lone Ranger

Moore's career advanced in 1949, when George Trendle spotted him in the Ghost of Zorro serial. As creator-producer of The Lone Ranger radio show (with writer Fran Striker), Trendle was about to launch the television version. Moore landed the role.
Moore trained his voice to sound like the radio version of The Lone Ranger, which had then been on the air since 1933, and succeeded in lowering his already distinctive baritone even further. With the first notes of Rossini's "William Tell Overture" and actor Gerald Mohr's "Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear ... ," Moore and co-star Jay Silverheels, in the role of Tonto, made television history as the stars of the first Western written specifically for that medium. The Lone Ranger soon became the highest-rated program to that point on the fledgling ABC network and its first true hit, earning an Emmy nomination in 1950. Moore starred in 169 episodes of the television show.[3]

Leaving series

After two successful years presenting a new episode every week, 52 weeks a year, Moore had a pay dispute and left the series. As "Clay Moore", he made a few more westerns and serials, sometimes playing the villain. Moore was replaced for a time by actor John Hart. Eventually the show's producers came to terms and rehired Moore. He stayed with the program until it ended first-run production in 1957. He and Jay Silverheels also starred in two feature-length Lone Ranger motion pictures. Moore appeared in other series too, including a role in the 1952 episode "Snake River Trapper" of Bill Williams's syndicated western, The Adventures of Kit Carson.
After completion of the second feature, The Lone Ranger and the Lost City of Gold in 1958, Moore embarked on what would be 40 years of personal appearances, TV guest spots, and classic commercials as the legendary masked man. Silverheels joined him for occasional appearances during the early 1960s. Throughout his career, Moore expressed respect and love for Silverheels.
The Finale or "cavalry charge" of the The William Tell Overture by Gioachino Rossini was used as the theme music for The Lone Ranger in the movies, serials, television and on radio and for Lark (cigarette) television commercials in the 1960s. Clayton Moore and Jay Silverheels appeared in Stan Freberg's Jeno's Pizza Roll commercial, incorporating all three cultural icons.

Lawsuit over public appearances

In 1979, the owner of the Ranger character, Jack Wrather, obtained a court order prohibiting Moore from making future appearances as The Lone Ranger.[4] Wrather anticipated making a new film version of the story, and did not want the value of the character being undercut by Moore's appearances. Also, Wrather did not want to encourage the belief that the 65-year-old Moore would be playing the role in the new picture. This move proved to be a public relations disaster. Moore responded by changing his costume slightly and replacing the Domino mask with similar-looking Foster Grant wraparound sunglasses, and by counter-suing Wrather. He eventually won the suit, and was able to resume his appearances in costume, which he continued to do until shortly before his death. For a time he worked in publicity tie-ins with the Texas Rangers baseball team. (Wrather's planned motion picture remake, The Legend of the Lone Ranger, was released in 1981 and was a critical and commercial failure.)
Moore often was quoted as saying he had "fallen in love with the Lone Ranger character" and strove in his personal life to take The Lone Ranger Creed to heart. This, coupled with his public fight to retain the right to wear the mask, linked him inextricably with the character. In this regard, he was much like another cowboy star, William Boyd, who portrayed the Hopalong Cassidy character. Moore was so identified with the masked man that he is the only person on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, as of 2006, to have his character's name along with his on the star, which reads, "Clayton Moore — The Lone Ranger". He was inducted into the Stuntman's Hall of Fame in 1982 and in 1990 was inducted into the Western Performers Hall of Fame at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Moore also was awarded a place on the Western Walk of Fame in Old Town Newhall, California.


Clayton Moore died on December 28, 1999, in a West Hills, California, hospital after suffering a heart attack at his home in nearby Calabasas. He was survived by his fourth wife, Clarita Moore, and an adopted daughter, Dawn Angela Moore. Moore was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale.[1][5][6][7]


1937Forlorn RiverCowboyuncredited
1937Thunder TrailCowboyuncredited
1938Go Chase YourselfReporteruncredited
1939Burn 'Em Up O'ConnorHospital Interneas Jack Moore
1940Kit CarsonPaul Terry
1940The Son of Monte CristoLieutenant Fritz Dorner
1941International LadySewell
1941Tuxedo JunctionBill Bennett
1942Black DragonsFBI Agent Richard 'Dick' Martin
1942Perils of NyokaDr. Larry Grayson
1942Outlaws of Pine RidgeLane Hollister
1946The Bachelor's DaughtersBill Cotter
1946The Crimson GhostAshe
1947Jesse James Rides AgainJesse James
1947Along the Oregon TrailGregg Thurston
1948G-Men Never ForgetAgent Ted O'Hara
1948Marshal of AmarilloArt Crandall
1948Adventures of Frank and Jesse JamesJesse James
1949The Far FrontierTom Sharper
1949Sheriff of WichitaRaymond D'Arcy
1949Riders of the Whistling PinesHenchman Pete
1949Ghost of ZorroKen Mason/ el Zorro
1949Frontier InvestigatorScott Garnett
1949The Cisco KidLieutenant
1949South of Death ValleyBrad
1949Masked RaidersMatt Trevett
1949The Cowboy and the IndiansHenchman Luke
1949Bandits of El DoradoB. F. Morgan
1949Sons of New MexicoRufe Burns
1949/1957The Lone RangerThe Lone Ranger(TV series) 169 episodes
1952Son of Geronimo: Apache AvengerJim Scottas Clay Moore
1952Radar Men from the MoonGraber
1953Jungle Drums of AfricaAlan Kingas Clay Moore
1953Kansas PacificHenchman Stone
1953The Bandits of CorsicaRicardo
1953Down Laredo WayChip Wells
1954Gunfighters of the NorthwestBram Nevin
1955The Lone Ranger Rides AgainThe Lone Ranger(1955 film)
1956The Lone RangerThe Lone Ranger(1956 film)
1958The Lone Ranger and the Lost City of GoldThe Lone Ranger(1958 film)



  • I Was That Masked Man, by Clayton Moore with Frank Thompson, Taylor Publishing Company, 1996 - ISBN 0-87833-939-6


External links

Clayton Moore at Find a Grave - http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=8451

With Lupe Velez, with whom Clayton Moore was associated with in real life, although they didn't work together in the movies.

With Kay Aldridge and Billy Benedict
With Ramsy Ames in G-MEN NEVER FORGET

Noel Neill would later appear on the Lone Ranger show.
With Phyllis Coates in JUNGLE DRUMS OF AFRICA
With Phyllis Coates on the Lone Ranger show.
Phyllis Coates worked with both Clayton Moore and John Hart on the series.
The Lone Ranger And Tonto
With their horses Scout and Silver.

Different characters played by Clayton Moore on the program
Tonto also disguised himself as a Mexican along with the Lone Ranger.

Lone Ranger comic book. Not only the Lone Ranger, but Tonto and even Silver had their own comic books.
I don't think Clayton Moore ever recieved a dime for his image appearing on things like comic books. I think all he was actually paid for was acting the part of the Lone Ranger.
Clayton Moore is still popular today, even though there are some people who don't want you to think so. They don't want anyone even to know about him and insist that nobody does. But you can't just make everyone forget something overnight, and there are people still watching the Lone Ranger show. The program has been run on television here within recent memory and there are lots of people still around who remember it from when it was new.
Then there are people who want to say that there was something wrong with the way Tonto was depicted. There was. He was treated the same as everyone else. History tells us that in real life Indians were frequently shot on sight during the period the program is supposed to be set in. Tonto would have been likely to run into trouble any time he went into town.
Tonto and the Lone Ranger were always depicted as friends.
I think a lot of problem is that some people just can't stand it that the Lone Ranger is not only a symbol of good, a symbol of justice, but a symbol of masculinity. They can't stand that and they tell you that it's all wrong, that the Lone Ranger needs to be changed.
It's been done before. It didn't work.
Unlike other movie stars I've written about, Clayton Moore is someone I appeared with on television. Clayton was the friend of the sherrif here ( Indianapolis ) and would occasionally come to town to visit. He'd also visit little kids in the hospital, one time I was in front of the hospital when he arrived, and I ended up on a spot on the evening news with him.  That was before I had a vcr and I didn't record it. Somebody else might have ( vcrs were available at the time ), but I don't know. The spot could be lost to history along with a lot of other things that were broadcast on television at some point.
Oh, yeah. That was when they made him stop wearing the mask. He was wearing glasses. I don't think it made much difference, although he didn't like it. A lot of other people didn't like it either. I think it backfired on the ( then ) new movie they were making when they told Clayton Moore he couldn't wear the mask.
Later on they gave him permission to put the mask back on. So I guess this time the story did have a happy ending.
Clayton Moore Autobiography
 Hi-Yo Silver ( Lone Ranger Song ):

Clayton Moore Gets A Star On The Walk Of Fame:

Clayton Moore At Lone Ranger Fan Club:
Clayton Moore, The Lone Ranger:
Clayton Moore At Booksteve's Library:
Clayton Moore Memmorial:
Clayton Moore At B Westerns:
Lone Ranger Comic Books ( With Clayton Moore Covers ):


  1. It's not something that I'm personally familiar with, but apparently a lot of old stars (I recall especially Bela Lugosi) made extra money by appearing in live shows all over the country when not actively engaged in shooting a film. It seemed like those folks made more money from the appearances than the films (although life on the road was much more demanding). I think Clayton Moore might have been in that category too.
    Hope this helps,

  2. I remember Clayton Moore and Jay Silverheels coming to St. Louis in the mid- to late-1960's when I was a wee lad. I wanted to go to the appearance, but an older brother got me there too late to meet them. :(

    Clayton Moore, like George Reeves and Adam West, will always hold a special place in my memories. :)

  3. Clayton Moore did make a lot of personal appearences in later years. That was also why he had the trouble with the Wrather corporation when they were going to make a new movie with someone else as the Lone Ranger. Clayton Moore didn't own the rights to the character he had played on television. But he also got no money from the television show in later years. You would have thought that Wrather would have been a little more reasonable about the whole thing after they'd made so much money out of Clayton Moore.