If you went to a big rodeo in the 1940s, you might have seen Gene Autry singing and jumping his horse, Champ, through a flaming hoop. In the same era, familiar rodeo personalities like Hoot Gibson, Texas Rose Bascom, Slim Pickens and Ben Johnson could be seen in movies or television shows. At a rodeo in the 1960s, you might have seen Lorne Greene and Dan Blocker acting out a skit from their hit television show "Bonanza."
This reference book provides career profiles of both types of performers who crossed over between acting and cowboying in the period from the 1930s to the 1970s, when Hollywood and the rodeo circuit were closely linked. The first part, "Rodeo Personalities with a Hollywood Connection," traces the careers of notable rodeo stars who also appeared on film or television. The next two sections detail the rodeo appearances of stars better known for their work on the screen (whether small or silver); one of these two sections focuses on performers who tended to appear solo, while the other focuses on famous casts, such as the folks of "Bonanza" or "Gunsmoke." A fourth section alphabetically lists rodeo-related films. Appendices present further information on golden age rodeo personalities, rodeos presenting western stars, and eleven special rodeos distinguished by such features as size, prestige and Western star power.