Buck Jones

Infobox actor
bgcolour = silver
name = Buck Jones

imagesize =
caption = Jones in 1926
birthdate = birth date|1891|12|12|mf=y
location = Vincennes, Indiana
deathdate = death date and age|1942|11|30|1889|12|4
deathplace = Boston, Massachusetts
yearsactive = 1913-1942
birthname = Charles Gebhart
othername =
homepage =

Buck Jones (December 12 1891 [mAllen Co., Ohio marriage license application dated August 9, 1915, reproduced at http://www.b-westerns.com/buck1.htm] – November 30, 1942) was an American motion picture star of the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s, best known for his work starring in many popular western movies. In his early film appearances, he was billed as Charles Jones.

Early life, military service

'Charles Frederick Gebhart' was born on the outskirts of Vincennes, Indiana on December 12, 1891. (Some sources erroneously indicate December 4, 1889, but Jones's marriage license and his military records confirm the 1891 date. [ [http://www.b-westerns.com/buck1.htm Buck Jones ] at www.b-westerns.com] ) In 1907, Jones joined the US Army at age sixteen, after his mother signed a release form authorizing his enlistment. He was initially assigned to "Troop G", "6th Regiment", US Cavalry. He served in combat and was wounded in the Philippine islands during the Moro Rebellion, deploying there in October of 1907, returning to the U.S. in December of 1909. He was discharged honorably that same year, at Fort McDowell, California.] Jones had an affection for racecars and the racing industry, and became close friends with early racecar driver Harry Stillman. Due to his association with Stillman, he began working for the Marmon Motor Company, where he test drove many of their vehicles. However, by 1910 he had re-enlisted in the US Army. In 1913 he requested a transfer to the Aeronautical Division, U.S. Signal Corps. He requested this due to his desire to become a pilot, however only officers were allowed pilot training. He received his second honorable discharge from the Army in October 1913. He fought for France in WWI. [http://www.b-westerns.com/buck5.htm]

Cowboy, stuntman, beginning of film career

Following his military service, he began working as a cowboy on the 101 Ranch near Bliss, Oklahoma. While attending equestrian shows he met Odille "Dell" Osborne, who rode horses professionally. The two became involved, and married in 1915. Both had very little money, so the producers of a Wild West Show they were working on at the time offered to allow them to marry in an actual show performance, in public, which they accepted. He and his wife formed their own riding expedition show, and toured the U.S.

While in Los Angeles, and with his wife pregnant, Jones decided to leave the cowboy life behind and get a job in the film industry. He was hired by Universal Pictures for $5 per day as a bit player and stuntman. He later worked for Canyon Pictures, then Fox Film Corporation, eventually earning $40 per week as a stuntman. With Fox his salary increased to $150 per week, and company executive William Fox decided to use him as a backup to Tom Mix.

This led to his first starring role, "The Last Straw", released in 1920. In 1925 Jones made three films with the then very young Carole Lombard. By 1928 he started his own company, "The Big Hop", which failed. By the 1930s he was on contract with Columbia Pictures, and his career steadily increased from there.

tardom and death

Jones had more than 160 film credits to his name, in a career that began in 1918. By the 1920s, Jones joined Hoot Gibson, Tom Mix, and Ken Maynard as the top cowboy actors of the day. In the 1940s, Jones played Marshall Buck Roberts in a series of movies. During his career, he would develop a lifelong friendship with Scott R. Dunlap, a director and producer who would work with him on many of his films.

Buck Jones was one of the 492 victims of the 1942 Cocoanut Grove fire in Boston, Massachusetts, dying two days after the November 28 blaze. For years, legend held that Jones' fatal injuries were the result of his going back into the burning building to save victims, but it is now known that he was trapped in the fire.

Buck Jones' daughter, Maxine Jones (b. 1918) married Noah Beery, Jr. in 1940.


External links

* [http://www.b-westerns.com/buck5.htm Article on Buck Jones and his role, if any, in rescuing victims from the fire]
* [http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=8101 Buck Jones on Find-A-Grave]
* [http://www.b-westerns.com/buck.htm Buck Jones]
* [http://www.fandango.com/buckjones/filmography/p95621 Buck Jones, brief bio]

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