name = Tim McCoy
birthname = Timothy John Fitzgerald McCoy
birthdate = Birth date|1891|4|10
birthplace = Saginaw,
deathdate = Death date and age|1978|1|29|1891|4|10
Ft. Huachuca, Sierra Vista, Arizona
othername = Col. T.J. McCoy
Col. Tim McCoy
Colonel Tim McCoy
yearsactive = 1925-1965
spouse = Agnes Miller (d.1931 three children)
Inga Arvad(1945-1973 two children)
awards =Star on the
Hollywood Walk of Fame
1973 Hall of Great Western Performers of the
National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum
1974 Inducted into the
Cowboy Hall of Fame
Timothy John Fitzgerald "Tim" McCoy (born
April 10, 1891- died January 29, 1978) was an American actor.
Born the son of an Irish soldier who later became police chief in Saginaw, he became a major film star most noted for his roles in
Western films. He was so popular with youngsters as a cowboystar that he appeared on the cover of Wheaties cereal boxes.
St. Ignatius Collegein Chicagoand after seeing a wild westshow there, left school and found work on a Wyomingranch. He became an expert horseman and roper and developed a knowledge of the ways and languages of the Native American tribes in the area. He competed in numerous rodeos, then enlisted in the United States Armywhen America entered the first World War.
McCoy was also a decorated soldier in the United States Army during
World War Iand again in World War IIin Europe, rising to the rank of Colonelwith the Army Air Corps. He also served the state of Wyomingas its Adjutant Generalbetween the wars with the brevert rank of Brigadier General. He was 28, and was reported to be the youngest Brigadier General in the history of the US Army. McCoy resigned from the Army, he returned to ranching and concurrently served as territorial Native American agent.
In 1922, he was asked by the head of
Famous Players-Lasky, Jesse L. Lasky, to provide Native American extras for the Western extravaganza, The Covered Wagon(1923). He brought hundreds of Native Americans to Hollywoodand served as technical advisoron the film. After touring the country and Europe with the Native Americans as publicity, McCoy returned to Hollywood and used his connections to obtain further work in the movies, both as a technical advisor and as an actor. MGMquickly signed him to a contract to star in a series of westerns and McCoy rose to stardom, making numerous westerns and an occasional non-westerns.
In 1935, he left Hollywood, first to tour with the
Ringling Brothers Circusand then with his own wild west show. The schow was not a success and is reported to have lost $300,000. $100,000 was McCoy's own money. It folded in Washington D.C. and the Cowboy performers were each given $5 and McCoy's thanks. The Indians on the show were returned to their respective reservations by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. He returned to films in 1940, in a series teaming him with Buck Jonesand Raymond Hatton, but World War II and Jones's death in 1942 ended the series.
Interupted by WWII
In 1942 McCoy ran for the Republican nomination for the open US Senate Seat from Wyoming. Interestingly enough, during that campaign, he established the first state-wide radio hookup in Wyoming broadcasting history. He lost in the primary and almost the very next day volunteered for active duty with the U.S. Army. He had maintained his Army Reserve commission and was immediately accepted. McCoy spent the war in the U.S. Army and performed liaison work with the Army Air Corps in Europe, winning several decorations. He retired from the army and, according to lore, never lived in Wyoming again. His ranch Eagle's Nest" was sold. He retired from films after the war, but emerged in the late 1940s for a few more films and some television work.
McCoy hosted a television show in Los Angeles in the 1952, called "The Tim McCoy Show", for children on weekday afternoons and Saturdays in which he provided authentic history lessons on the
Old West.showing old western movies. His co-host was the actor Iron eyes Cody who, while of Italian linage played an American Indian both on and off screen. Colonel McCoy was also the leading expert in the country on Native American sign language.
He won a local Emmy but didn't attend to receive the award. He was competing against "Webster Webfoot" in the "Best Children's Show" category and refused to show up saying, "I'll be damned if I'm going to sit there and get beaten by a talking duck!"
For his contribution to the film industry, McCoy was honored with a star on the
Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 1973, McCoy was inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. McCoy was inducted into the Cowboy Hall of Famein 1974.
He was married to Agnes Miller, the daughter of Henry Miller the famous British stage actor and producer. Their marriage resulted in three children: Gerald, a girl Margarita and a son D'Arcy. They were divorced in 1931 and Mrs McCoy received a portion of the McCoy ranch holdings in
Hot Springs County, Wyoming. McCoy kept that portion known as the 'Eagles Nest'.Fact|date=April 2008(See 1931 divorce decree at Big Horn County, Wyoming, Clerk of Court's office)
His second marriage was to
Inga Arvadin 1945, they had two sons - Ronald and Terence. McCoy was married to Arvad until her death from cancer in 1973. Arvad was a controversial Danish journalist investigated in the early 1940s due to rumors that she was a Nazi spy, rumors that spawned from photographs of Arvad as Adolf Hitler's companion at the 1936 Olympics and that she had twice intereviewed him. Arvad had also had several previous marriages and an affair with John F. Kennedy. J. Edgar Hooversurreptitiously audiotaped her bedroom trysts with Kennedy as a result of the FBI's investigation and journalist Seymour Hershreported in his book "The Dark Side of Camelot" that Kennedy tried to retrieve those tapes throughout his presidency.
In 1973, Tim McCoy was inducted into the
Western Performers Hall of Fameat the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museumin Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He also was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
McCoy died in 1978 at the Post Hospital on
Ft. Huachuca, Sierra Vista, Arizonaand was later cremated. Originally, his ashes were returned to his Nogales home. Nine years later, his remains, and those of wife Inga, who had died in 1973, were returned to his birthplace at Saginaw, Michiganfor burial there in the Mount Olivet Cemetery next to his family's plot.
* "Tim McCoy remembers the West: An autobiography" by Tim McCoy and Ronald McCoy (1977)
Hardback: : ISBN 0385127987: ISBN 978-0385127981
Paperback: : ISBN 803281552: ISBN 978-0803281554
* [http://www.antiquebooks.net/readpage.html#biglittle Tim McCoy, "Big Little Book"] A contemporary Western book starring Tim McCoy. Free to read, full text, full text search.
* "Tim McCoy--A Wyoming Poet" published by RoundTop Records, LLC., Thermopolis, Wyoming
Paperback:: ISBN 978-0979697005
* "Col. Tim McCoy's The Silent Language of the Plains!" published by RoundTop Records, LLC. Thermopolis, Wyoming: ISBN 978-0979697012
* [http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0003706/ Tim McCoy] at
Internet Movie Database
* [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0128008/ The Tim McCoy Show] at Internet Movie Database
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
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