Broncho Billy Anderson
published 21/01/1971 at 16:40 PM by Richard West
Actor | Director | Producer - Born Max Aronson on March 21, 1882 in Little Rock, AR - Died Jan. 20, 1971 in South Pasadena, CA
Broncho Billy Anderson became the first cowboy movie star after appearing in "The Great Train Robbery" in 1903.
Anderson began his movie career in the East at the turn of the century, before motion pictures came to Hollywood, and had appeared in 385 two-reel films when re quit acting in 1920.
He recalled in 1968 that he made early westerns "like popcorn."
"The Great Train Robbery," in which Anderson played two roles—a robber and a passenger—for 50 cents an hour, was the longest feature film ever made at that time.
He made the epic western and his other first movies in Fort Lee, N.J. Later he helped establish Essanay Studios in Chicago and then made a picture a week at Niles studios, near Oakland, Calif.
Anderson came to Hollywood as it was becoming the film capital of the world.
"I remember we went to Westlake [now MacArthur] Park to shoot a picture in 1907," he once reminisced. "Ben Turpin jumped into the lake to get a duck. The cops arrested us, but the prosecutor let us go."
He returned to the screen briefly in 1967, 47 years after he made his last silent film, to make his first talking picture—"The Bounty Killer"—with Buster Crabbe, Richard Arlen and Dan Duryea.
— Richard West in the Los Angeles Times Jan. 21, 1971