Search the Western Clippings Site

An Interview With…
        - Archives

Will "Sugarfoot" Hutchins
    - Archives

Do You Remember?
    - Archives

Comic Book Cowboys
    - Archives

Westerns of...
    - Archives

Heavies and Characters
      - Denver Pyle
      - Jack Ingram
      - Jan Merlin
      - Neville Brand
      - John Anderson
      - John Milford
      - Lee Marvin
      - Trevor Bardette
      - Morgan Woodward
      - Michael Pate
      - Fred Kohler
      - Mari Blanchard
      - Dick Alexander
      - Hank Worden
      - Marie Windsor
      - Edmund Cobb
      - Gregg Barton
      - Douglas Fowley
      - Walter Burke
      - Budd Buster
      - R. G. Armstrong
      - Gregg Palmer
      - Rex Holman
      - Ernie Adams
      - Robert Ryan
      - Ted de Corsia
      - Scott Marlowe
      - Lee Roberts
      - James Coburn
      - Victor Jory
      - Kenne Duncan
      - Stephen McNally
      - Wallace Ford
      - Earle Hodgins
      - Douglas Kennedy
      - DeForest Kelley
      - George Macready
      - Terry Frost
      - John Doucette
      - Riley Hill
      - James Seay
      - Richard Devon
      - Harry Lauter
      - James Griffith
      - Myron Healey
      - J. Farrell MacDonald
      - Jean Willes
      - Hank Patterson
      - L. Q. Jones
      - Tom London
      - Leo Gordon
      - Holly Bane/Mike Ragan
      - Dan Duryea
      - John Cason
      - Dennis Moore
      - Lee Van Cleef
      - Jack Elam
      - Roy Barcroft
      - William Fawcett
      - Byron Foulger
      - Gerald Mohr
      - Tom Bay
      - Lafe McKee
      - Paul Sorenson, Ben Welden, William Watson, George Barrows
      - Strother Martin
      - Carl Stockdale
      - Edward J. Peil
      - George Wallace
      - Claude Akins
      - Al Taylor
      - Henry Silva
      - John Dehner
      - Donald Curtis
      - Steve Brodie
      - John Merton
      - Lyle Bettger
      - Ted Adams
      - John Cliff
      - Marshall Reed
      - Barton MacLane
      - Al Bridge
      - Warner Richmond
      - Charles Stevens
      - Ethan Laidlaw
      - Chris Alcaide
      - Tris Coffin
      - Noah Beery Sr.
      - Frank Ellis
      - Zon Murray
      - Lane Bradford
      - Morris Ankrum
      - Harry Woods
      - Charlie King
      - Glenn Strange
      - Forrest Taylor
      - Bud Osborne
      - Dick Curtis
      - George Chesebro

The Stuntmen - Neil Summers
    - Archives

Western Treasures
    - Archives

Western Artifacts
    - Archives

Film Festival Fotos
    - Archives

Silent Western Reviews
    - Archives

Serial Report
    - Archives

Research & Consulting

Subscribe to Western Clippings

Other Western Links

COLLECTIBLES FOR SALE:

Western Clippings Back Issues

Serial Report Back Issues

Daily Comic Strips

Sunday Comic Strips

Books

Miscellaneous Collectibles

Lobby Cards

Laser Copies of Lobby Cards

Movie Posters

Home

Donald Curtis as Johnny Ringo on "Stories of the Century" ('55).DONALD CURTIS

Too often overlooked as a heavy in ‘40s Columbia B-westerns, Donald Curtis went from badman to ordained minister.

Born Curtis Donald Rudolf February 27, 1915, in Cheney, WA (near Eugene), Curtis won a scholarship then obtained a B.S. and M.A. in dramatic production from the School of Speech at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. He worked as an associate professor of dramatic Art at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA, then won a Rockefeller Fellowship and used it to study acting.

Mary Daily is terrorized by her brutal brother, Donald Curtis, in Bill Elliott's "Hands Across the Rockies" ('41 Columbia).His stage experience includes a role on Broadway in ‘49’s “Goodbye My Fancy”. West Coast productions of “Life with Father”, “Outward Bound”, “The Male Animal” and numerous others also fill his resume.

After making his screen debut uncredited as an ambulance intern in “Emergency Squad” (‘40 Paramount), which starred Bill Henry, Curtis’ next role as Ronal, one of Prince Barin’s trusted officers, in Universal’s third (and final) Flash Gordon serial, “Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe” (‘40), established him further. A small role as a thug in another Universal serial, “Junior G-Men”, followed the same year.

Roles in a dozen B-westerns in the ‘40s opposite Tex Ritter, Bill Elliott, Charles Starrett, Russell Hayden and the 3 Mesquiteers, led to a contract at prestigious MGM from ‘43-‘46.

Not sure Mountie Charles Starrett agrees that badman Donald Curtis is entitled to a fair trial in Columbia's "Law of the Northwest" ('43).

Freelancing again in the late ‘40s and ‘50s, Curtis appeared in a few more westerns (“Stampede” with Rod Cameron, “7th Cavalry” with Randolph Scott) and made a sci-fi thriller that he called his favorite, “It Came From Beneath the Sea” (‘55), because “it was the only time I got the girl at the end of the picture.”

Donald Curtis has turned on his suave boss-lady, crooked banker Evelyn Brent, to escape from The Three Mesquiteers in "Westward Ho!" ('42 Republic).In ‘53 Curtis changed his life, “I went to Santa Barbara and was ordained a minister in the Church of Religious Science. I made a few more pictures and TV episodes (“Stories of the Century”, “Annie Oakley”, “Frontier Doctor”) then retired after ‘Night Passage’ (‘57) with James Stewart. I did go back into acting briefly in the ‘60s and had a role with David Janssen in ‘Warning Shot’ (‘67).”

For well over 20 years Curtis and his wife, Dorothy, lived in Dallas, TX, where they were known not for his film career, but as Reverend Donald Curtis and Reverend Dorothy Curtis, pastors of Unity Church on Forest Lane. He established and recorded the five-times-per-week program, “Five Minutes That Will Change Your Life” on WRR radio. The program was also in syndication. Curtis was the author of 30 books on self improvement, metaphysics and New Thought. He traveled throughout the world giving classes and seminars on meditation and higher dimensions of human potential. He appeared on “Oprah Winfrey” in ‘87 discussing true meaning of the new age.

Curtis was honored at the Memphis Film Festival in ‘89 and a few years later retired to Desert Hot Springs, CA, where, at 82, he died on May 22, 1997, of unknown causes.

Shyster Donald Curtis is out to swindle cattle baron Rod Cameron in the excellent "Stampede" ('49 Allied Artists).