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
      - Frank Ferguson
      - Al Ferguson
      - Mort Mills
      - Slim Whitaker
      - Le Roy Mason
      - Kenneth MacDonald
      - Nestor Pavia
      - Steve Clark
      - Pierce Lyden
      - Bud Geary
      - Lyle Talbot
      - Rayford Barnes
      - I. Stanford Jolley
      - Don Harvey
      - Bruce Dern
      - Ian MacDonald
      - Bob Kortman
      - Bob Wilke
      - 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

Circus Cowboys
    - Archives

Radio Range Riders
    - Archives

Rangeland Elegance
    - Archives

Western Artifacts
    - Archives

Film Festival Fotos
    - Archives

Silent Western Reviews
    - Archives

Serial Report
    - Archives

Research & Consulting

Subscribe to Western Clippings

COLLECTIBLES FOR SALE:

Western Clippings Back Issues

Serial Report Back Issues

Daily Comic Strips
    - Page 1 (1910-1949)
    - Page 2 (1950-1979)

Sunday Comic Strips

Books

Miscellaneous Collectibles

Autographs

Lobby Cards

Laser Copies of Lobby Cards

Movie Posters

Home

Frank Ferguson.FRANK FERGUSON

Frank Ferguson was one of the busiest character actors in movies and TV for 36 years, 1940-1976. With his everyday man facial features, his fussy little mustache and deep, resonant voice he was equally effective as a doctor, marshal or sheriff, next door neighbor, church deacon, professor or various officials of one kind or another.

Born Franklyn S. Ferguson on Christmas Day 1899 (some reports say 1906) in Ferndale, CA he was the eldest of two children of W. Thomas Ferguson, a native Scottish merchant, and his American wife Annie Boynton. Growing up in Ferndale he became acquainted with Gilmor Brown, founder and director of the famed Pasadena Playhouse. Frank acted in and directed many plays there before he made his film debut in 1940’s “Gambling on the High Seas”.

From 1940 to the early ‘50s at least 90% of his film appearances were uncredited including Western roles in “They Died with Their Boots On” (‘41) as President Grant’s secretary, “Canyon Passage” (‘46) as a preacher, “California” (‘47) as a Cavalry Lieutenant, “The Fabulous Texan” (‘47), “Fort Apache” (‘48) as a newspaperman and “The Furies” (‘50) as a doctor.

Now well established as one of the most reliable character men in Hollywood it seems 1950 is when he became one of Westerns’ most prominent and regular fixtures. Ferguson immediately made two with Rex Allen, “Under Mexicali Stars” and “Thunder in God’s Country”, “Frenchie” with Joel McCrea, “The Great Missouri Raid”, “Warpath”, and “Santa Fe” as Marshal Bat Masterson with Randolph Scott.

Throughout the ‘50s he appeared with a who’s who of Western stars—opposite Audie Murphy, James Stewart, Judy Canova, Rod Cameron (as a gun runner in “Wagons West”), Wayne Morris (a Marshal in “Star of Texas”, a rustler in “The Marksman”), Joel McCrea, Rory Calhoun, Dale Robertson, Randolph Scott, George Montgomery, Sterling Hayden (marshal in “Johnny Guitar”), Alan Ladd, Glenn Ford, Gary Cooper and Buster Crabbe.

It’s also hard to remember a TV Western in which Ferguson didn’t appear—“Hopalong Cassidy”, “Lone Ranger”, “Sheriff of Cochise”/“U.S. Marshal”, “Tales of the Texas Rangers”, “Zane Grey Theatre”, “Trackdown”, “Restless Gun”, “Colt .45” (as Judge Roy Bean), “Rifleman”, “Texan”, “Wichita Town”, “Overland Trail”, “Wanted Dead or Alive”, “Riverboat”, “Sugarfoot” (as Judge Bean again), “The Deputy”, “Alaskans”, “Bat Masterson”, “The Westerner”, “Klondike” “Shotgun Slade”, “Wyatt Earp”, “Have Gun Will Travel”, “Laramie”, “Tall Man” (as Governor Lew Wallace), “Frontier Circus”, “Maverick”, “Bronco” (as General William T. Sherman), “Tales of Wells Fargo”, “Lawman”, “Cheyenne”, “Death Valley Days”, “Wide Country”, “Virginian”, “Wagon Train”, “Temple Houston” (a regular as Judge Gurney), “Destry”, “Gunsmoke”, “Bonanza”, “Alias Smith and Jones”, “Kung Fu”, “How the West Was Won” and, of course, for TV he may be best remembered as Swedish ranch foreman Gus Broeberg on “My Friend Flicka” (‘56-‘57).

“…Flicka” star Gene Evans once told me besides his onscreen work “Ferguson was a noted acting coach at Columbia Pictures…a great guy to work with—a good fisherman too.” Frank was also an amateur trap shooter and belonged to the Golden Valley Gun Club in Pacoima. Slowing down in his late 70s, Frank made his final appearance in an episode of “Little House on the Prairie” in ‘76.

We lost one of our most memorable character men when Ferguson, 71, died of cancer on September 12, 1978 in L.A.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

i