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STUNTS, STARS & LEGENDS -June 2012

Boyd “Red” Morgan
by John Hagner (Artist of the Stars)


Boyd "Red" Morgan as drawn by John HagnerBorn in Waurika, Oklahoma in 1915. He acquired his nickname for his bright red hair. He had been riding as long as he could remember. He lived for a year and a half with an uncle who was a rancher and rodeo performer and that’s when he became interested in riding.

He started high school in Hobbs, New Mexico and was outstanding in athletics and in 1935, received a scholarship from U.S.C. When he arrived at the university for football practice, he was recruited for his first professional job ... playing halfback in a football movie. In 1936, he joined the Screen Actors Guild. However, after graduation from U.S.C., the Washington Redskins recruited him. He joined the Pacific Coast League in 1940 and played for the Hollywood Bears and later with the Birmingham Generals.

When WWII was going full bore in 1942 Red joined the Navy as an Ensign. He graduated from the U.S. naval Academy and was sent to St. Mary’s Pre-flight Training Center for sixteen months. After leaving the service he coached football at Polytechnic High School in Long Beach until 1948.

His stunt career was about to begin. Red found himself in high demand due to his handling horses and soon became one of Hollywood’s top stuntmen and was soon to become the stunt double for Den Martin, Scott Brady, Gene Evans, Tony Caruso, Stuart Whitman, Darren McGavin, Robert Preston, Peter Graves, Jim Davis, Leo Gordon and many others.

He worked in hundreds of films and television shows: The Alamo, War Wagon, Sons of Katie Elder, Arizona Raiders, Rio Lobo, A Distant Trumpet, North to Alaska, The Stalking Moon, McLintock, How the West Was Won, True Grit ... The Roy Rogers Shows, Gunsmoke, Tales of Wells Fargo, Range Rider, The Gene Autry Shows, Lawman and hundreds more.

Red was footprinted at the Hollywood Stuntmen’s Hall of Fame in 1982 and was inducted that same day with some of his noted peers. He was in Moab to work on “Comancheros” for John Wayne. He was a good friend of the Hall of Fame’s Founder, John Hagner and lent his support on many occasion.

The Hall of Fame is a non-profit organization founded to preserve the history of the stunt profession of motion pictures and television and to honoring the stuntmen and women the world over. The Hall of Fame is soon to move its memorabilia and artifacts back to Moab with the intention to reopen to the visiting public. Anyone interested in learning how they can help in this great effort, contact John Hagner at 435 260-2160, or write him at johnhagner@hotmail.com. Hall of Fame’s website is www.stuntmen.org. Check Facebook for Falling For Stars. Then Artist of the Stars. Then Stunt Stars and Legends and say you heard about the Hall of Fame in Moab Happenings.

STUNTS STARS AND LEGENDS
is a series of articles and drawings by John Hagner and appear in Moab Happenings monthly.
 
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