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STUNTS, STARS & LEGENDS - April 2012

Frank McGrath
by John Hagner (Artist of the Stars)


Frank McGrath as drawn by John HagnerFrank was in Monument Valley in 1948 working in “Fort Apache” and again in 1949 in “She Wore A Yellow Ribbon”,both starring John Wayne and in Moab in “Wagon Master”, in 1950, starring Ben Johnson, Harry Carey, Jr. and Ward Bond. He was an expert horseman, and in the Calvary movies, he usually played the part of the bugler, as well performing saddle falls and horse falls. Many years before these films, Frank was a well known actor, Warner Baxter’s regular stunt double. When the television series, “Wagon Train” came along in 1957 and lasted until 1965, McGrath got the role as cook, ‘Charlie Wooster’, as well as the comedy relief. That’s not to say that ‘ole Charlie didn’t have his quirks. On the show, he had a wicked tendency to talk too much. In fact, what Charlie did best was to drive everyone else crazy. Frank was born in 1903 in Mound City, Missouri. As a stuntman, Frank worked with the best of them before Wagon Train. He also, occasionally doubled for actor, Robert Horton, who starred in that show. Prior to working in John Wayne’s, “The Searchers”, McGrath had been in a body cast due to a broken back. Upon showing up and reporting to John Ford, he performed three separate horsefall and drag stunts Frank McGrath is an honored inductee into the Hollywood Stuntmen ‘s Hall of Fame. He died in 1967 of a heart attack.

The Hall of Fame is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the history of the stunt profession and to honoring stunt people. Anyone interested in making a tax-deductible donation may do so by sending it to 81 W. Kane Creek Blvd. - #12, Moab, Utah 84532. Phone number is 435 260-2160.

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