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Jack Hoxie (January 11, 1885 – March 28, 1965) was an American rodeo performer and motion picture actor whose career was most prominent in the silent film era of the 1910s through the 1930s. Hoxie is best recalled for his roles in Westerns and never strayed from the genre.
Born John Hartford Hoxie in Kingfisher Creek in Indian Territory (now the state of Oklahoma), he was the son of a veterinarian father named Bart 'Doc' Hoxie, who was killed in a horse accident just weeks before Jack's birth, and a half–Nez Perce mother (some reports list her as Cherokee) named Matilda E. Quick Hoxie. After his father's death he and his mother moved to Northern Idaho where, at an early age, Jack became a working cowboy and ranch hand. Matilda married a rancher and horse trader named Calvin Scott Stone. The family then relocated to Boise, where Jack worked as a packer for a US Army fort in the area, continuing to hone his skill as a horseback rider while competing in rodeos. In 1909 he met performer Dick Stanley and joined his Wild West show. It was during this period that Jack met and married his first wife, Hazel Panting, who was a Western trick rider with the outfit.
Hoxie continued to tour with circuit rodeos until 1913, when he was approached to perform in the Western drama film short The Tragedy of Big Eagle Mine. Now billing himself as Hart Hoxie (a moniker he would use until 1919), he would continue working through the 1910s in popular Western shorts, often in small but well-received roles. In 1919, after appearing in approximately 35 films, he was cast in the starring role in the Paul Hurst-directed Lightning Bryce serials as main character Sky Bryce. Hoxie began billing himself as Jack Hoxie and would use this name permanently. It was during this time that he met and married his second wife, actress and frequent co-star Marin Sais, after his divorce from Hazel Panting.
Through the early 1920s Hoxie became an extremely popular western film star and worked for such film companies as Pathé Exchange, Arrow, National Film Corp. and Sunset Pictures. In 1923 Universal Pictures head Carl Laemmle put Hoxie under contract and soon his career was on par with that of other Western stars of the era: Art Acord, Harry Carey and Hoot Gibson. Hoxie appeared in such high-profile films as 1923's Where Is This West? with newcomer Mary Philbin and 1924's Universal promotional film Hello, 'Frisco, alongside such popular actors of the era as Jackie Coogan, Norman Kerry, Barbara La Marr, Antonio Moreno, Anna Q. Nilsson, Bebe Daniels and Rin Tin Tin. The film was designed to showcase Universal's roster of its most popular actors. Hoxie, often atop his horses Fender and Dynamite, would star alongside such actresses as Marceline Day, Alice Day, Helen Holmes, Lottie Pickford and Fay Wray in westerns throughout the silent era.
In 1926 Laemmle and Universal chose Jack to star as Buffalo Bill Cody in Metropolitan Pictures' The Last Frontier, co-starring William Boyd. The film would prove enormously successful and Hoxie is often best recalled for his performance in the film. In 1927, however, Hoxie became dissatisfied with his contract at Universal and refused to renegotiate for another stint at the studio. He would continue throughout the late '20s making films of lesser quality with lower-rank film studios. He made his last silent film, Forbidden Trail, in 1929 before pursuing further work in circuit rodeos, carnivals and the Miller Brothers 101 Ranch Wild West Show.
During the 1930s Jack made a brief comeback in films after signing a contract with low-budget studio Majestic Pictures. The films, however, did little to revive his acting career and he once again hit the rodeo circuit. His last film appearance would be in 1933's Trouble Busters with Lane Chandler, who had appeared alongside Hoxie in a number of earlier films.
Hoxie eventually divorced and married his third wife, Dixie Starr. The couple briefly operated a dude ranch in Hereford, Arizona, called the Broken Arrow Ranch. After a fire consumed the ranch, Jack once again began appearing in Wild West shows, often billed as the "Famous Western Screen Star". Hoxie would make appearances throughout the 1940s and well into the 1950s before finally making his last public appearance as a performer in 1959 for the Bill Tatum Circus.
Jack divorced Dixie Starr and married his fourth wife, Bonnie Avis Showalter, and the couple retired to a small ranch in Arkansas, then later moved to his mother Matilda's old homestead in Oklahoma. In his later years Jack developed leukemia, and he died in 1965 at the age of 80. He was interred at the Willowbar Cemetery in Keyes, Oklahoma with the epitaph inscription "A Star in Life - A Star in Heaven".
Click to enlarge:
Marceline Day and Jack Hoxie in a nice portrait for "The White Outlaw" (1925).
Marceline Day helps Jack Hoxie recover as Bunk the Australian shepherd looks on, in "The White Outlaw" (1925).
Marceline Day and Jack Hoxie look at Scout the white horse in "The White Outlaw" (1925).
Marceline Day and Jack Hoxie stand by Scout the white horse in "The White Outlaw" (1925).
Marceline Day is happy to be with Jack Hoxie as he is thanked by her father in "The White Outlaw" (1925).
Marceline Day and Jack Hoxie have a quiet moment after the storm in "The White Outlaw" (1925).
Jack Hoxie and Lew Meehan in a poster for the film "Back Fire" (1922).
Jack Hoxie confronts Frank Rice in "The Desert Rider" (1923).
Jack Hoxie talks to Scout in "The Desert Rider" (1923).
Jack Hoxie is the sheriff in "The Man from Tia Juana" (1917).
Jack Hoxie in "Blue Blazes" Rawden (1918).
Jack Hoxie in "Lightning Bryce" Ep. 15 (1919).
Ann Little and Jack Hoxie in "Lightning Bryce" Ep. 14 (1919).
Jack Hoxie in "Lightning Bryce" Ep. 13 (1919).
Jack Hoxie thanks Steve Clemente in "Lightning Bryce" Ep. 12 (1919).
Jack Hoxie carries Ann Little to a doctor in "Lightning Bryce" Ep. 11 (1919).
Jack Hoxie prays for Ann Little to survive in "Lightning Bryce" Ep. 10 (1919).
Jack Hoxie wants Steve Clemente to tell him his story in "Lightning Bryce" Ep. 9 (1919).
Jack Hoxie and Ann Little try to read the secret message in "Lightning Bryce" Ep. 9 (1919).
Jack Hoxie and a quarry watchman in "Lightning Bryce" Ep. 8 (1919).
Ann Little and Jack Hoxie have a quiet moment between turbulent adventures in "Lightning Bryce" Ep. 7 (1919).
Jack Hoxie asks his friend for help in finding Ann Little in "Lightning Bryce" Ep. 6 (1919).
Paul Hurst tells Jack Hoxie that he has both the knife and the string and is getting the gold, in "Lightning Bryce" Ep. 6 (1919).
Jack Hoxie talks to a man in Chinatown in "Lightning Bryce" Ep. 5 (1919).
Jack Hoxie hangs on a rope surrounded by enemies in "Lightning Bryce" Ep. 5 (1919).
Jack Hoxie juggles the golden nuggets in "Lightning Bryce" Ep. 4 (1919).
Paul Hurst and Jack Hoxie meet again in "Lightning Bryce" Ep. 4 (1919).
Jack Hoxie in "Lightning Bryce" Ep. 3 (1919).
Jack Hoxie recovers the stolen string from Paul Hurst in "Lightning Bryce" Ep. 3 (1919).
Jack Hoxie keeps a watchful eye during a game of poker in "Lightning Bryce" Ep. 2 (1919).
Paul Hurst and Jack Hoxie play a high-stakes hand of poker in "Lightning Bryce" Ep. 2 (1919).
Jack Hoxie and Ann Little in "Lightning Bryce" Ep. 1 (1919).
Jack Hoxie in "Lightning Bryce" Ep. 1 (1919).
Jack Hoxie in a nice portrait.
Jack Hoxie in a portrait with a gun.
Jack Hoxie in a portrait with a badge.
Jack Hoxie and Marceline Day in "The White Outlaw" (1925)
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