Tuesday, November 10, 2009

James Ellison

James Ellison was an actor who appeared in many movies from the 1930s right into the early 1950s. While he played a variety of roles, he is remembered for his roles in many B-Westerns, though he did have a major role in Cecil B. DeMille's epic 1936 feature, "The Plainsman", in which he played the real-life 'Buffalo Bill Cody'.

Mr. Ellison had his own short-lived series of Westerns in the 1950s, in which his character was 'Shamrock Ellison'. Some of those titles are "Hostile Country", "Crooked River", and "Fast on the Draw".

But I knew him for only one role - that of 'Wesley Rand', in the 1943 horror classic "I Walked With a Zombie".

When I was looking for a photo to send to him for signing, I was only able to find one of him in a western costume. I sent it to him in the early 1980s, to his residence in Montecito, and he promptly signed and returned it. The photo can be seen here.


Anonymous said...

I always thought it was interesting that James Ellison's first wife was named Gertrude Durkin, and his son (by her) was named simply, "Durk."

Bill Cappello said...

Apparently both his children with his wife Gertrude Durkin have their names derived from hers. Their daughter's name is Trudy.

Brad said...

And let's not forget his Laurel and Hardy connection. He starred as the romantic lead in Hal Roach's "Zenobia" with Oliver Hardy.