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July 18, 2022

Hollywood’s First Western Star: Fabulous Photos of Tom Mix in the Early 20th Century

Born 1880 in Mix Run, Pennsylvania, American actor Tom Mix began his film career as a supporting cast member with the Selig Polyscope Company. His first appearance was in a short film The Cowboy Millionaire in 1909. He performed in more than 100 films for Selig, many of which were filmed in Las Vegas, New Mexico.

Mix made more than 160 cowboy films throughout the 1920s, and 291 films during his career, all but nine of which were silent films. He was Hollywood’s first Western star and helped define the genre as it emerged in the early days of the cinema.

Mix died in 1940 at the age of 60. He was the acknowledged “King of Cowboys” when Ronald Reagan and John Wayne were young, and the influence of his screen persona can be seen in their approach to portraying cowboys. For his contribution to the motion picture industry, Mix has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1708 Vine Street. His cowboy boot prints, palm prints and the hoof prints of his horse, Tony, are at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, at 6925 Hollywood Boulevard.

Take a look at these fabulous photos to see portraits of Tom Mix in the early 20th century.


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