Hollywood Remains to Be Seen

Clayton Moore
1914 - 1999

Forest Lawn Glendale

With a thunder of hoofbeats and a hearty, "Hi Yo, Silver!," Clayton Moore is best known at the one and only Lone Ranger.

Moore started his career as a circus acrobat and aerialist, and performed at the 1934 World's Fair in Chicago. Moore then went to New York City, where he worked as a model. In 1938, Moore headed to Hollywood, where he worked as an extra and a stuntman in films, primarily Westerns. In the early 1940s, Moore began to appear in larger roles in films including "The Son of Monte Cristo" (1940), "Perils of Nyoka" (1942), "Black Dragons" (1942), "The Crimson Ghost" (1946), "Jesse James Rides Again" (1947), "Marshal of Amarillo" (1948) and "Sheriff of Wichita" (1949).

In 1949, Moore first donned the mask of "The Lone Ranger" in the long-running television series, with his horse, Silver, and his faithful Indian companion, Tonto, played by Jay Silverheels. For three years, until 1952, Moore played the masked rider of the plains, upholding the law and decency with his apparently endless supply of silver bullets, the thunder of hoofbeats and a hearty, "Hi Yo, Silver!" Moore was fired in a salary dispute in 1952, and John Hart played the ranger for the 1952-53 television season. Moore was brought back in 1954, and continued as the ranger until the series ended in 1957, after 169 episodes. Moore also appeared in two feature-length films as "The Lone Ranger" -- "The Lone Ranger" (1956) and "The Lone Ranger and the Lost City of Gold" (1958).

For the next 20 years, Moore made personal appearances as "The Lone Ranger," urging a new generation of young fans to follow the "The Lone Ranger Creed" of good behavior. In 1979, the Wrather Corp., which owned "The Lone Ranger" television series and the rights to the character, obtained a court order to stop Moore from appearing in public dressed as "The Lone Ranger," specifically prohibiting him from wearing the ranger's signature mask. The Wrather Corp. intended to produce a new "Lone Ranger" film, and didn't want fans to be confused. Instead, fans were incensed about the treatment of Moore, and circulated petitions to allow him to wear the mask again. Moore continued to make appearances, however, wearing wrap-around sunglasses instead. When the film, "The Legend of the Lone Ranger" (1981), starring Klinton Spilsbury, was released, it was a huge critical and commercial failure. The Wrather Corp. gave in to public pressure in 1984, and allowed Moore to wear the mask again. When Moore died in 1999, the company arranged for the saddle Moore used as "The Lone Ranger" to be displayed at his memorial service.

Moore was so closely identified with "The Lone Ranger" that his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame identifies him as "Clayton Moore - The Lone Ranger." It's the only star on the famous walk that includes both the name of a performer and a character.

Moore is buried next to his first wife, Sally Angela Moore (1912 - 1986).

Moore was born Jack Carlton Moore on Sept. 14, 1914 (some sources say 1908), in Chicago, IL. He died on Dec. 28, 1999, in Los Angeles, CA.

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