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 Gabby Hayes

Gabby Hayes

Original Name George
Birth
Stannards, Allegany County, New York, USA
Death 9 Feb 1969 (aged 83)
Burbank, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Burial Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Plot Hillside, lot 4972
Memorial ID 462 · View Source
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Actor. He is best remembered for his appearances in Western films as the colorful eccentric sidekick to the leading man. His career in radio, film, and television spanned from the late 1920s into the 1950s. Born George Francis Hayes in Stannards, New York, he was the third of seven children whose father ran a hotel. When he was 17, he ran away from home and joined a stock company, travelled with a circus, and became a successful vaudevillian. His success enabled him to retire at the age of 43 to a home on Long Island, New York, but the following year he lost his savings in the 1929 stock market crash. His wife convinced him to pursue a film career and they moved to Los Angeles, California. In his early career, he was cast in a variety of roles, including villains, and occasionally played two roles in a single film. He soon found a niche in the growing genre of western films, many of which were series with recurring characters. In real life, he was an intelligent, well groomed and articulate man, but cast as a grizzled codger who uttered phrases like "consarn it," "yer durn tootin," "dadgumit," "durn persnickety female," and "young whippersnapper." From 1935 to 1939, under Paramount Pictures, he played the part of 'Windy Halliday', the sidekick to Hopalong Cassidy (William Boyd). In 1939 he left Paramount Pictures in a dispute over his salary and moved to Republic Pictures. Paramount held the rights to the name 'Windy Halliday' so a new nickname was created for Hayes' character, 'Gabby'. As the character 'Gabby Whitaker' he appeared in more than 40 films between 1939 and 1946, usually with Roy Rogers, but also with Gene Autry or Wild Bill Elliott, often working under the directorship of Joseph Kane. He was also repeatedly cast as a sidekick to western icons Randolph Scott (six times) and John Wayne (15 times), some as straight or villainous characters). He became a popular performer and consistently appeared among the ten favorite actors in polls taken of movie-goers of the period. He appeared in either one or both the Motion Picture Herald and Boxoffice Magazine lists of Top Ten Money-Making Western Stars for twelve straight years and a thirteenth time in 1954. He made his last film appearance in "The Cariboo Trail" (1950) and moved on to television and hosted "The Gabby Hayes Show," a western series, from 1950 to 1954 on NBC, and a new version in 1956 on ABC. After the death of his wife in 1957, he lived in and managed a ten-unit apartment building that he owned in North Hollywood, California. In early 1969, he entered Saint Joseph Hospital in Burbank, California, for treatment of cardiovascular disease and died there at the age of 83. For his contribution to radio, he has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6427 Hollywood Boulevard, and a second star at 1724 Vine Street for his contribution to the television industry. In 2000 he was posthumously inducted into the Western Performers Hall of Fame at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Bio by: William Bjornstad


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 1 Jan 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 462
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Gabby Hayes (7 May 1885–9 Feb 1969), Find A Grave Memorial no. 462, citing Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills), Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .