The Masked Men

Howdy Kemo Sabay or Sabe -

Either way you spell Sabay or Sabe it is correct.

Riding the range astride his powerful stallion, Silver, The Lone Ranger dedicated his life to seeking out villainy and injustice throughout the western United States.

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Accompanied by his stalwart companion, Tonto, the Native American who saves his life, The Lone Ranger delivered his unique style of Western justice with heroic nobility.

Keeping his true identity a secret, this mysterious masked man never seeks praise or recognition for his courageous good deeds.

Who was that masked Man?

This page will give you information about those who played The Lone Ranger on Radio and Television from February 2, 1933 through June 6, 1957.

Fred Foy was the announcer for the radio days of The Lone Ranger. His voice is also identified with the televison version of The Lone Ranger. It is impossible to talk about The Lone Ranger without talking about that deep voice of the narrator, Fred Foy. Hear an interview with him about those famous days of yesteryear. (click on his name)

George Stenius
(Feb. 2, 1933) was the first at age 22. Born April 17, 1911 and died July 28, 1979. He played the part on the first radio episode (1 day only), and later changed his name to George Seaton. He later went on to much greater fame. Wrote and directed the Christmas classic "Miracle on 34th Street."

Jack Deed played the part on radio for the next two days and was replaced by Earl Graser.

Earl Graser (1933 - 1941) was so small that Brace Beemer did all of the public appearances for him. Mild-mannered and educated, Graser didn't look the part, but his voice certainly did and his "Hi-Yo, Silver! Away" was used throughout the rest of the radio series and on the television series. Tragically, Graser fell asleep behind the wheel after leaving work and was killed. The irony of him having voiced many a plea to children to join the Lone Ranger Safety Club was not lost on the press.

Lee Powell (1937) played the part in the first movie serial. Full name Lee Berrien Powell, born May 15, 1908 and was killed in action in the Pacific in 1944. He was a pretty good action hero, and had demostrated his acting qualities as the star of two classic Republic serials, "The Lone Ranger" and "The Fighting Devil Dogs". He never did the part on radio or television. Here is a clip from that Republic serial, "The Lone Ranger".

Robert Livingston (1939) 6 feet tall he played the part of The Lone Ranger Rides Again in the second movie serial.

He was born Robert Randall on December 9, 1904. Raised in California, he began his professionl life as a reporter. In the late '20s he began performing onstage and in film shorts. By 1934 he had become an actor in feature films, and in 1936 he began a long stretch as a cowboy star: alongside costars Crash Corrigan and Max Terhune, he appeared as Stony Brooke in the Three Mesquiteers series of Westerns, going on to play the character 29 times.

In 1939 he portrayed the Lone Ranger in a serial, then in the early '40s he remained popular as the costar of the Lone Rider series with sidekick Fuzzy St. John.

He was briefly married to starlet Margaret Roach, daughter of film pioneer Hal Roach. His brother was minor actor and singing cowboy Jack Randall.

He died on March 7, 1988 in Tarzana, California of emphysema.

Brace Beemer (April 1941) Takes over the part after Earl Graser is killed until it ends on radio on September 3, 1954. Brace rode his own white horse called Silver's Pride.

He was born December 9, 1902 and died March 1, 1965. He was an American radio actor and announcer at radio station WXYZ, Detroit, Michigan.

Born in Mount Carmel, Illinois, Beemer was six foot, three inches tall and was an expert horse rider. He served as the deep-voiced announcer for The Lone Ranger soon after its first broadcast in 1933. Beemer also appeared as the Ranger in public appearances because station owner George Trendle felt that Earle Graser, the actor who played the part on the radio, did not look right for the part.

The son of WXYZ staffer Erskine Campbell recalled:
Brace Beemer was voice of Lone Ranger as early as 1938 because my father, Erskine Campbell, worked for him at WXYZ in Detroit that year, as a continuity writer and a sound-effects man, also ran a farm Beemer owned outside nearby Pontiac, Michigan. My sister and I, pupils in a one-room elementary schoolhouse outside Pontiac, often visited our father and "Uncle" Brace while they did the show.

During the 13 years that Beemer played the title character, he was required by contract to restrict his radio acting to that one role until the program left the air.

The experienced and popular Western film actor, Clayton Moore, was chosen to take over the role for the television series. Although Beemer had the right voice and had made many public appearances as the Ranger, he had no experience as a film actor, as he preferred live action to television. However, Beemer's voice as the character was so familiar that Moore imitated his sound in the earliest TV episodes.

Beemer also portrayed "Sergeant William Preston" of the Yukon on Challenge of the Yukon, for a brief time after the Lone Ranger series ended. He died in 1965 and was buried in Troy, Michigan. At the time of his death, he was using his famous "Lone Ranger" voice on automobile commercials running on radio stations.

Going by the name of Justice "Cowboy" Colt, Beemer's son hosted cowboy films for children on local television in Detroit in the 1950s.

Side Note - 3 Lone Rangers - (From September 15, 1949 to June 6th, 1957) Brace Beemer on radio, and on television Clayton Moore and John Hart.

Clayton Moore (1949 - 1951) (1954 - 1957)

Clayton Moore (born September 14, 1914; died December 28, 1999) was an American actor best known for playing the fictional western character The Lone Ranger.

Born as Jack Carlton Moore in Chicago, Illinois, Moore was a circus acrobat as a boy, then later spent time as a male model. Moving to Hollywood in the late 1930s, he began working as a stunt man and bit player between modeling jobs. According to his autobiography, around 1940, Hollywood producer Edward Small convinced him to adopt the stage name "Clayton" Moore. He was an occasional player in western films and film serials for several years. His big break came in 1949, when he was cast in a low-budget Zorro serial. A new version of another masked Old West character, the radio staple The Lone Ranger, was being planned for the then-new medium of television, and Moore was soon cast for the role.

Moore then faced the challenge of training his voice to sound like the radio version of The Lone Ranger, which had then been on the air for many years. He succeeded, and along with co-star Jay Silverheels in the role of Tonto, with Fred Foy intoning the famous introduction, "...the Lone Ranger rides again!", and continuing the tradition of using Gioacchino Rossini's William Tell Overture as its dramatic theme music, the program soon became the highest-rated program to that point on the fledgling ABC network and its first true "hit".

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After two successful years, which presented a new episode every week, 52 weeks a year, Moore left the role in a pay dispute and made a few more westerns and serials — sometimes playing the villain! The public was not very accepting of his replacement, actor John Hart, and the owners of the program relented and rehired Moore at his requested salary, who stayed with the program until it ended the first-run production in 1957. He and Jay Silverheels also starred in two feature-length "Lone Ranger" theatrical motion pictures.

Moore thereafter retired from the motion picture industry, and became an accomplished real estate salesman. In the mid-sixties, however, during the first period of film and television nostalgia, his "Lone Ranger" episodes revived interest in him, and Moore soon began to make his primary living in personal appearances as The Lone Ranger. He always expressed the highest regard for actor Jay Silverheels, who had portrayed the Ranger's sidekick Tonto on the program.

In 1975 the owner of the Ranger character, Jack Wrather, obtained an order enjoining Moore from future appearances as The Lone Ranger. They anticipated making a new film version of the story, and did not want the value of the character being undercut by Moore's appearances, nor anyone to think that the by-now somewhat elderly Moore would be playing the role in the new picture. This move proved to be a public relations disaster of the first order.

Moore responded by changing his costume slightly and replacing the mask with similar-looking wraparound sunglasses, and then countersued Wrather. He eventually won the suit, and was able to resume his appearances in costume, which he continued to do until shortly before his death.

Some have attributed the incredible failure of Wrather's picture, finally released in 1981 as Legend of the Lone Ranger, to this move; in reality it was only one of the picture's many problems.

Moore was so identified, both in his own mind and in the public mind, with the Ranger that he is the only person on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, as of 2004, to have his character's name along with his on the star, which reads, "Clayton Moore — The Lone Ranger". He was inducted into the Stuntman's Hall of Fame in 1982 and in 1990 was inducted into the Western Performers Hall of Fame at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Moore's official date of birth is recorded as 1914 by the United States Social Security Death Index. According to his publicist, this was in June, 1914; however, it is common practice for actors to shave years off their age in order to continue to be considered for leading roles which they might otherwise be too old for, and many believe that the year sometimes given, 1908, is probably more accurate. Regardless, his autobiography adheres to an official date of September 14, 1914, which (as he pointed out) was the 100th anniversary of The Star-Spangled Banner.

This was the first ever western serial for television. Clayton appeared in 169 episodes.

The famous opening of every television episode was with Clayton rearing Silver on his rear legs at what is now called "The Lone Ranger Rock" located at the Iverson's Ranch in Chatsworth, California. No one else ever did this with Silver and Clayton was paid $50 every time it was shown.

In keeping with the nature of the Ranger character, Moore is probably the only person or one of very few considered to have been a famous television actor whose face is largely unknown to the public. His full face was never shown in the TV series, although occasionally he would wear a beard as a disguise, revealing the upper half of his face in the process. However, there is no shortage of photos of Moore unmasked, including many in his autobiography.

Clayton Moore died on December 28, 1999 of myocardial infarction (heart attack) and was buried in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California.

May his memory and the spirit of The Lone Ranger continue, Hi-Yo Silver Away

John Hart (1952 - 1953)

John was born born in Los Angeles, California December 13, 1917 and died September 20, 2009.

He grew up in San Marino and graduated from South Pasadena High School. His mother was a drama critic for the Pasadena Star-News and he later trained at the Pasadena Playhouse where he was discovered by a Paramount talent agent and signed.

In his early career, he appeared mostly in Westerns. Although he played mostly minor roles in some fairly well-known films, he was probably best-known for replacing Clayton Moore in 1952 for two seasons of the television show The Lone Ranger when Moore demanded a higher salary.

He acted in two episodes of "The Lone Ranger" (1949) before he was signed on to play the maked man.

Based on the assumption that the masked character, rather than the actor was the true star of The Lone Ranger, the program producers fired Moore and replaced him with Hart, who was of a similar build and had a comparable background in westerns.

However, the public never truly accepted Hart as "The Ranger," and by 1954 the owners acquiesced to Moore's demands and returned him to the role. According to Clayton Moore's autobiography, I Was That Masked Man, Moore never knew why he was replaced with John Hart. He also stated that he had not sought a pay increase to portray "The Lone Ranger".

Though terminated, Hart continued to act in films for over two more decades on a fairly regular basis. He appeared in films of several genres, almost always in supporting roles.

His last film appearance was in 1981's The Legend of the Lone Ranger in which he appeared as a newspaper editor, apparently as a tribute to his time as "The Ranger" years earlier.

Another appearance was in the television series Happy Days as "The Lone Ranger" in the episode "Hi Yo, Fonzie Away" (Feb. 9, 1982), with Hart reprising his role as "The Lone Ranger". In this episode Fonzie, played by Henry Winkler meets his childhood hero, The Lone Ranger.

The other major late appearance was in a The Greatest American Hero episode, My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys, where Hart gives the title character an inspiring speech about heroism.

On September 20, 2009 Hart died at his home in Playas de Rosarito, Baja California at the age of 91, survived by his wife Beryl his daughter, Robyn. His ashes were scattered into the Pacific Ocean.

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A final word about these actors.
All of these fine actors played an important part in bringing us one of the greatest western cowboys in American to radio and television. Although the character was not a real person, the Lone Ranger folkore palyed an important part in the life of everyone who grew up watching him in the late 1940's and 1950's.

Today all of these superb actors are riding up in the heavens. May God give them a safe place to rest.

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