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MIX, Thomas E. "Tom" [1880-1940] -- American cowboy and film star

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He was the first to make a star of his horse. His first show horse, Old Blue, performed several tricks on camera and became a star in his own right. Old Blue was retired in 1914, and Mix acquired a two year old colt named Tony for $600. Tony was to become the most famous show horse in the world for many, many years. But, in 1932, while filming Hidden Gold, Tony injured his hip and had to be retired. He was replaced by Tony Jr. who carried Tom through the remainder of his career. Mix made 87 films with Old Blue, 181 with Tony and 8 with Tony Jr. Tony outlived Mix by two years.

The most popular film star of the cowboy-western genre in the era of the silent film, he did not make the transition to talkies. There was a popular radio program that used his name -- but not his voice -- that ran for twenty years, until ten years after his death.

Rumor has it that Mix's radio career never clicked after he deserted films because his voice was high-pitched. Not true. His voice, in fact, was deep and husky in tone. Radio was such a low-paying profession that it could not support his high-on-the-hog lifestyle. He loved sports cars, wild parties and fancy clothes. He owned a huge Hollywood mansion that had his name emblazened above in neon lights. Mix instead left films for his true passion, the circus, and became one of its greatest showmen. IMDB

Mix's publicity spinners had him a former lawman, as well as a member of Teddy Roosevelt's Rough Riders and a national champion cowboy -- some of which may have been true! In any case, he was a close friend of the famous lawman, Wyatt Earp. Mix was a pall bearer at Earp's funeral in 1929.

Tom Mix was killed in 1940 by flying luggage when he overturned his roadster on an Arizona highway.

His daughter Ruth, by his 3rd wife, actress ?Olive Stokes, had a film career.  -30-
 

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