Hank Worden: 1901-1992 American actor (1901 - 1992) | Biography
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Hank Worden
1901-1992 American actor

Hank Worden

Hank Worden
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro 1901-1992 American actor
Was Actor Television actor
From United States of America
Field Film, TV, Stage & Radio
Gender male
Birth 23 July 1901, Rolfe
Death 6 December 1992, Los Angeles (aged 91 years)
Star sign Leo
Hank Worden
The details (from wikipedia)


Hank Worden (born Norton Earl Worden July 23, 1901 – December 6, 1992) was an American cowboy-turned-character-actor who appeared in many Westerns including The Lone Ranger.


Worden was raised on a cattle ranch near Glendive, Montana and was educated at Stanford University and the University of Nevada as an engineer. He enlisted in the U.S. Army hoping to become an Army pilot, but washed out of flight school. An expert horseman, he toured the country in rodeos as a saddle bronc rider. During one ride, his horse landed atop him and broke his neck, but aside from a temporarily sore neck, Worden did not know of the break until x-rayed twenty years later. While appearing in a rodeo at Madison Square Garden in New York, he and fellow cowboy Tex Ritter were chosen to appear in the Broadway play Green Grow the Lilacs, the play from which the musical Oklahoma! was later derived. Following the run of the play, Worden drove a cab in New York, then worked on dude ranches as a wrangler and as a guide on the Bright Angel trail of the Grand Canyon.

A chance encounter with actress Billie Burke at a dude ranch led her to recommend him to several film producers. Worden made his film debut as an extra in Cecil B. DeMille's The Plainsman, (though a few later films were released prior to The Plainsman). By this time, Tex Ritter had become a star, and Worden played sidekick roles in a number of Ritter's Westerns. In several of his early appearances, Worden was billed as "Heber Snow" until he reverted to his real name. A small part in Howard Hawks's Come and Get It led to a number of later appearances for that director, who also recommended him to director John Ford. He appeared in episode 121 of the TV Series the Lone Ranger.

Worden eventually became a member of the John Ford Stock Company, and was directed by Ford twelve times in films and television. The connection with Ford led to an association with actor John Wayne, and Worden appeared in 17 of Wayne's films. Foremost among his collaborations with Wayne and Ford is The Searchers, the 1956 classic Western in which Worden portrayed his most memorable role, that of "Mose Harper," the Shakespearean fool who only longed for "a roof over [his] head and a rocking chair by the fire."

Worden's best performances were given for demanding directors. He had a striking appearance: tall, thin, bald, his voice and mannerisms unforgettable to anyone who saw him. He worked steadily in television as well as films, long outliving Hawks, Ford and Wayne, and achieving some late notice as the World's Most Decrepit Room-Service Waiter in David Lynch's Twin Peaks TV series.

In 1992, Worden hosted and co-produced, with director Clyde Lucas, an independent special shown on the Nostalgia Channel and some PBS stations entitled Thank Ya, Thank Ya Kindly. The special looked back on Worden's career and featured guests Clint Eastwood, Paul Hogan, Harry Carey Jr., Ben Johnson, Frankie Avalon, Burt Kennedy and stuntman Dean Smith.

Widowed by his wife of 37 years (the former Emma Louise Eaton) in 1977, he later shared his house for several years with actor Jim Beaver. In good health through his 91st year, he died peacefully during a nap at his home in Los Angeles on December 6, 1992. He was survived by his daughter, Dawn Henry, whom he and his wife had adopted as an adult.

Selected filmography

John Wayne films

  • The Night Riders (1939) as Rancher (uncredited)
  • Stagecoach (1939) as Cavalryman extra (uncredited)
  • A Lady Takes a Chance (1943) as Walter (uncredited)
  • Angel and the Badman (1947) - Townsman (uncredited)
  • Fort Apache (1948) as Southern Recruit
  • 3 Godfathers (1948) as Deputy Curly
  • Red River (1948) as Sims Reeves
  • The Fighting Kentuckian (1949) as Abner Todd
  • The Quiet Man (1952) as Trainer in flashback (uncredited)
  • The Searchers (1956) as Mose Harper
  • The Horse Soldiers (1959) as Deacon Clump
  • The Alamo (1960) as Parson
  • McLintock! (1963) as Curly Fletcher
  • True Grit (1969) as R. Ryan - Undertaker (uncredited)
  • Chisum (1970) as Elwood - Stationmaster
  • Rio Lobo (1970) as Hank - Hotel Clerk (uncredited)
  • Big Jake (1971) as Hank
  • Cahill U.S. Marshal (1973) as Albert

Other appearances

  • Barbary Coast (1935) as Barfly / Townsman (uncredited)
  • Frontier Town (1938) as Henchman Buck (uncredited)
  • The Last Stand (1938) as Rustler Playing Fiddle at Campfire (uncredited)
  • Western Trails (1938) as Townsman (uncredited)
  • Where the Buffalo Roam (1938) as Man at Dance (uncredited)
  • Sundown on the Prairie (1939) as Henchman Hank
  • Rollin' Westward (1939) as Slim Regan
  • The Bullfighters (1945)
  • Cover Up (1949) as Undertaker
  • Red Canyon (1949)
  • Roseanna McCoy (1949) as Jacob (uncredited)
  • Wagon Master (1950) as Luke Clegg
  • Curtain Call at Cactus Creek (1950)
  • When Willie Comes Marching Home (1950)
  • Sugarfoot (1951)
  • The Big Sky (1952) as Poordevil
  • Woman of the North Country (1952) as Tom Gordon
  • Apache War Smoke (1952) as Amber
  • Sky Full of Moon (1952) as Cowhand (uncredited)
  • Ma and Pa Kettle on Vacation (1953) (uncredited)
  • Powder River (1953) as Joe (uncredited)
  • Crime Wave (1953) as Sweeney (uncredited)
  • Ma and Pa Kettle at Home (1954) as Indian (uncredited)
  • The Outcast (1954) as Bartender (uncredited)
  • Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier (1955) as Cave bar patron (uncredited)
  • The Road to Denver (1955) as Shad Ewing, Livery Stable Owner (uncredited)
  • The Vanishing American (1955) as Shoie (uncredited)
  • The Indian Fighter (1955) as Crazy Bear / Guardhouse Keeper
  • Davy Crockett and the River Pirates (1956) as Fiddler (archive footage)
  • Meet Me in Las Vegas (1956) as Joe (uncredited)
  • Thunder Over Arizona (1956) as Old Jonas (uncredited)
  • Accused of Murder (1956) as Les Fuller
  • The Quiet Gun (1957) as Sampson
  • Spoilers of the Forest (1957) as Pat Casey
  • Dragoon Wells Massacre (1957) as Hopi Charlie
  • The Buckskin Lady (1957) as Lon
  • Forty Guns (1957) as Marshal John Chisum
  • Sing, Boy, Sing (1958) as Girl's Father at Police Station (uncredited)
  • The Notorious Mr. Monks (1958) as Pete
  • Toughest Gun in Tombstone (1958) as Liveryman (uncredited)
  • Bullwhip (1958) as Tex
  • Wild Heritage (1958) as Trail Drive Cowhand (uncredited)
  • Sergeant Rutledge (1960) as Laredo (uncredited)
  • One-Eyed Jacks (1961) as Doc
  • The Music Man (1962) as Undertaker (uncredited)
  • Good Times (1967) as Kid
  • The President's Analyst (1967) as Dirty Old Man (uncredited)
  • Big Daddy (1969)
  • Zachariah (1971) as Old Cowboy (uncredited)
  • Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971) as Old Home Guardsman (uncredited)
  • Black Noon (1971 made-for-TV) as Joseph
  • Eve of Aunt Agnes (1974)
  • The Legend of Frank Woods (1977) as Slim
  • Smokey and the Bandit (1977) as Trucker (uncredited)
  • Which Way Is Up? (1977) as The Flunky
  • Flush (1977)
  • Big Wednesday (1978) as Shopping Cart
  • Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1978) as Old Lonely Hearts Club Band
  • They Went That-A-Way & That-A-Way (1978) as Butch Collins
  • Every Which Way But Loose (1978) as Trailer Court Manager
  • Bronco Billy (1980) as Station Mechanic
  • Scream (1981) as John
  • Soggy Bottom, U.S.A. (1981) as Old Geezer
  • Hammett (1982) as Pool Room Attendant
  • Island Fury (1983) as Gramps Jebediah
  • The Ice Pirates (1984) as Elderly Jason
  • UFOria (1985) as Colonel
  • Runaway Train (1985) as Old Con
  • Space Rage (1985) as Old codger
  • Once Upon a Texas Train (1988) as Old Timer
  • Big Bad John (1990) as Good Ole Boy
  • Almost an Angel (1990) as Pop, Patient in Hospital


  • The Lone Ranger - episode - The Tenderfeet (1949) as Rusty Bates
  • The Lone Ranger - episode - Woman from Omaha (1953) as Whip
  • The Lone Ranger - episode - The Ghost of Coyote Canyon (1953) as Ed
  • The Lone Ranger - episode - Stage to Tishomingo (1954) as Ike Beatty, Stage driver
  • The Lone Ranger - episode - The Bait: Gold! (1955) as Jud, Stagecoach Driver
  • The Lone Ranger - episode - The Banker's Son (1957) as Bruckner
  • Wagon Train - episode - The Colter Craven Story (1960) as Hank (uncredited)
  • Wagon Train - episode - The Nellie Jefferson Story (1961) as Trader
  • Bonanza - episode - The Stranger (1960) as Station Attendant
  • Bonanza - episode - The Bride (1961) as Ned Birch (Old Miner)
  • Bonanza - episode - Tommy (1966) as Dave (uncredited)
  • Hondo and the Apaches - TV movie (1967) as One of Gallagher's Mine Workers (uncredited)
  • Hondo - episode - Hondo and the Eagle Claw (1967) as Miner (uncredited)
  • Hondo - episode - Hondo and the War Cry (1967) as Miner (uncredited)
  • McCloud - episode - A Little Plot at Tranquil Valley (1972) as Elderly Patient (uncredited)
  • Gunsmoke - episode - The Tarnished Bridge (1974) as Claude
  • Knight Rider - episode - Fright Knight (1985) as Slim
  • Twin Peaks (1990-1991) as Waiter

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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