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Hal Taliaferro



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November 13, 1895 in Sheridan, WY (some sources say Montana)
February 12, 1980 in Sheridan, WY
The late Western film historian Don Miller once noted, "For sheer versatility in the horse opera field, [Hal Taliaferro] would be hard to top." Raised on a Wyoming ranch, Taliaferro was a truer Westerner than many of the more popular cowboy stars. After working as a wrangler, he began his movie career in 1916 as an extra and a featured player in the films of Tom Mix. By 1925, Taliaferro graduated to sagebrush hero, using the name Wally Wales. Most of his talking-starring career was spent in Poverty Row oaters for such outfits as Imperial and Big 4. For a 1934 series of three-reelers co-starring Ben Corbett, Taliaferro dropped his stage moniker in favor of a new nom de screen, Walt Williams. One year later, he began billing himself as Hal Taliaferro, and under this cognomen played a wide range of characterizations, from serial lead (The Lone Ranger [1939]) to kindly rancher to villain to comedy relief. Western fans invariably recognized Taliaferro in all these guises, thanks to his distinctive costume and manner of speaking. In the late '50s, Hal Taliaferro retired to his ranch in Sheridan, WY, to devote time to his hobby of painting. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
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