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Anyone remember Lane Chandler?


doctorxx
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In a movie book published in 1930 Lane Chandler was considered a rival to Gary Cooper. No one started so well then fell so far. He had bits in hundreds of films with a line or two. You probably recognize his face even if you dont know his name.

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Add me to the list. He was nearly always a vilain; as soon as he came on screen you knew who the hero would be gunning down before the fade out. If he didn't achieve star status he had a long career which a lot of them did not.

 

 

I thought I was the only one who'd recognize his name and face; it's nice to know there are two more out there.

 

 

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{font:Arial}Lane Chandler came to {font}{font:Arial}Hollywood{font}{font:Arial}, from his home state of {font}{font:Arial}Montana{font}{font:Arial}. Before the time of his arrival to {font}{font:Arial}California{font}{font:Arial}, he bummed around the west, doing all sorts of odd jobs. He drove a delivery truck, worked as a ranch hand and was for a time a popular tour guide at {font}{font:Arial}Yellowstone{font}{font:Arial} {font}{font:Arial}National Park{font}{font:Arial}. Once he made it to {font}{font:Arial}Los Angeles{font}{font:Arial}, he worked as a garage mechanic. It was while at the service station, he met various people working in the movie business, especially stunt men. This prompted him to consider a more interesting line of work and off he went into the wild wander of {font}{font:Arial}Hollywood{font}{font:Arial}. Naturally, the western movie side of the business was where he was going to fit in and quickly he made a mark for himself in a series of westerns films, both major and low-budget, playing bit parts. The first thing that was noticeable about {font}{font:Arial}Chandler{font}{font:Arial} was his nice height that gave him an impressionable imagery. About the time he signed on with Paramount Pictures in the late 1920’s, he met fellow Montanan Gary Cooper, who like {font}{font:Arial}Chandler{font}{font:Arial} was just getting his career started. However, it would be {font}{font:Arial}Chandler{font}{font:Arial} who score big first, getting a break to appear in some high profile projects as first a supporting player. Surprisingly, {font}{font:Arial}Paramount{font}{font:Arial} placed {font}{font:Arial}Chandler{font}{font:Arial} in a variety of subject matter, not just regulating him to the western genre. This is how he was able to movie up the casting ladder at {font}{font:Arial}Paramount{font}{font:Arial}. Meanwhile, his buddy Gary Cooper was still sort of being held back, waiting for a spot in some good and highly polished motion picture.{font}

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

{font:Arial}Just as {font}{font:Arial}Chandler{font}{font:Arial} was on his way to becoming a possible major star, “talking pictures” were on they way in. By that time, {font}{font:Arial}Chandler{font}{font:Arial} had appeared in about six major films and he looked forward to a stab at sound. This was now the era of panic among the studios, because sound was a whole different game and would require a bit of control and a capricious quality to stand out. In this category, Gary Cooper was efficient, well over others who ended up losing out on a career to move ahead. In the case of {font}{font:Arial}Chandler{font}{font:Arial}, his voice was fine, but apparently, the studio was looking for something more imposing and voices with deeper overtones. There was also a bureaucracy at the studio that had favorites and would only feel comfortable with those individuals believed to have an overwhelming amount of star power for this new era of sound. {font}{font:Arial}Chandler{font}{font:Arial} had a nice boyish look, but not the imposing quality of Cooper. In the long run, {font}{font:Arial}Chandler{font}{font:Arial} found himself out of the framework of this new policy that would in affect change the whole course of motion pictures. It was then decided to have him move over to the low-end of studio production and perhaps with time and experience, he might get back into the major leagues. In all actuality, his major film career was short lived as he was up against Cooper and others at {font}{font:Arial}Paramount{font}{font:Arial}. So, he entered the field of what he knew best, his western roots and he was back to riding a horse and shooting a six gun. The studio also offered him lead roles in various serials.{font}

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

{font:Arial}Many of {font}{font:Arial}Chandler{font}{font:Arial}’s early silent films are lost and several early western “talkies” he did at the beginning of the 1930 decade have vanished. His career during the early part of the decade seemed solid enough, until others entered the field, such as the likes of John Wayne, who unlike Chandler, acquired a following of fans and became a B-Movie western star. By the time {font}{font:Arial}Paramount{font}{font:Arial} dropped {font}{font:Arial}Chandler{font}{font:Arial} off their roster of main players, he was forced to move into the realm of independent, low-end production, never really being able to achieve a high-end status to work in B-Movies. This isn’t to say that {font}{font:Arial}Chandler{font}{font:Arial} was a “has been” or “washed up,” he was now just a working actor for hire. Luckily, his hard working reputation was able to stay connected to his once home base of {font}{font:Arial}Paramount{font}{font:Arial}, when director Cecil B. DeMille, would cast {font}{font:Arial}Chandler{font}{font:Arial} in several of his films, giving him bit roles. From that time on, {font}{font:Arial}Chandler{font}{font:Arial} drifted between his B-Movie status and an occasional major film. Most of his work in major films would be for unaccredited roles. The 1930 decade would have to be considered his most prolific period for motion pictures. At this stage in his life, his career in the movies, for whatever it was worth was all he wanted to do, despite having lost out on a chance to hit it really big.{font}

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

{font:Arial}It wouldn’t be until the advent of television production, {font}{font:Arial}Chandler{font}{font:Arial} was able to get back some deserved respect or at least be more appreciated. Even though he was never a trained actor to say the least, he did learn his craft and this I think says a lot to how in those days past, an individual could achieve skill by simply having a lot of on the job experience. When viewing an early “talkie” of his, one can clearly see a sort of stiffness to his acting. Perhaps this may have been the main reason why he couldn’t be so easily considered a major player. By the late 1940’s all of these restrictions for {font}{font:Arial}Chandler{font}{font:Arial} changed, displaying a good amount of fortitude that hadn’t been there earlier for him. In 1949, {font}{font:Arial}Chandler{font}{font:Arial} was cut a good break by his good friend Clayton Moore, the legendary star of “The Lone Ranger” television series. The program had just gotten underway, when {font}{font:Arial}Chandler{font}{font:Arial} joined in to make various appearances during the first and second season. By this time, without any doubt, {font}{font:Arial}Chandler{font}{font:Arial} was a natural at his craft, fitting in so smoothly to this new form of quick entertainment. If anything could be said about television, it was in some ways a throwback to the days of B-Movie production and those adored action packed serials. In no time, {font}{font:Arial}Chandler{font}{font:Arial} was in demand, but he was also making plenty of rounds at the major studios, working steadily as a bit player and an occasional supporting one. Yet, it would be his work in television that afforded him the best opportunities and exposure. This would be the time in his career that he could take on just about any sort of role for television. It’s hard to believe just how much time and effort {font}{font:Arial}Chandler{font}{font:Arial} was putting into this career! Today, some fans of {font}{font:Arial}Chandler{font}{font:Arial} debate on just what area he achieved the most, be it motion pictures or his work in television?{font}

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

{font:Arial}Oddly, as {font}{font:Arial}Chandler{font}{font:Arial} became such a recognizable figure on television, he would never appear as a regular long enough on a steady weekly series to co-star in. Of all the TV series he appeared in, at least four were his personal favorites. It was on these four programs, he did have something of a reoccurring role. They are: “Have Gun – Will Travel,” “{font}{font:Arial}Cheyenne{font}{font:Arial},” “Maverick” and the one he probably cherished the most, “Gunsmoke.” It shouldn’t be such a surprise, that these programs were westerns and it’s only fitting or a sort of tribute to a man, who became one of the most revered and respected individuals among those many others he worked with. Over the long haul {font}{font:Arial}Chandler{font}{font:Arial} worked in television, he rightfully became a major source of experience and support to the numerous western TV shows he appeared in. Often, when working on a program, the writers, producers, directors and especially the actors consulted with him! This I think says it all and gives {font}{font:Arial}Chandler{font}{font:Arial} a tremendous amount of professional clout. I know for a fact there were many major stars he worked with that were in some form or fashion in awe of him, only because he was there, at the very beginning of when this profession was born and for that he was and remains within this historical context, a beacon of motivation to what it takes to make it all worthwhile in this business of entertainment. {font}

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