Beneath Los Angeles BENEATH

Lafayette McKee

"The Grand Old Man of B Westerns". Made his movie debut at 40 in 1912. At first he played heroes in action flicks and serials, including "The Adventures of Kathlyn" (1916), and turned to directing with "Lone Hand Wilson" (1920). After 1922 he was seen almost exclusively in low-budget oaters, supporting cowboy stars from Tom Mix to John Wayne. Tall and rugged, with a cleft chin and flowing white mustache, McKee was invariably cast as a likable sheriff, the heroine's father, or a ranch-owner menaced by outlaws. Outside the frontier his folksy presence was employed by director Frank Capra in "Mr. Deeds Goes to Town" (1936), "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" (1939), and "Meet John Doe" (1941). His nearly 400 other films include "In the Days of Buffalo Bill" (as Robert E. Lee, 1922), "Rawhide" (1926), "Men Without Law" (1930), "End of the Trail" (1932), "Blue Steel" (1934), "Gun Smoke" (1935), and "The Lone Ranger" (serial, 1938). He retired due to ill health in 1948. There is now an annual Lafe McKee Film festival in his hometown of Morrison. (bio by: Robert Edwards)

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