Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Celebrating Hollywood's Cowboys

Hollywood cowboys Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, Tom Mix and William S. Hart will all be recognized next month via a United States Postal Service stamp.

To commemorate the occasion, the William S. Hart Ranch and Museum in Newhall plans to hold a day of family activities, tours and music on Saturday, April 17 -- the day of the stamp unveiling.

Now, we all still remember Gene Autry and Roy Rogers -- and Tom Mix, vaguely. But who was William S. Hart?

Hart was one of the most popular leading men of the silent film era, unique for his powerful presence and serious approach to early Westerns. His acting skills were honed by years of experience on the New York stage and theaters all over the country, and in his movies, the actor insisted on authentic depictions of the Old West and its people, from their clothes to their lifestyles and complex personalities. He frequently played a stalwart, tough-as-nails cowboy, with a soft spot for his favorite horse — a brown and white pinto named Fritz.

Illustrator Robert Rodriguez, whose work has been featured on more than a dozen previous stamps, is the stamps' artist.

Here's a quick roundup of events on April 17:

10:00 am – Stamp Ceremony
11:00 am through 3:30 pm – Guided Museum Tours
11:30 am and 2:30 pm – Music in the Park with the Silver Screen Cowboy Project
12:30 pm and 1:30 pm – Animal Barnyard Tours
1:00 pm through 4:00 pm – Children’s Activities

Admission for most of these events is free. Wanna learn more about the museum? Laura at L.A. Story visited last year.

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