Gene Autry

Actor, Singer, Songwriter
The only entertainer to have five stars on Hollywood's Walk of Fame, one each for radio, records, movies, television and live performances including rodeo and theater appearances, Gene Autry parlayed an $8 mail order ... Read more »
Born: 09/29/1907 in Tioga, Texas, USA

Filmography

Actor (67)

The 51st Annual Grammy Awards 2008 - 2009 (TV Show)

Actor

The 32nd Annual Academy of Country Music Awards 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Performer

Gene Autry: Melody of the West 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Actor

The Life and Times of Marty Robbins 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Actor

Gene Autry: The Singing Cowboy 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Actor

A Tribute to the Singing Cowboy 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

A Celebration of Eddy Arnold 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

Grammy Living Legends 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Performer

The Hollywood Christmas Parade 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

The Statler's Christmas Present 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

Texas 150: A Celebration Special 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

The Singing Cowboys Ride Again 1982 - 1983 (TV Show)

Actor

It's Showtime 1975 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Alias Jesse James 1958 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Last of the Pony Riders 1953 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Goldtown Ghost Riders 1952 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Wagon Team 1952 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Old West 1951 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Strawberry Roan 1948 (Movie)

Gene Autry (Actor)

Melody Ranch 1939 (Movie)

Gene Autry (Actor)

Manhattan Merry-Go-Round 1936 (Movie)

Gene Autry (Actor)

The Big Show 1935 (Movie)

Gene Autry / Tom Ford (Actor)

Back in the Saddle (Movie)

Gene (Actor)

Barbed Wire (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Bells of Capistrano (Movie)

Gene (Actor)

Boots and Saddles (Movie)

Gene (Actor)

Colorado Sunset (Movie)

Gene Autry (Actor)

Comin' Round the Mountain (Movie)

Gene (Actor)

Down Mexico Way (Movie)

Gene (Actor)

Gaucho Serenade (Movie)

Gene (Actor)

Git Along Little Dogies (Movie)

Gene Autry (Actor)

Gold Mine in the Sky (Movie)

Gene (Actor)

Guns and Guitars (Movie)

Gene (Actor)

Heart of the Rio Grande (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Home on the Prairie (Movie)

(Actor)

In Old Monterey (Movie)

Sgt. Gene Autry (Actor)

In Old Santa Fe (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Loaded Pistols (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Man From Music Mountain (Movie)

Gene (Actor)

Melody Trail (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Mexicali Rose (Movie)

Gene (Actor)

Night Stage to Galveston (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Prairie Moon (Movie)

Gene (Actor)

Public Cowboy No. 1 (Movie)

Autry (Actor)

Rhythm of the Saddle (Movie)

Gene (Actor)

Riders of the Whistling Pines (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Ridin' on a Rainbow (Movie)

Gene (Actor)

Rootin' Tootin' Rhythm (Movie)

Gene Autry (Actor)

Round-Up Time in Texas (Movie)

Gene (Actor)

Silver Canyon (Movie)

Gene Autry (Actor)

Sioux City Sue (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Sons of New Mexico (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Stardust on the Sage (Movie)

Gene (Actor)

Sunset in Wyoming (Movie)

(Actor)

The Cowboy and the Indians (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

The Old Barn Dance (Movie)

Gene (Actor)

The Old Corral (Movie)

Gene (Actor)

The Republic Pictures Story (TV Show)

Actor

The Singing Cowboy (Movie)

Gene (Actor)

The Singing Hill (Movie)

(Actor)

The Singing Vagabond (Movie)

Tex (Actor)

Tumbling Tumbleweeds (Movie)

Gene (Actor)

Under Fiesta Stars (Movie)

Gene Autry (Actor)

Yodelin' Kid from Pine Ridge (Movie)

Gene (Actor)
Music (35)

Krampus 2015 (Movie)

("Up On The House Top (Ho Ho Ho") (Song Performer)

42 2013 (Movie)

("Be Honest With Me") (Song)

42 2013 (Movie)

("Be Honest With Me") (Song Performer)

The Lone Ranger 2013 (Movie)

("Tumbling Tumbleweeds") (Song Performer)

Public Enemies 2009 (Movie)

("The Last Round Up") (Song Performer)

Snow Angels 2008 (Movie)

("In The Heart Of The West") (Song)

Snow Angels 2008 (Movie)

("In The Heart Of The West") (Song Performer)

W. 2008 (Movie)

("Deep In The Heart Of Texas") (Song Performer)

Fred Claus 2007 (Movie)

("Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane)") (Song)

Wind Chill 2007 (Movie)

("Here Comes Santa claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane)") (Song)

Wind Chill 2007 (Movie)

("Here Comes Santa claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane)") (Song Performer)

The Polar Express 2004 (Movie)

(Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane)) (Song)

Man on the Moon 1999 (Movie)

("Here Comes Santa Claus") (Song)

I'll Be Home for Christmas 1998 (Movie)

("Here Comes Santa Claus") (Song)

Radioland Murders 1994 (Movie)

("Back In the Saddle Again") (Song)

Robocop 3 1993 (Movie)

(Song)

Robocop 3 1993 (Movie)

("Here Comes Santa Claus") (Song Performer)

Sleepless in Seattle 1993 (Movie)

(Song)

Sleepless in Seattle 1993 (Movie)

("Back in the Saddle Again") (Song Performer)

Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas 1993 (Movie)

("Here Comes Santa Claus") (Song)

Great Balls of Fire 1989 (Movie)

("Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer") (Song Performer)

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation 1989 (Movie)

("Here Comes Santa Claus") (Song)

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation 1989 (Movie)

("Here Comes Santa Claus") (Song Performer)

Better Off Dead 1985 (Movie)

("Here Comes Santa Claus") (Song)

Some Kind of Hero 1982 (Movie)

("Back in the Saddle Again") (Song)

Semi-Tough 1977 (Movie)

music extract (Music)

Gaucho Serenade (Movie)

(Songwriter)

Gold Mine in the Sky (Movie)

(Songwriter)

In Old Monterey (Movie)

(Composer (Music Score))

Red River Valley (Movie)

(Composer (Music Score))

Ridin' on a Rainbow (Movie)

(Songwriter)

Ridin' on a Rainbow (Movie)

(Composer (Music Score))

Yodelin' Kid from Pine Ridge (Movie)

(Songwriter)
Producer (1)

Buffalo Bill Jr. 1954 (TV Show)

Producer

Biography

The only entertainer to have five stars on Hollywood's Walk of Fame, one each for radio, records, movies, television and live performances including rodeo and theater appearances, Gene Autry parlayed an $8 mail order guitar, charm and smooth voice into a career as Hollywood's first singing cowboy, debuting in Ken Maynard's "In Old Santa Fe" (1934). "John Wayne had made an earlier movie in which he played a singing cowboy, but he didn't do his own singing," Autry once said. The singer, who had first made his mark on the radio with his pleasant tenor voice and modest, genial personality, caught on quickly in films as the star of dozens of enjoyable B-films for Republic Studios through the 1940s with his horse Champion and sidekick Smiley Burnette. Autry's popularity was largest in small towns, the Midwest, the West and South, and even though Republic was not one of the eight "major" Hollywood studios (it WAS the biggest studio on Poverty Row), he actually made the annual exhibitors' poll of top ten box-office stars an impressive three years in a row in 1940, 1941 and 1942.

Relationships

Father

Mother
preacher's daughter died when Autry was four

Grandfather
maternal grandfather enlisted him into the church choir when he was five

Veda Autry

Sister
survived him

Jackie Ellam

Wife
Born c. 1942 Married in 1981 until his death Oct. 2, 1998; instrumental in opening the Gene Autry Western Heritage Museum

Ina Spivey

Wife
Married from 1932 until her death in 1980 Autry co-wrote "That Silver-Haired Daddy of Mine" with Spivey's uncle Jimmy Long Terms of her will required Autry to sell off her portion of their community property and put her share of the money in charitable trust The Autry Foundation

Milestones

1998

Attended his final California Angels game in September, less than a month before his death

1995

Sold one-quarter ownership of the California Angels to Disney for $30 million; Disney had agreement to acquire Autry's remaining share of the team at his death; Walt Disney had, in fact, sat on the original Angels board when the franchise began in 1961

1995

After years on the FORBES magazine list of the richest 400 Americans, fell to the magazine's "near miss" category with an estimated net worth of $320 million

1994

Sold KMPC Radio for $18 million

1993

Signature song "Back in the Saddle Again" returned to the charts as part of the soundtrack for Nora Ephron's "Sleepless in Seattle"

1991

City of Anaheim named a street running into the Angels' stadium Gene Autry Way

1990

Champion III died (born c. 1950); Autry sold the remaining ten acres to a movie production company

1989

Unveiled replicas of his five Hollywood Walk of Fame stars on the sidewalk in front of the Angels' stadium

1988

The Gene Autry Western Heritage Museum, built largely with funds from Autry's foundations, opened in Los Angeles' Grifith Park; estimated worth of collection at the time of Autry's death was $54 million

1987

Became the only person to receive five stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame; one each for his work in movies, TV, radio, music and theater

1982

California Angels retired uniform No. 26, signifying Autry's presence as an extra player on the club's 25-man roster

1982

Sold Golden West's television division (Los Angeles TV station KTLA) for $245 million, acquiring full interest in the Angels baseball team, the radio broadcast division and KAUT-TV in Oklahoma City

1981

Orange County (California) Sports Hall of Fame presented him with its first Lifetime Achievement Award

1981

Sold his interest in KOOL Radio-TV Inc (Phoenix) for $35 million

1968

Inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame

1966

Hosted the syndicated TV series "Gene Autry's Melody Ranch"

1964

Bought KTLA (Los Angeles TV station) for $12 million

1962

Spectacular fire destroyed more than a $1 million worth of movie sets, including 54 buildings and countless items Autry had collected; Autry then sold all but 10 acres (reserved for Champion III, the last of his movie horses) of "Melody Ranch" to develope

1960

Bought the Los Angeles Angels professional baseball team for $2.5 million; in 1965 team renamed California Angels; became Anaheim Angels in 1997

1953

Retired from films after appearing in 93 features

1952

When Monogram Studios folded, purchased the 110-acre Santa Clarita ranch where he had made his early movies in the 1930s; renamed it Melody Ranch and continued it as a working movie set, hosting the likes of John Wayne, Gary Cooper ("High Noon" 1952), "Lo

1952

Bought KMPC Radio (Los Angeles) for $800,000

1950

Recorded "Peter Cottontail", which went on to sell two million copies

1949

Had hit record with "Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer"; second best-selling single in history, runner-up to Bing Crosby's "White Christmas"

1948

First film with Pat Buttram as his sidekick, "The Strawberry Roan"

1947

Original movie horse Champion (Champion I) died

1947

Wrote "Here Comes Santa Claus"

1946

Returned to films after military service

1940

Received Oscar nomination for Best Song for "Be Honest With Me" from the film "Ridin' on a Rainbow"

1940

Town of Berwyn, Oklahoma officially changed its name to Gene Autry

1940

Starred in quintessential Autry film, "Melody Ranch", with Jimmy Durante, Ann Miller and George 'Gabby' Hayes; became the fourth-biggest box office attraction behind Mickey Rooney, Clark Gable and Spencer Tracy

1939

Wrote signature song, "Back in the Saddle Again"

1937

Voted the top Western star in Hollywood

1935

First major role in films, "Tumbling Tumbleweeds"; gave a youngster named Roy Rogers his big break with a small role in the film

1934

Moved to Los Angeles for film acting debut in "In Old Santa Fe"; first film with Smiley Burnette who had teamed with him previously on radio

1931

Recorded "That Silver-Haired Daddy of Mine", a song he co-wrote; sold more than a million copies, many of which went out via the Sears, Roebuck mail-order house; record executive devised a special award that became an industry standard: the gold record

1930

Began singing on Sears-owned Chicago station WLS for $35 a week, appearing on such programs as "National Barn Dance" and the "National Farm and Home Hour"

1928

Debut as radio singer ("Oklahoma's Yodeling Cowboy") in Tulsa; also made first of 635 career recordings, 200 of which he wrote or co-wrote

1927

Heard singing by Will Rogers who advised Autry to pursue a career in radio (date approximate)

1923

Went to work as a railroad baggage handler at the Ravia, Oklahoma depot, where he learned telegraphy from the station master

His "Melody Ranch" aired on CBS Radio

Laid cornerstone of broadcasting empire with purchase of Phoenix radio station KPHO

Became a master merchandiser with Gene Autry toy guns, Western wear, comic books and bedspreads

Ranked in the Top Ten of all movie boxoffice favorites

Hosted "The Gene Autry Show" (CBS); show also featured movie sidekick Buttram and Champion (III)

Following his discharge, toured extensively for the USO

Formed Flying A Productions

Served in the US Army Air Corps, ferrying cargo in the Far East; as a concession to his fame, allowed to wear his cowboy boots with his uniform

Produced a number of TV series including "Annie Oakley", "The Adventures of Champion" and "Buffalo Bill Jr."

Bonus Trivia

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In 1998, Autry was honored with a bronze statue at the California Angels stadium in Anaheim.

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Asked in 1992 what he considered his proudest accomplishment, Autry replied: "I've always maintained a good association with all the people that I've worked with on everything."

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Gene Autry's Cowboy Code: The Cowboy must ... Never shoot first, hit a smaller man or take unfair advantage. Never go back on his word or a trust confided in him. Always tell the truth. Be gentle with children, the elderly and animals. Not advocate or possess racially or religiously intolerant ideas. Help people in distress. Be a good worker. Keep himself clean in thought, speech, action and personal habits. Respect women, parents and his nation's laws. Be a patriot.

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