I. Stanford Jolley
|I. Stanford Jolley|
I. Stanford Jolley in The Violent Years (1956)
|Born||Isaac Stanford Jolley, Sr.
October 24, 1900
Morristown, Morris County
New Jersey, U.S.
|Died||December 7, 1978
Los Angeles County, California, U.S.
|Resting place||Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills)|
|Other names||Isaac Stanford Jolley|
|Spouse(s)||Emily Mae Jolley|
|Children||Isaac Stanford "Stan" Jolley, Jr.
Sandra Jolley Tucker Carson
Isaac Stanford Jolley, Sr., known as I. Stanford Jolley (October 24, 1900 – December 7, 1978), was a prolific American character actor of film and television, primarily in western roles as cowboys, law-enforcement officers, or villains. Recognized by his slight build, narrow face, and pencil-thin moustache, Jolley appeared some five hundred times on the large or small screen.
Born in Morristown, New Jersey, Jolley toured as a child with his father's traveling circus and worked in vaudeville. He first performed on Broadway in 1924 opposite Charles Trowbridge in Sweet Seventeen. He also worked in radio until he performed his first uncredited part in the 1935 Bette Davis film, Front Page Woman. He appeared in twenty-five films for Republic Pictures between 1936 and 1954, but he was never under contract to the studio. According to his wife, he never earned more than $100 on any of his multiple film appearances.
In 1939, he played an uncredited part as a hotel clerk in Mr. Wong in Chinatown. Appearing in scores of films, mostly westerns, Jolley was cast in 1940 as Molotoff in Chasing Trouble, with other performers in the comedy/espionage film including western actors Milburn Stone and Tristram Coffin. In 1942, he was cast as Gil Harkness in the western Outlaws of Boulder Pass. In 1944, he was cast as Saladin in the swashbuckling "western" film set in the Middle East, The Desert Hawk, and as Bart Kern in the Tex Ritter film, Gangsters of the Frontier. In 1945, Jolley was cast as Marshal Mullins in Springtime in Texas, a 55-minute film about a crime boss, Pete Grant, played by Rex Lease, who controls the West Texas town of Pecos.
In 1946, Jolley portrayed Dr. Blackton in The Crimson Ghost and also did the voice of the undefined title character. That same year, he portrayed Sheriff Bill Armstrong in Silver Range and James Beeton in the western musical, Swing, Cowboy, Swing. In 1948, Jolley was cast as the loan shark Rance Carson in Tex Granger, Midnight Rider of the Plains, with Robert Kellard in the title role. In 1949, Jolley appeared as Professor Bryant in King of the Rocket Men, again with Tristram Coffin. That same year, he was cast as Mark Simmons in Trouble at Melody Mesa, starring Brad King as a marshal. He also appeared as Toad Tyler in 1949s Rimfire. In 1950, Jolley was cast as J.B. "Dude" Dawson in the low-budgeted Republic Pictures film serial, Desperadoes of the West. Also in 1950 he appeared as "Snake Willens" in the Audie Murphy western Sierra. In 1951, he was cast as Sam Fleming in Oklahoma Justice, with Johnny Mack Brown, with whom he had also appeared in Silver Range, and as Zorol in the Columbia Pictures serial, Captain Video: Master of the Stratosphere, starring Judd Holdren as Captain Video. In 1953, he appeared as Ted in the Audie Murphy and Lee Van Cleef film Tumbleweed, set on a wagon train that encounters problems with Indians. That same year, Jolley appeared as Rocky in the western film, Son of Belle Starr, a drama about Starr's son, "The Kid" or Ed Reed, played by Keith Larsen, who attempts to lead an upright life despite his family background. In 1954, he played the stationmaster in Vermont in the Bing Crosby/Danny Kaye Christmas classic White Christmas. In 1956, Jolley appeared as Henry Longtree in the short film I Killed Wild Bill Hickok.
From 1950-1953, Jolley first appeared on television with six castings in different role in the series, The Lone Ranger with Clayton Moore. He appeared twice in 1953 in the syndicated western series, The Range Rider. He made two appearances as Parker in Tales of the Texas Rangers, with series stars Willard Parker and Harry Lauter. Jolley guest starred as the henchman Walt, along with Clayton Moore and Darryl Hickman, in the 1954 episode "Annie Gets Her Man" of the syndicated Gail Davis and Brad Johnson western, Annie Oakley. He appeared as Sheriff Bascom in the 1954 episode "Black Bart" of the syndicated Jim Davis series, Stories of the Century.
In 1958, Jolley appeared on ABC's Walt Disney Presents in the role of Sheriff Adams in the episode "Law and Order, Incorporated", with Robert Loggia as Elfego Baca. His then 32-year-old son, Stan Jolley, was the art director of the segment. Others in the episode were former child actor Skip Homeier and Raymond Bailey, later the banker Milburn Drysdale of CBS's The Beverly Hillbillies.
Jolley soon appeared multiple times on a wide range of other western series, including, The Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok (three times), The Cisco Kid (ten), Tales of the Texas Rangers (twice), Sergeant Preston of the Yukon (twice), The Roy Rogers Show (three), The Gene Autry Show (four), Sky King (four), Death Valley Days (five), 26 Men (five appearances, again with Tristram Coffin, the series star), Wanted Dead or Alive (two), Bronco (twice), Tales of Wells Fargo (twice), The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp (six), Maverick (six), Lawman (six), Cheyenne (seven), Rawhide (five), Wagon Train (ten), The Virginian (two), Daniel Boone (two), Laredo (two), The Big Valley (three), Bonanza (eight), and Gunsmoke (nine). In 1957, he appeared once on the Will Hutchins western, Sugarfoot, as the Indian character, The Nighthawk, in the episode entitled, "Reluctant Hero". In 1958, he was cast in the episode "The Horse Nobody Wanted" of the NBC children's western series, Fury, starring Peter Graves and Bobby Diamond. In 1959, he was cast as Beriah Jackson in the episode "Contest at Gold Bottom" of the ABC/Warner Brothers western series, The Alaskans.
In 1960, Jolley guest starred as the Indian named Singing Arrow in the series finale, "The Search," of the syndicated western, Pony Express, with Grant Sullivan. In 1962, he was cast as The Stranger in the episode "Quarantine" of the NBC western series, The Tall Man, starring Barry Sullivan, and Clu Gulager.
In 1965, Jolley appeared as Enos Scoggins in "The Greatest Coward on Earth" of the Chuck Connors series, Branded. He had also appeared with Connors on ABC's The Rifleman in one of the last episodes of the series in 1963 in the role of Joe Fogner in "Hostages to Fortune" (1963). He appeared four times in 1956 in archival footage on the children's western The Gabby Hayes Show.
In 1966 Jolley appeared on the show F Troop. He was Colonel Ferguson in the episode: "Survival of the Fittest".
Jolley's last western roles were in 1976: as (1) a farmer in ABC's The Macahans, the pilot of James Arness's second western series, How the West Was Won, and as (2) a drunkard in the short-lived Tim Matheson and Kurt Russell series The Quest.
Jolley's non-western appearances included The Adventures of Superman (twice), Perry Mason (twice), The Untouchables as Pete Laffey in "The Man in the Cooler", Profiles in Courage in the episode "Andrew Johnson" (with Walter Matthau in the title role), Man with a Camera as Dr. Ben Todd in "The Killer", Mr. and Mrs. North as Harry in "The Ungrateful Killer", and in Johnny Weismuller's Jungle Jim as Bremer in "Voodoo Drums".
Personal life and legacy
Jolley and his wife, Emily Mae or "Peggy" Jolley (1901–2003), had two children, the art director Stanford Jolley, Jr. known as Stan Jolley (1926-2012), and the late Sandra Jolley Carson (1919–1986), the former wife of actor Forrest Tucker and the widow of actor Jack Carson. Sandra Jolley was originally an Earl Carroll showgirl. Jolley was hence the father-in-law of Tucker from 1940–1950 and of Carson from 1961 until Carson's death in 1963.
Jolley died of emphysema at the age of seventy-eight at the Motion Picture Country Hospital in Woodland Hills, California. His wife died in the same facility in 2003. The Jolleys are interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in the Hollywood Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles.
Pamela "Brooke" Tucker offered this reflection of her grandfather: "The most important thing about my grandfather was that he was the antithesis of all the villains he portrayed. He was a gentleman and a gentle man. He was ALWAYS interested in what the other person had to say and when you met him, he made you feel as though you were very important and special. All of my friends growing up loved him.
Jolley's grave marker reads:
I. Stanford Jolley
Loving Husband And Father
A Gentle Man And As Jolly By Nature As He Was By Name
Loved By All and Especially His Family
- Black Dragons (1942)
- Shake Hands with Murder (1944)
- Call of the Jungle (1944)
- Desperadoes of the West (1950)
- Rodeo (1952)
- Yukon Gold (1952)
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