|Russell "Lucky" Hayden|
Hayden Michael Lucid|
June 12, 1912
Chico, California, U.S.
June 9, 1981 (aged 68)|
Palm Springs, California, U.S.
|Resting place||Oakwood Memorial Park Cemetery in Chatsworth, California|
Jan Clayton (1938–1943) (divorced)|
Lillian Porter (1946-1981) (his death)
Russell "Lucky" Hayden (June 12, 1912, in Chico, California – June 9, 1981, in Palm Springs, California) was an American film and television actor. He is best known for his portrayal as Lucky Jenkins in Paramount's popular Hopalong Cassidy film series.
He was born as Hayden Michael "Pate" Lucid, son of Francis J. Lucid and the former Minnie Harvey. He later took the name Russell Hayden to honor a friend, cameraman Russell Harlan.
Life and career
Hayden worked behind the scenes in films in jobs such as sound recorder, film cutter, and assistant cameraman before he became an actor in the mid-1930s. At the beginning of his acting career, he mainly starred in Westerns and was voted one of the Top Ten cowboy stars.
Hayden's screen debut was in Hills of Old Wyoming (1937), a Hopalong Cassidy film. In 27 films, he played Lucky Jenkins, one of a trio of heroes in the Cassidy westerns starring William Boyd, then co-starred with Charles Starrett in other westerns. In 1947, he played both the main hero and villain in the film Trail of the Mounties.
In the late 1950s, he produced and directed through his Quintet Productions two syndicated western series, 26 Men, black-and-white program starring Tristram Coffin, and Judge Roy Bean, a color production, with Edgar Buchanan, Jack Buetel, and Jackie Loughery. Hayden also appeared himself as Steve, a Texas Ranger, in twelve episodes of Judge Roy Bean, a family-oriented program considered at odds with the real Roy Bean.
Hayden was married from 1938 to 1943 to actress Jan Clayton, who was later cast as the first mother on the Lassie television series on CBS. The couple had a daughter, Sandra Hayden (1940–1956). In 1946 Hayden wed screen actress Lillian Porter, who retired from pictures. The Haydens remained happily married until his death in 1981.
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