Tom Mix: The First Western Superstar

Tom Mix began his career with the 101 Ranch Wild West Show.

From 1910-1917, he was bouncing all over the West, filming two-reelers in small towns like Prescott, Arizona, and Las Vegas, New Mexico. By 1921, he started making five-reelers on a regular basis, and his contract at Fox was amazing—he ultimately earned more than $900,000 a year, before Fox turned him loose in  1928.

In 1923, Wyatt Earp served as a consultant on Wild Bill Hickok, starring William S. Hart. Earp asked Hart to convince the studios to make a movie about him. By that time, though, Hart’s career was crashing and Mix was the new kid on the block, so Earp also made his pitch to Mix.

In 1920s Hollywood, both stars were royalty. The fact that neither Hart nor Mix could get his story in print or on the movie screen is amazing.

– Tom Mix photos True West Archives –

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