(1917 – 2009)
In memory of
(1917 – 2009)
This is an obituary to John Hart who was an American motion picture and television actor, born in Los Angeles, California. In his early career, he appeared mostly in Westerns. Although he played mostly minor roles in some fairly well-known films, he was probably best-known for replacing Clayton Moore in 1952 for two seasons of the television show The Lone Ranger when Moore demanded a higher salary. Based on the assumption that the masked character, rather than the actor was the true star of The Lone Ranger, the program producers fired Moore and replaced him with Hart, who was of a similar build and had a comparable background in westerns. However, the public never truly accepted Hart as "The Ranger," and by 1954
the owners acquiesced to Moore's demands and returned him to the role. Though terminated, Hart continued to act in films for over two more decades on a fairly regular basis. He appeared in films of several genres, almost always in supporting roles. In 1957, Hart portrayed Nat "Hawkeye" Cutler in the syndicated western series Hawkeye and the Last of the Mohicans, set in New York State of the 1750s. His last film appearance was in 1981's The Legend of the Lone Ranger in which he appeared as a newspaper editor, apparently as a tribute to his time as "The Ranger" years earlier. Another appearance was in the television series Happy Days as "The Lone Ranger" in the episode "Hi Yo, Fonzie Away" (Feb. 9, 1982), with Hart
reprising his role as "The Lone Ranger". In this episode Fonzie, played by Henry Winkler meets his childhood hero, The Lone Ranger. The other major late appearance was in a The Greatest American Hero episode, My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys, where Hart gives the title character an inspiring speech about heroism. On September 20, 2009 Hart died at his home in Rosarito Beach, Mexico at the age of 91, survived by his wife Beryl and a daughter. This memorial is to honour John Hart and his achievements.
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