Todd Gault's Movie Serial Experience

Todd Gault's Film Serial Experience: Movie serials, cliffhangers and reviews. A gallery of movie serial stars.
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Unmasking the Black Ace in "Mystery Squadron", Mascot, 1933

The son of B-Western director Robert North Bradbury, the diminutive actor played in countless B-Westerns like "Hidden Valley" (1932), Big Calibre" (1935), and "Border Phantom" (1937). He was in three film series. Steele started a series on Billy the Kid, but left it after six films and was replaced by Larry "Buster" Crabbe; he was a member of the Three Mesquiteers, first with Robert Livingston and Rufe Davis, then with Tom Tyler and Jimmy Dodd. His last series was as a member of the Trail Blazers with Ken Maynard and Hoot Gibson.

Steele's only serial was Mascot's "Mystery Squadron" (1932) with fellow wetern alumnus Guinn "Big Boy" Williams. Ironically, it wasn't a western. They played a pair of pilots trying to prevent the destruction of a dam by the Black Ace.

Some of his other non-western work includes "Of Mice and Men" (1939), "The Big Sleep" (1946) (Steele's portrayal of the cold blooded hitman Canino being a personal favorite of mine), and "The Atomic Submarine" (1959). Steele was also a regular on the sixties western farce "F-Troop" as Sgt. Duffy.

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