Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Born Today September 20: Kermit Maynard


Actor, stuntman and body double Kermit Maynard was born today in Vevay, Indiana.  Growing up in a family of five siblings (including older brother Ken who went into movies before him, and for whom he served as a body double--despite their age difference, most in Hollywood assumed they were identical twins).  As a young man, he attended college at Indiana University and played as a linebacker for the Hoosiers in the early 1920's.  Also while there, he played baseball and basketball, but in the end, he did not graduate. At some point along the way, he worked for a time as a meat packer for the Hormel company. He also found work a local circuses.  He later followed his rodeo veteran older brother into moving pictures in Hollywood by early 1927.  The first film that he appeared in was Prince of the Plains, where he was cast as the star and credited (as he would be in all the silent film in which her appeared) as "Tex Maynard."  In all, he made 6 films in the silent era under his "stage" name.  In then doesn't appear again in a film until 1930, when he took an uncredited role in the all talking Rin Tin Tin film The Lone Defender.  He never went by the name "Tex" again.  This is also the film in which he began to appear as a stunt man, a career which spanned even longer than his acting career.  In addition to his own older brother, he worked as an action double of a number of other western actors.  Throughout his long career,  he appeared in over 280 films and television episodes up to the year 1962, when he retired.  Maynard passed away in North Hollywood on 16 January 1971 of a heart attack, 2 months before his older brother Ken passed in March of the same year.  He was 73 years of age.  He is buried in the Valhalla Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles.  

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