Hollywood Walk of Fame Stars You Never Knew: Hoot Gibson
On August 5, Mariah Carey became the 2,556th star to earn a permanent spot on the Hollywood Walk of Fame—whose lights already illuminated the path? Each week, PopCrush will look into the oft-forgotten icons of yesteryear. Between Slim Summerville (?), Tichi Wilkerson Kassel (!) and the Fibber McGee and Molly radio show, this is your own Walk Through Memory Fame.
"I give a hoot about Hoot!" you might say after reading this account of cowboy film pioneer Hoot Gibson's life (even though he was eventually reduced to financial ruin, and crashed a plane in 1933).
Hoot Gibson, born Edmund Gibson, grew up in Nebraska and California and learned to ride horses at a young age. He eventually competed in bucking bronco competitions, and was cast in the 1910 film Pride of the Range for his masterful talent of handling steeds. By 1920, he was a bona fide Westerns star—second only to Tom Mix (TOM MIX!!!)—and even things like the atrocities of World War I, during which he served as a tank corps sergeant, couldn't dull his star's shine.
Know what did, though? POOR INVESTMENTS AND GENERAL FINANCIAL MISMANAGEMENT! If you're an accountant, you're going to scream: By the 1950s, Gibson—who'd starred in 200 films—was so cash-strapped that he resorted to making appearances at carnivals and fairs, and even accepted a spot as a contestant on Groucho Marx's You Bet Your Life to make a quick buck.
As a contestant...
Hoot died in 1962, leaving behind two ex-wives who were both named Helen (and another named Sally and his wife, Dorothy).
Hoot's star is on the west side of the 1700s block of Vine Street, where you can spit in the face of cake-convention at nearby Very Different Cakes or enjoy a "Magic & Wine" show at David Minkin's Evening of Enchantment.