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George Frances "Gabby" Hayes

(1885-1969)

 

by Dave Bourne

 

Left: George Hayes as "Gabby" and right, in real life a handsome man with his wife, Olive, at the Harwyn Club

 

More Gabby Photos courtesy of Bruce Hickey.

A Younger Gabby without Whiskers - 2 photos

Known to fans as “Gabby,” George Hayes was the quintessential sidekick.  The character of Gabby which George referred to as “the old fella,” was basically an adaptation of “Uncle Varn” Phillips, an entertainer that Hayes knew from his childhood days.  Phillips portrayed a rustic character with high button shoes who danced the Buck and Wing.  By the time George was fifteen and beginning his own career in vaudeville, he had the character of “the old fella” down pat.  His movie career began in 1929 with “The Rainbow Man.” 

Left: Whiskerless, as the outlaw chief in "Randy Rides Alone", 1934, with John Wayne and Yakima Canutt

Right: courtesy of Bruce Hickey

George Hayes as "Cactus" in In Old Santa Fe with Ken Maynard, 1934

“The old fella” emerged full blown in Hayes’s portrayal of Cactus in the movie “In Old Santa Fe” in 1934.  This same movie marked Gene Autry’s and Smiley Burnette’s entry into the movie business.

George Hayes as Dr. Parker in Tumbling Tumbleweeds, 1935

 

Hopalong Rides Again, 1937

 

George Hayes as "Windy Halliday" with William "Hopalong Cassidy" Boyd in Bar 20 Justice, 1938

(photo courtesy of Les Adams)

Originally paired with William Boyd as Windy Halliday in the Hopalong Cassidy series, he left for Republic Pictures in late 1938 over a disagreement with studio chief Harry Sherman.  Sherman would not allow him to use the Windy appellation at Republic and so the Gabby name was born.  Eventually he became Roy Rogers’ sidekick and his film career continued until his last feature “The Cariboo Trail” with Randolph Scott in 1950. 

George Hayes with young Roy Rogers

At the end of 1941, the Sons of the Pioneers joined Roy Rogers and Gabby was in many of their films.

Red River Valley, 1942

 

Man from Cheyenne, 1942

 

South of Santa Fe, 1942

 

Sunset on the Desert, 1942

 

Romance on the Range, 1942

 

Sons of the Pioneers, 1942

 

Sons of the Pioneers, 1942

 

Sunset Serenade, 1942

 

Sunset Serenade, 1942

 

Heart of the Golden West, 1942

 

Lights of Old Santa Fe, 1944

 

Lights of Old Santa Fe, 1944

 

Lights of Old Santa Fe, 1944

 

Bells of Rosarita, 1945

 

Man from Oklahoma, 1945

 

Man from Oklahoma, 1945

 

Utah, 1945

 

Utah, 1945

 

Sunset in El Dorado, 1945

Gabby, Dale and Roy in Don't Fence Me In, 1945

 

Along the Navajo Trail, 1945

 

Song of Arizona, 1945

Roy, Dale and Gabby in Rainbow Over Texas, 1946

 

My Pal Trigger, 1946

 

My Pal Trigger, 1946

 

Roll On, Texas Moon, 1946

 

Roll On, Texas Moon, 1946

 

Home in Oklahoma, 1946

 

Heldorado, 1946

 

 

 

 

Courtesy of Bruce Hickey

He had his own show on NBC for two seasons introducing old westerns.  When his wife Olive died in 1956 George retired completely from show business.  He was plagued with heart problems and passed away after a second heart attack in 1969.  George Hayes will be forever remembered as Gabby, “Yer durn tootin'."

Gabby during his cruise to Hawaii in 1965 on a Matson liner.

(photo courtesy of Bruce Hickey)

 

 

More Gabby Photos courtesy of Bruce Hickey.

Along the Navajo Trail with Dale Evans

 

Albuquerque

 

with Randolph Scott

 

Border Town Gunfighters with Wild Bill Elliott

 

 

The Cariboo Trail with Randolph Scott (left)

 

The Cariboo Trail with Randolph Scott

 

El Paso

 

Gold is Where You Find It

 

In Old Oklahoma

 

In Old Oklahoma with John Wayne

 

 

Nevada City with Roy Rogers

 

Return of the Badmen

 

Saloon with John Wayne

 

Sons of the Pioneers with Roy Rogers

 

Sunset in El Dorado with Dale Evans

 

Tall in the Saddle with John Wayne (right)

 

Tall in the Saddle with John Wayne

 

The Throwback (1935)

A young George Hayes with Buck Jones.

 

George Hayes (right) with Bob Steele in Ranger's Code, 1933

(photo courtesy of Bruce Hickey)

 

Trail Street with Randolph Scott

 

Trail Street

 

Trail Street

 

Tucson Raiders

 

Tumbling Tumbleweeds

George Hayes on the left, Gene Autry at centre.

 

Gabby with Dale Evans in "Utah" (1945)

 

Wagon Tracks West

 

With Roy Rogers and Richard Dix

 

TV series

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John Wayne with Gabby

 

Gabby Hayes and Vera Ralston

 

Gabby, John Wayne and Noah Beery Jr.

 

Wild Bill Elliott with Gabby

 

From "Romance on the Range", 1942

 

From "South of Santa Fe", 1942 with Roy Rogers and Linda Hayes.