For those of us who grew up in the Forties and Fifties going to westerns every Saturday afternoon Monte Hale was one of the more prominent names. Though he wasn't a star on the level of Gene or Roy, he had a steady following as proved by the wide range of tie-in products bearing his name and likeness, everything from comic books to lunch boxes. As television began to reduce movie attendance, Hale along with Republic's other remaining reliable, Allan Rocky Lane, turned to tv turns and personal appearances. Lane ultimately became the voice of Mr. Ed. Hale had a big moment in the film Giant.
'Singing cowboy' Monte Hale dead at 89
Mon Mar 30, 3:29 pm ET
LOS ANGELES (AFP) – Monte Hale, who appeared in a string of 1940s westerns as well as the classic James Dean film "Giant," has died at his home in Los Angeles, his family said Monday. He was 89.
An official at the Autry National Center, the Los Angeles museum dedicated to the Old West, said Hale passed away Sunday at his home in the upscale neighborhood of Studio City following a long illness.
In an entertainment career spanning more than 60 years, Hale starred in several westerns and was also featured in a popular comic book series, often as a singing cowboy.
"My husband was the most wonderful, generous, giving and loving man I have ever known," Hale's wife of 31 years, Joanne Hale, said in a statement.
"He was a gentleman to all. He brought laughter, adventure and joy into my life and into everyone's life that he touched."
Hale forged a career in Hollywood in the 1940s after hitchhiking to California. He first appeared in 1944's "The Big Bonanza."
Hale appeared in various television series and the 1956 epic drama, "Giant," playing Rock Hudson's attorney, Bale Clinch. Off-screen he taught Dean several rope tricks the teen idol used in the film.