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Glenn Strange

Glenn Strange
Personal information
Birth nameGeorge Glenn Strange
Birth dateAugust 16, 1899
Place of birthWeed in Otero County, New Mexico Territory, U.S.
Date of deathSeptember 20, 1973(age 74)
Death placeLos Angeles, California, U.S.
OccupationActor
Years active1930 - 73
Spouse(1) Flora Hooper Strange, (2) Not known, (3) Minnie Thompson Strange (1937-1973, his death)

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Glenn Strange (August 16, 1899 - September 20, 1973) was an American actor who appeared mostly in Western films. He is best known for playing the Frankenstein Monster in three Universal films during the 1940s and for his role as Sam Noonan, the bartender on CBS's Gunsmoke television series. Strange was of Irish and Cherokee Indian descent and was a cousin of the Western film star and narrator Rex Allen.

Strange was born some thirteen years prior to New Mexico statehood near Alamogordo in tiny Weed in Otero County northeast of El Paso, Texas. He was born as George Glenn Strange, the fourth child of William Russell Strange and the former Sarah Eliza Byrd. He was an eighth generation grandson of Pocahontas and John Rolfe of Virginia.

Strange grew up in tiny Cross Cut (formerly known as Cross Out) in Brown County (county seat: Brownwood), some fifty miles east of Abilene in West Texas. His father was a bartender and later a rancher. Strange learned by ear how to play the fiddle and guitar. By the time he was twelve, young Glenn was performing at cowboy dances. By 1928, he was on radio in El Paso. He was a young rancher, but in 1930, he came to Hollywood as a member of the radio singing group, Arizona Wranglers. Strange joined the singers after having appeared at a rodeo in Prescott in Yavapai County in central Arizona. Another Strange cousin, Taylor McPeters, or "Cactus Mack" was also part of the Wranglers. Strange's Arizona connection prevailed when he guest starred in the 1958 episode "Chain Gang" of the syndicated western series 26 Men true stories about the Arizona Rangers.

Strange procured his first motion picture role in 1932 and appeared in hundreds of films during his lifetime. In 1949, he portrayed Butch Cavendish, who wiped out all of the Texas Rangers, except one, the role of Clayton Moore in The Lone Ranger.

Strange appeared twice as Jim Wade on Bill Williams's syndicated western series geared to juvenile audience's The Adventures of Kit Carson. He also appeared twice as "Blake" in the syndicated western The Cisco Kid. In 1954, he played Sheriff Billy Rowland in Jim Davis's syndicated western series Stories of the Century. Strange appeared six times in 1956 in multiple roles on Edgar Buchanan's syndicated Judge Roy Bean. In 1958, he had a minor part in an episode of John Payne's The Restless Gun. In 1959, he appeared in another western syndicated series, Mackenzie's Raiders, in the episode entitled "Apache Boy". Strange first appeared on Gunsmoke in 1959 and assumed several roles on the long-running program before he was cast as the bartender.


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