Biography

The grandson of a governor of New Mexico, pioneering screen cowboy Edmund Cobb began his long career toiling in Colorado-produced potboilers such as Hands Across the Border (1914), the filming of which turned tragic when Cobb's leading lady, Grace McHugh, drowned in the Arkansas River. Despite this harrowing experience, Cobb continued to star in scores of cheap Westerns and was making two-reelers at Universal in Hollywood by the 1920s. But unlike other studio cowboys, Cobb didn't do his own stunts -- despite the fact that he later claimed to have invented the infamous "running w" horse stunt -- and that may actually have shortened his starring career. By the late '20s, he was mainly playing villains. The Edmund Cobb remembered today, always a welcome sign whether playing the main henchman or merely a member of the posse, would pop up in about every other B-Western made during the 1930s and 1940s, invariably unsmiling and with a characteristic monotone delivery. When series Westerns bit the dust in the mid-'50s, Cobb simply continued on television. In every sense of the word a true screen pioneer and reportedly one of the kindest members of the Hollywood chuck-wagon fraternity, Edmund Cobb died at the age of 82 at the Motion Picture Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills, CA. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi