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Smiley Burnette est un Acteur, Réalisateur et Scénariste Américain né le 18 mars 1911

Smiley Burnette

Smiley Burnette
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Nom de naissance Lester Alvin Burnett
Nationalité Etats-Unis
Naissance 18 mars 1911
Mort 16 février 1967 (à 55 ans)

Smiley Burnette est un acteur et compositeur américain né le 18 mars 1911 à Summum , Illinois (États-Unis), et mort le 16 février 1967 à Los Angeles, quartier d'Encino (Californie).


Lester A. Burnett (he added the final "e" later in life) was born in Summum, Illinois, on March 18, 1911, and grew up in Ravenwood, Missouri. He began singing as a child and learned to play a wide variety of instruments by ear, yet never learned to read or write music. In his teens he worked in vaudeville and, starting in 1929, at the state's first commercial radio station, WDZ-AM in Tuscola, Illinois.

Burnette came by his nickname while creating a character for a WDZ children's program. He was reading Mark Twain's "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" at the time, which included a character named Jim Smiley. He named the radio character Mr. Smiley and soon adopted the moniker as his own, dropping the title.

Film career
His break came in December 1933, when he was hired by Gene Autry to play accordion on National Barn Dance on Chicago's WLS-AM, on which Autry was the major star. As sound films became popular, Hollywood sought musical talent for Western films; and in 1934, producer Nat Levine cast the duo in their film debut (unbilled) as part of a bluegrass band in Mascot Pictures' In Old Santa Fe starring Ken Maynard. Burnette sang and played accordion, and the film included two of his compositions.
He had other small parts until a secondary but more prominent role in the 1935 serial The Adventures of Rex and Rinty. That same year, Levine gave Autry his first starring role in the 12-part serial The Phantom Empire, with Burnette playing "Oscar," a comic relief role. Mascot was soon absorbed by Republic Pictures Corp., and Burnette teamed up with Autry for the studio as his lovable comedic sidekick, Frog Millhouse, with his trademark floppy black hat. Their association produced 62 feature-length musical westerns. Frog was known for sometimes singing in a deep, froglike, croaking voice.

By 1940, he ranked second only to Autry in a Boxoffice magazine popularity poll of Western stars, the lone sidekick among the top ten (though rumored that off screen he earned a reputation as being moody and temperamental), and when Autry left for World War II service, Burnette provided a sidekick to Eddie Dew, Sunset Carson, and Bob Livingston and appeared in nine other films with Roy Rogers. He had a fan club and was especially popular among juvenile fans. Burnette's movie horse, white with a black-ringed left eye, also became famous, first as Black-eyed Nellie, then as Ring-eyed Nellie, and finally as just Ring Eye.

After leaving Republic in June 1944, he became the sidekick to Charles Starrett at Columbia Pictures in the long-running Durango Kid series. Starrett starred in the series from 1945 until 1952, and the pairing resulted in 56 films. When the series ended, Burnette rejoined Autry for Autry's final six films, all released by Columbia Pictures in 1953.

Burnette wrote more than 400 songs and sang a significant number of them on screen. His Western classic, "Ridin' Down the Canyon (To Watch the Sun Go Down)," was later recorded by Willie Nelson, Riders in the Sky, and Johnnie Lee Wills. Other compositions included "On the Strings of My Lonesome Guitar" (Jimmy Wakely's theme song in the 1940s), "Fetch Me Down My Trusty .45," "Ridin' All Day," and "It's Indian Summer" as well as "The Wind Sings a Cowboy Song," "The Old Covered Wagon," and "Western Lullaby." He also composed musical scores for such films as The Painted Stallion and Waterfront Lady. His songs were recorded by a wide range of singers, including Bing Crosby, Ferlin Husky, and Leon Russell. His performance of "Steamboat Bill" appeared on The Billboard's country chart in 1939.

Burnette devised and built some of his unusual musical instruments in his home workshop. His "Jassackaphone," for example, which he played in the film The Singing Cowboy, resembled an organ with pipes, levers, and pull mechanisms.

In the 1940s, he invented and patented an early home audiovisual system called "Cinevision Talkies." Each package contained a 78 rpm record with four of his songs and fifteen 35mm slides. The slides were to be projected in order and advanced each time a short tone played on the record during the songs. An inside cover of the record album was white so that those with no projector and screen could simply shine a flashlight through the slides and view them on the cover. He also devised more than a dozen clever uses for a common wire clothes hanger and demonstrated several of them during a TV show guest appearance.

Radio and television
When the cowboy movie genre waned, Burnette retired but made guest appearances on many country music radio and TV shows, including Louisiana Hayride, the Grand Ole Opry, and Ranch Party. He spent time in Springfield, Missouri, from the late 1940s into the 1950s producing a nationally syndicated 15-minute radio program, The Smiley Burnette Show, through RadiOzark Enterprises.
He also made regular appearances on ABC-TV's Ozark Jubilee from Springfield. In early 1957, when quiz shows were popular, he filmed a pilot for a proposed ABC-TV series to originate from Springfield called Pig 'N Poke, a quiz show with a country theme, although ABC did not buy the show.

As the 1960s began, Burnette continued to make personal appearances at drive-ins, fairs, hospitals, town squares, and rodeos. Among other venues, he once appeared with Dewey Brown and the Oklahoma Playboys at a Friday night dance at Jump's Roller Rink in Fairfax, Oklahoma.

In the mid 1960s, he portrayed railway engineer Charley Pratt on the CBS-TV programs Petticoat Junction (106 episodes) and Green Acres (7 episodes).

Burnette enjoyed cooking and opened a restaurant chain in the 1950s called The Checkered Shirt, the first A-frame drive-ins. The first location was in Orlando, Florida, and two locations still exist in Redding and Escondido, California, but are no longer owned by the Burnette family.


Just after completing the fourth season of Petticoat Junction, Burnette became ill. On February 16, 1967, a month before his 56th birthday, he died in Encino, California, from leukemia and was interred in Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Hollywood Hills, California.

Le plus souvent avec

Gene Autry
Gene Autry
(56 films)
Nat Levine
Nat Levine
(21 films)
Joseph Kane
Joseph Kane
(26 films)
William Nobles
William Nobles
(15 films)
Oliver Drake
Oliver Drake
(8 films)
Source : Wikidata

Filmographie de Smiley Burnette (78 films)

Afficher la filmographie sous forme de liste


The Rough, Tough West, 54minutes
Réalisé par Ray Nazarro
Origine Etats-Unis
Genres Western
Acteurs Charles Starrett, Smiley Burnette, Jock Mahoney, Marshall Reed
Rôle Smiley Burnette
Note66% 3.3182453.3182453.3182453.3182453.318245
Steve Holden vient rendre visite à son ami Big jack et le retrouve en maitre détesté de la ville. mais la cause de l'animosité des habitants est le chef de son équipe, Fulton. Steve prends l'insigne de shérif, et c'est Durango kid qui se dresse contre Fulton.
The Big Sombrero, 1h22
Réalisé par Gene Autry, Armand Schaefer, Frank McDonald
Origine Etats-Unis
Genres Western
Acteurs Gene Autry, Elena Verdugo, Stephen Dunne, Smiley Burnette, George J. Lewis, William Edmunds
Note56% 2.820472.820472.820472.820472.82047
Singing cowboy Gene Autry (Gene Autry) is out of work and looking for a job. After pawning his guitar, he meets former rodeo sharpshooter Angie Burke (Vera Marshe), who works for wealthy ranch owner Estrellita Estrada (Elena Verdugo). Angie suggests that Gene ride across the border to El Sombrero Grande, Estrellita's ranch. Gene learns that the ranch is managed by James Garland (Stephen Dunne), an acquaintance from their days with Monahan's Wild West Show. Gene heads south into Mexico.
Idaho (1943)
, 1h10
Réalisé par Joseph Kane
Origine Etats-Unis
Genres Western
Acteurs Roy Rogers, Smiley Burnette, Virginia Grey, Bob Nolan, Ona Munson, Harry Shannon
Rôle Frog Millhouse
Note63% 3.1896253.1896253.1896253.1896253.189625
Un député tente de prouver qu'un juge respecté, qui avait autrefois été un criminel, est accusé de crimes commis par un propriétaire de saloon tordu.
King of the Cowboys, 1h7
Réalisé par Joseph Kane
Origine Etats-Unis
Genres Action, Western
Acteurs Roy Rogers, Smiley Burnette, Peggy Moran, Gerald Mohr, Bob Nolan, Lloyd Corrigan
Rôle Frog Millhouse
Note61% 3.050563.050563.050563.050563.05056
Roy Rogers, Smiley Burnette et les Sons of the Pioneers vont sous couverture pour aider le gouverneur du Texas Russell Hicks à empêcher les sympathisants de l'Axe de la Seconde Guerre mondiale de faire exploser des entrepôts américains.
Raiders of Sunset Pass
Réalisé par John English
Genres Western
Acteurs Smiley Burnette, Jennifer Holt, LeRoy Mason, Roy Barcroft, Charles Fish Miller, Maxine Doyle
Rôle Frog Millhouse
Note60% 3.0199353.0199353.0199353.0199353.019935
The film is set in Texas during World War II when most of the able-bodied men of military age are away fighting for the United States. A gang of cattle rustlers, led by Henry Judson and Lefty Lewis, decide to take advantage of the situation by stealing from rancher Dad Mathews and other cattle farmers. Texas Ranger Johnny Revere and his sidekick Frog Millhouse arrive to handel the situation. With some help from Mathews' daughter, Betty, they manage to win in the end.
Bells of Capistrano, 1h13
Réalisé par Smiley Burnette, Virginia Grey, Gene Autry, William Morgan
Origine Etats-Unis
Genres Western
Acteurs Gene Autry, Smiley Burnette, Virginia Grey, Lucien Littlefield, Tristram "Tris" Coffin, Morgan Conway
Rôle Frog
Note63% 3.1876253.1876253.1876253.1876253.187625
The World Wide Wild West Show is a struggling rodeo outfit about to be taken over by the powerful Johnson Brothers rodeo. Daniel "Pop" McCracken (Lucien Littlefield) and Melinda "Ma" McCracken (Claire Du Brey) from World Wide get into a brawl with Jed (Tris Coffin) and Stag (Morgan Conway) Johnson after the brothers catch the desperate McCrackens vandalizing their advertisements. Singing cowboy Gene Autry (Gene Autry) and his sidekick Frog Millhouse (Smiley Burnette) come upon the brawl and try to break up the fight, but Frog's little brother Tadpole draws the sheriff's attention, and soon they are all taken to jail, where Gene sings a song for his new friends.
Call of the Canyon, 1h11
Réalisé par Joseph Santley
Origine Etats-Unis
Genres Western
Acteurs Gene Autry, Smiley Burnette, Ruth Terry, Thurston Hall, Dorothea Kent, Marc Lawrence
Rôle Frog Millhouse
Note65% 3.2746453.2746453.2746453.2746453.274645
Singing cowboy Gene Autry (Gene Autry) and his fellow ranchers in Whippasaw are outraged to learn that the purchasing agent for the Grantley B. Johnson Packing Co., Thomas McCoy (Edmund MacDonald), is only offering them $65 per head of cattle. Unknown to the ranchers, McCoy is a gambler in debt to a bookie who sent his henchmen Horace Dunston and the Pigeon to ensure that McCoy pays up. McCoy plans to raise the money by pocketing the difference between what he is offering the ranchers and what the packing company sent him. Gene encourages the ranchers to stick together and wait while he travels to the city to speak directly with the packing company owner, Grantley B. Johnson (Thurston Hall).
Cowboy Serenade, 1h6
Réalisé par Smiley Burnette, Gene Autry, Fay McKenzie, William Morgan
Origine Etats-Unis
Genres Western
Acteurs Gene Autry, Smiley Burnette, Fay McKenzie, Cecil Cunningham, Addison Richards, Rand Brooks
Rôle Frog
Note67% 3.35653.35653.35653.35653.3565
As president of the Flagpole Cattlemen's Association, singing cowboy Gene Autry (Gene Autry) entrusts the sale of the association's large cattle herd to young Jimmy Agnew (Rand Brooks), who is so thrilled with the opportunity that he proposes marriage to his girlfriend, Millie Jackson (Linda Leighton). The next day, while traveling to Hays City with the cattle, Jimmy is persuaded to join a poker game by two crooked gamblers, Dixie Trambeau (Tristram Coffin) and Joe Crowley (John Berkes), who fleece the naive cattleman and force him at gun point to turn over the power of attorney authorizing them to sell the cattle. Ashamed at his blunder, Jimmy goes into hiding.
Heart of the Rio Grande, 1h10
Réalisé par William Morgan
Origine Etats-Unis
Genres Comédie, Aventure, Musical, Western
Acteurs Gene Autry, Smiley Burnette, Fay McKenzie, Edith Fellows, Pierre Watkin, William Haade
Rôle Frog Millhouse
Note65% 3.2785053.2785053.2785053.2785053.278505
Spoiled teenager Connie Lane (Edith Fellows) has no desire to join her classmates on a two-month vacation at the Smoke River Dude Ranch. Even her caring teacher, Alice Bennett (Fay McKenzie), is unable to persuade her. Connie runs off to her father, business tycoon Randolph Lane (Pierre Watkin), and pleads with him not to send her away. Preoccupied with business matters and too busy to notice how spoiled his daughter has become, Lane dismisses her and sends her away to spend the summer with her classmates at the ranch.
Home in Wyomin', 1h7
Réalisé par William Morgan
Origine Etats-Unis
Genres Western
Acteurs Gene Autry, Smiley Burnette, Fay McKenzie, Olin Howland, Chick Chandler, Forrest Taylor
Rôle Frog Millhouse
Note66% 3.3202953.3202953.3202953.3202953.320295
Singing cowboy Gene Autry (Gene Autry) appears on a radio program to promote U.S. Defense Bonds. In the audience, wisecracking photographer Clementine Benson (Fay McKenzie) and reporter "Hack" Hackett (Chick Chandler) make fun of the singer and his devoted fans. After the program, Clementine and Hack try to get an embarrassing story on Gene, who knows their game and eludes the pair, who previously ridiculed him in print.
Stardust on the Sage, 1h5
Réalisé par Betty Burbridge, William Morgan
Origine Etats-Unis
Genres Western
Acteurs Gene Autry, Smiley Burnette, William Henry, Edith Fellows, Louise Currie, Emmett Vogan
Rôle Frog
Note65% 3.269833.269833.269833.269833.26983
The Rawhide Mining Company is looking for investors to support their hydraulic mining operations in the area. Radio promotions have drawn the interest of local ranchers. Singing cowboy and cattleman Gene Autry (Gene Autry) opposes the company and warns his fellow ranchers not to invest in it—too many local mines have already failed. After saving teenager Judy Drew (Edith Fellows) by stopping her runaway carriage, Gene meets her sister, Nancy Drew (Louise Currie), who runs the local radio station which features a show sponsored by the mining company. Nancy is pleased to see "progressive ranchers" supporting the mining company and tries to elicit Gene's endorsement, but he remains unimpressed.