Jack Moore

A simple google search of the name Jack Moore will produce several results about different individuals of the same. You’ll find everything from a referee, and college basketball player to a cartoonist, Canadian actor, and an American deliverance preacher.

The focus of this piece is on Jack Moore, the American actor. Moore was a television and film hero of the 1940s and 1950s. He was mostly known for playing the character of a former Texas Ranger fighting outlaws in a mask on the tv show Lone Ranger and the television series of the same name.

Everything you need to know about Jack Moore, the American Actor

Moore’s early life

Moore was born Jack Carlton Moore on September 14, 1914, in Chicago, Illinois. He was born the last of three children to his parents Charles Sprague Moore and Theresa Violet. His father, who is originally from New York, worked as a real estate agent in Chicago to help cater for his family. Moore’s family seemed to be a high income earning family, as suggested by the federal census report of 1930 that revealed they had a full-time maid, living with them. Her name was Amelia Hirsch.

Jack Moore’s youthful days and an athletically active habit is probably one of the reasons he was able to land the Lone Ranger role. By the time he was eight years old, Jack became a circus acrobat. He continued with the circus well into his late teens, appearing in Chicago’s Century of Progress exposition with a trapeze act. However, Jack did find the time to attend school. He did his elementary education at K. Hayt Elementary School. After which he attended Sullivan Junior High School and Senn High School in Chicago.

His modeling and military days

Before the success of his acting career, Jack tried his hands at modeling. He modeled for John Robert Powers, and successfully too. In the late 1930s, he relocated to Hollywood and added stuntman to his growing job description.

Jack Moore’s acting talent shone through, even when he joined the U.S. Army Air Force during World War II. Moore worked in the film production unit of the Air Force, starring in the film Target-Invisible.

The Lone Ranger character

Then along came the Lone Ranger project in 1949. Moore had previously worked on a slew of movies in almost every year since 1937. His works included movies like The Son of Monte Cristo, Black Dragons, Sheriff of Wichita, and Ghost of Zorro. At the time there was a radio series titled The Lone Ranger. The producer of the series, George Trendle caught wind of Moore’s talent through his work on Ghost of Zorro.

When the movie was adapted for television, Trendle made Jack the lead character, along with co-star Jay Silverheels who played the character of Tonto, an Indian Mohawk. The Lone Ranger aired on ABC and was the network’s first true success story. In 1950, the television show bagged an Emmy Award nomination.

Jack Moore
Jack Moore and Jay Silverheels in the Lone Ranger

After the first two seasons, Moore was replaced due to some disputes over contract talks. However, he made his way back onto the project for its final two seasons. Jack claimed he was given no explanation as to why he was replaced or rehired.

The fifth season which was also the last installment was the only one to be shot in color; all seasons prior to it were shot in black and white. In all, Jack Moore reprised his role for 169 episodes from a total of 221 episodes produced.

Other Projects

While working on Lone Ranger, Moore found the time to be involved in other projects. He made a guest appearance in an episode of The Adventures of Kit Carson in 1952. Moore and Silverheels success on Lone Ranger also landed them major roles on two feature-length Lone Ranger motion pictures. They were titled The Lone Ranger (1956), and The Lone Ranger and the Lost City of Gold (1958).

For the next forty years following these two movies, Jack appeared as himself in a plethora of personal engagements. These included The Lone Ranger Restaurants located in Southern California, classic commercials, and television guest appearances. In the commercials, he appeared dressed as his Lone Ranger character.

These appearances, however, led to a publicly covered lawsuit in 1979. The creator of the Lone Ranger character, Jack Wrather wanted to make a new film version based on the character and did not want Moore hogging the spotlight and undermining the value of his new look Lone Ranger. Wrather got a court order to prevent Moore from making further appearances as The Lone Ranger. Moore responded by counter-suing him and changing up his costume a little, enough to look different but not be mistaken for anyone other than the famous character he had played most of his acting career. Jack Moore eventually won the lawsuit and continued to appear in costume until shortly before his death.

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Life Recognitions and His Death

Jack Moore, during his lifetime, was so inextricably interwoven with the character that it became almost impossible to differentiate between Jack and the Lone Ranger. Moore, who often spoke about his love and respect for the character said that he spent his life trying to live by the creed and principles of the Lone Ranger in his real life.

In 1982, he was inducted into the Stuntman’s Hall of Fame, and the Western Performers Hall of Fame in 1990. He was also recognized on the Western Walk of Fame in Newhall, California. Jack Moore, as of 2006, was the only person whose star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame bore the name of a character he had played instead of just his real name. The star reads, “Clayton Moore – The Lone Ranger”.

Jack Moore passed on in a hospital in West Hills, California, due to a heart attack he had suffered at his Calabasas home. He was married four times during his life and is survived by his fourth wife, Clarita Moore, and Dawn Angela Moore, their adopted daughter.

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