Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The "Mystery" Solved!

And the winners are... Betsy, of the My Five Men blog, and my friend and writing partner, Skip Simpson, of the seldom-updated Life with Skip!

Ladies first, so we'll begin with Betsy's answers to the questions originally asked in this post:

OK, I'm taking a stab at this. :)

A. The photo is of Clayton Moore.
B. The film is The Ghost of Zorro
3. Three role models would be Zorro, Orson Welles, and the Lone Ranger.
D. The connections would be that Clayton Moore was the actor who played The Lone Ranger (tv series.) And in the photo, he ironically is playing another one of your favorites, Zorro.

And now, here are excerpts from Skip's comments!


1. Clayton Moore
2. The Ghost of Zorro
3. The Lone Ranger, Zorro, The Green Hornet
4. Britt Reid (The Green Hornet) was the Lone Ranger's great nephew... or something... And the Lone Ranger and The Green Hornet were both created by George Trendle. During one radio show of The Green Hornet, they even played a few bars of The Lone Ranger Theme (The William Tell Overture.) Shall I go on? Clayton Moore in the 70's was prohibited from wearing his mask in public because they were coming out with a movie starring the ever popular Klinton Spilsbury. He [Moore] wound up wearing sunglasses at autograph signings.

So, how did they do, all told? See for yourself!

Official Mystery Photo Answers 

(a) Name the actor: Clayton Moore.

(b) Name the film which supplied the mystery photo photo: The Ghost of Zorro (1949).

(3) List my three professed role models from my childhood: Zorro, The Lone Ranger, and Batman. (Betsy missed one. Orson Welles is an idol of sorts -- I even named my cat after him -- but not a childhood role model. Still... Not bad, Betsy, not bad at all! And Skip is well aware that I'm a big fan of The Green Hornet as well, but I didn't become aware of him -- the Hornet, not Skip -- until I saw the 1967 TV series starring Van Williams and Bruce Lee... and my role models influenced me at a much younger age.)

(d) Tell me how this connects to two of those role models: Clayton Moore therefore played two of my three role models, just as Betsy said. (In fact, it was after seeing him in the role of Zorro that the producers of the proposed Lone Ranger TV show cast Mr. Moore as TLR!) However, Skip is right in saying that the Green Hornet's secret identity, Britt Reid, was the great-nephew of TLR!

So, it seems that The Lone Ranger and Zorro have all sorts of connections. But other than the "mask" thing (and my inclusion of him as a childhood role model), what does that old, "forgotten" Batman have in common with the two? I mean, even The Green Hornet has more in common with them, right?

Yeah, what about "that old, forgotten Batman?"

"That old, forgotten Batman..."

Well, I can't think of any really good comparisons between Batman and The Lone Ranger (other than the fact that they both had "sidekicks" of a sort), but as for ol' Bats and Zorro? They are inextricably linked!

And no, weird crap like this doesn't count!

One of the primary inspirations for Batman -- who debuted in 1939 -- was the Douglas Fairbanks film The Mark of Zorro (that's the 1920 version, fellow babies) And a few times, the various writers and artists have acknowledged this fact, notably here:

And here:

Notice, if you will, that this time, young Bruce Wayne was
depicted as having seen the 1940 version, starring Tyrone Power.

So don't fret over Batman's worthiness to be standing with the other two, okay?

By the way, here's a shot of The Green Hornet and Kato... just because I can.

And now... back to Clayton Moore, whom I had the pleasure of meeting on my 29th birthday in 1985. (Best. Present. Ever.) I congratulated Mr. Moore on "getting [his] mask back," because by then, the producers of the disastrous 1981 The Legend of the Lone Ranger movie had allowed him to appear once again in full TLR costume, so he could leave the Foster Grants behind.

According to an article from this website...

Clayton says that he would have liked to end his career as The Lone Ranger by appearing in one final show or movie.

The scenario, as described by Clayton in his book I Was That Masked Man, is that, following the death of Tonto, the now elderly ranger would find a young man bordering between good and bad. He takes the young man under his wing and trains him. After the training is completed, and with his back to the camera, Clayton takes off his mask and hands it to the "new" Lone Ranger. Clayton would then climb up on his horse and slowly ride off into the sunset.

Yeah, I would have liked to have seen that myself.

Clayton Moore, The Lone Ranger, 1914-1999, R.I.P.

Thanks for your time.


  1. Batman's like the only DC character I really like.

    That movie he would have liked to make sounds similiar to the plot they used for the Mask of Zorro movie Speilberg produced back 10 years or so ago. Maybe another link.

  2. George Trendle also created the television classics, "Turn-On," "You're In The Picture," and "Co-Ed Fever." He passed away, broke and despondent.
    And that "Batman" cover! DC comics during the early 60's really sucked, didn't they?

  3. Can't believe I didn't think of Batman!! :)

  4. Can't believe it's been 12 years! OY!

    And really...was Mr. Welles a role model for anybody?

  5. Excellent piece, my friend. But does it not worry you that people all over the world can see deep into your psyche with such clarity and ease that they know your every thought, your every dream, your every hero?

    By the way, that was some dream you had last night wasn't it!

  6. You know, I am sure I've seen Clayton Moore's face before, but not often. In fact, he's nicer looking than I remember so perhaps I've never seen it. He rode in many parades as TLR, when I was a child. The famous Santa Claus Lane parade down Hollywood Blvd and the Rose Parade in Pasadena. Dad took us to these and we were big LR fans then. Tonto too!

  7. @Pat: I enjoyed The Mask of Zorro. Lots of little tributes to the many movies, TV shows, and movie serials that preceded it. It was sad that they decided to kill the original Zorro, but I suppose they wanted to avoid filming just another Mark of Zorro origin story.

    @Skip: (re: George Trendle) He did not, ya big goof!

    And many 1950s & 1960s DC Comics do look kinda silly when viewed by adults, rather than the kids they were aimed at.

    @Betsy: Well, neither did Skip. And yet, you both read "My Island," and one of its chapter titles was "Zorro, The Lone Ranger, Batman, and Me." Heh.

  8. @Subby: Welles? Professionally & artistically, perhaps.

    @Alan: No worries. They only know what I tell them myself, on my blogs or in private emails.

    As far as that dream, yes, it was fun! Glad you came along... but next time, I get the redhead.

    @Cali Girl: I would have loved to have seen Clayton Moore in the 1950s and 1960s. It was quite a thrill meeting him later, nevertheless.

  9. I didn't scroll down far enough. The photo you have of Clayton Moore in later years is the only one I have seen. How nice you met him. Wonderful to meet a childhood hero.

  10. Wow! I didn't stand a chance! Kudos to the worthy winners of this one :) I am constantly amazed at the effort that goes in to many of these posts, dear silver...and am very grateful for the links and hints included. The real world has put through a busy kind of butt kicking lately, but I've a feeling soon I'll be able to frequent this watering hole a little more often. Consider yourself warned! :) (And by the way, the last comment you left at my house, I think, was the best comment I've yet to receive! THANK YOU!)

  11. Wow, amazing blog layout! How long have you been blogging for?
    you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your site is wonderful, as well as the content!


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