Who was Clayton Moore?
Jack Carlton ‘Clayton’ Moore was born in Chicago, Illinois USA, on 14 September 1914 – his zodiac sign was Virgo, and he held American nationality. He was an actor and musician, with 78 acting credits to his name, while he’s perhaps still remembered best for his portrayal of the lead character The Lone Ranger in the eponymous western series. It was created by George W. Trendle and George W. George, also starred Jay Silverheels and John Hart, and follows the adventures of a masked man and his partner in the late 1800s in the US west; the series aired from 1949 to 1957 and was nominated for five awards, including two Primetime Emmys for Best Children’s Show.
Early life and education
Clayton was raised in Chicago alongside his two younger brothers, by their father Charles Sprague Moore who was a real estate broker, and their mother Theresa Violet (nee Fisher) who was a housewife; the family was wealthy, and even hired a full-time maid, Amelia Hirsch.
Clayton was physically highly active while growing up, as he played various sports and took part in many activities together with his friends. He was eight when he became a circus acrobat, and was 20 when he performed a trapeze act at the Century of Progress Exposition.
Clayton completed his elementary education at Stephen K. Hayt Elementary School in 1928, then went on to attend Sullivana Junior High School and Senn High School; it was while at Senn that he became interested in acting, appearing in plays performed both at the school and a local theatre.
Upon matriculating in 1932, Clayton chose not to pursue a college degree, but to go for modelling and acting.
Roles in movies
Clayton made his debut film appearance in the 1937 western “Forlorn River”, and a couple of his following roles were in the 1938 crime comedy “Go Chase Yourself”, the 1939 action comedy drama “Four Girls in White”, and the 1940 biographical western “Kit Carson”.
He played the lead character of Dr. Larry Grayson in the 1942 drama “Perils of Nyoka”, directed by William Witney, and which also starred Kay Aldridge and William ‘Billy’ Benedict; it follows Nyoka and her friends as they’re trying to find the Golden Tablets of Hippocrates before Queen of the Desert Vultura.
A couple of Clayton’s other notable performances in the ‘40s were in the 1946 romantic comedy “The Bachelor’s Daughters”, the 1947 western “Along the Oregon Trail”, and the 1948 western “The Plunderers”.
What marked the ‘50s for him was his portrayal of The Lone Ranger in the eponymous western, directed by Stuart Heisler, and which also starred Jay Silverheels and Lyle Bettger. Based on the eponymous series, the movie follows wealthy rancher Reese Kilgore who’s trying to buy Indian land which is rich in silver.
Clayton’s final movie role prior to retiring from acting was in the 1958 family western “The Lone Ranger and the Lost City of Gold”.
Roles in TV series
Clayton appeared in nine TV series, including “The Lone Ranger”. He made his debut appearance in the 1952 episode “The Trapper Story” of the family western “Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok”, while the same year saw him play Outlaw Leader in the episode “Snake River Trapper” of the western “The Adventures of Kit Carson”, and Trevor Lane in the episode “Lawless Legacy” of the family western “Hopalong Cassidy”.
Clayton played both Placer Dan Meighan and Martin Wickett in the 1953 western “The Range Rider”, which starred Jock Mahoney, Dickie Jones and Bob Woodward, and follows the life of the title cowboy.
He played Henchman in the 1954 episode “Annie Gets Her Man” of the western “Annie Oakley”, and then portrayed three characters in three episodes of the 1954 family western “The Gene Autry Show”.
— Deadline Hollywood (@DEADLINE) September 8, 2017
Clayton retired with his portrayal of The Lone Ranger in the 1959 episode “Peace Patrol” of the family adventure drama “Lassie”, however, he returned in 1986 for his final performance: his portrayal of Arm Wrestler in the episode “The Greatest American Heroine” of the adventure science fiction comedy “The Greatest American Hero”.
Clayton sang the song “Oh! Susannah” in the 1949 episode “The Masked Rider” of the series “The Lone Ranger”.
He received special thanks (posthumously), for the 2007 action movie “Wages of Sin”.
Clayton appeared in a couple of talk-shows and game-shows, such as “What’s My Line”, “The Red Skelton Hour” and “The Ed Sullivan Show”.
Awards and nominations
Clayton won a 1983 Golden Boot Award and a 1998 Golden Boot Founder’s Award, while he was also nominated (posthumously) for a 2005 TV Land Award for Favorite Crimestopper, for his performance in the series “The Lone Ranger”.
He received his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1987.
Love life and marriage
Clayton was married four times. His first wife was American actress Mary Moore, who appeared in 14 movies and TV series; they married on 19 August 1940, but divorced in April 1942.
Clayton then married Sally Allen on 24 April 1943, and in December 1958, they adopted a baby girl Dawn Angela. The marriage ended on 22 February 1986, when Sally passed away.
Clayton married his third wife Connie in August 1986, but they divorced three years later.
He exchanged vows with his fourth wife Clarita Petrone on 18 January 1992, and they remained together until his death.
Hobbies and interesting facts
Clayton served in the US Army Air Force during World War II, with the First Motion Picture Unit; he was in charge of making training movies, with one of his works having been the 1945 short documentary film “Target-Invisible”.
Clayton was into travelling, and his career had taken him to various US states, as well as to a couple of European countries; his favorite place in the world was still Los Angeles, California.
He was a huge lover of animals, with his favorites having been horses and dogs.
Clayton had his own favorite actors and actresses, some of whom were Gary Cooper, John Wayne and Amanda Blake, while a couple of his favorite films were “High Noon”, “Ball of Fire”, and “Meet John Doe”.
Death, height and net worth
Clayton passed away aged 85 on 28 December 1999, after having suffered a heart attack at his home in West Hills, California. He had short brown hair and brown eyes, his height was 6ft 1in (1.85m), and he weighed around 175lbs (80kgs).
At the time of his death, Clayton’s net worth was estimated at over $1 million.