I. Stanford Jolley

Isaac Stanford Jolley (October 24, 1900 December 7, 1978) was an American character actor of film and television, primarily in western roles as cowboys, law-enforcement officers, or villains. Recognized by his slight build, narrow face, and pencil-thin moustache, Jolley appeared some five hundred times on the large or small screen.[1]

I. Stanford Jolley
I. Stanford Jolley in The Violent Years (1956)
Isaac Stanford Jolley

(1900-10-24)October 24, 1900
DiedDecember 7, 1978(1978-12-07) (aged 78)
Resting placeForest Lawn Memorial Park, Hollywood Hills, California, U.S.
Years active1935-1976
Spouse(s)Emily Mae Jolley

Early years

Isaac Stanford Jolley was born in a circus trailer in Elizabeth, New Jersey, while the circus owned by his father had a three-day stop there.[2] Jolley toured as a child with his father's traveling circus and worked in vaudeville. He was a student of the Edward Clark Academy Theater.[3]


Jolley first performed on Broadway in 1924 opposite Charles Trowbridge in Sweet Seventeen.[4]

Film roles

Jolley worked in radio until he performed his first uncredited part in the 1935 Bette Davis film, Front Page Woman. He appeared in twenty-five films for Republic Pictures between 1936 and 1954, but he was never under contract to the studio. According to his wife, he never earned more than $100 on any of his multiple film appearances.[1]

Appearing in scores of films, mostly Westerns, Jolley was cast in 1940 as Molotoff in Chasing Trouble, with other performers in the comedy/espionage film including western actors Milburn Stone and Tristram Coffin. In 1942, he was cast as Gil Harkness in the western Outlaws of Boulder Pass. In 1944, he was cast as Saladin in the swashbuckling "Western" set in the Middle East, The Desert Hawk, and as Bart Kern in the Tex Ritter film, Gangsters of the Frontier.[5]

In 1946, he portrayed Dr. Blackton in The Crimson Ghost and also did the voice of the undefined title character.[6] In 1948, Jolley was cast as the loan shark Rance Carson in Tex Granger, Midnight Rider of the Plains. In 1949, Jolley appeared as Professor Bryant in King of the Rocket Men. That same year, he was cast as Mark Simmons in Trouble at Melody Mesa. He appeared as Toad Tyler in 1949s Rimfire. In 1950, Jolley was cast as J.B. "Dude" Dawson in the low-budgeted Republic Pictures film serial, Desperadoes of the West.[5]

Also in 1950 he appeared as "Snake Willens" in the Audie Murphy western Sierra. In 1951, he was cast as Sam Fleming in Oklahoma Justice, with Johnny Mack Brown, with whom he had also appeared in Silver Range, and as Zorol in the Columbia Pictures serial, Captain Video: Master of the Stratosphere, starring Judd Holdren as Captain Video. In 1953, he appeared as Ted in the Audie Murphy and Lee Van Cleef film Tumbleweed.[5]

That same year, Jolley appeared as Rocky in the western film, Son of Belle Starr, a drama about Starr's son, "The Kid" or Ed Reed, played by Keith Larsen, who attempts to lead an upright life despite his family background. In 1954, he played the stationmaster in Vermont in the Bing Crosby/Danny Kaye Christmas classic White Christmas. In 1956, Jolley appeared as Henry Longtree in the short film I Killed Wild Bill Hickok.[5]

Television roles

From 1950 to 1953, Jolley first appeared on television with six castings in different role in the series, The Lone Ranger reuniting him with his Crimson Ghost co-star Clayton Moore. He appeared twice in 1953 in the syndicated western series, The Range Rider. He made two appearances as Parker in Tales of the Texas Rangers, with series stars Willard Parker and Harry Lauter. Jolley guest starred as the henchman Walt, along with Clayton Moore and Darryl Hickman in the 1954 episode "Annie Gets Her Man" of the syndicated Western, Annie Oakley. He appeared as Sheriff Bascom in the 1954 episode "Black Bart" of Stories of the Century.[5]

In 1958, Jolley appeared on ABC's Walt Disney Presents in the role of Sheriff Adams in the episode "Law and Order, Incorporated", with Robert Loggia as Elfego Baca. His then 32-year-old son, Stan Jolley, was the art director of the segment.[7] Others in the episode were former child actor Skip Homeier and Raymond Bailey, later the banker Milburn Drysdale of CBS's The Beverly Hillbillies.[8]

Jolley soon appeared multiple times on a wide range of other western series, including, The Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok (three times), The Cisco Kid (ten), Tales of the Texas Rangers (twice), Sergeant Preston of the Yukon (twice), The Roy Rogers Show (three), The Gene Autry Show (four), Sky King (four), Death Valley Days (five), 26 Men (five appearances, again with Tristram Coffin, the series star), Wanted Dead or Alive (two), Bronco (twice), Tales of Wells Fargo (twice), The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp (six), Maverick (six), Lawman (six), Cheyenne (seven), Rawhide (five), Wagon Train (ten), The Virginian (two), Daniel Boone (two), Laredo (two), The Big Valley (three), Bonanza (eight), and Gunsmoke (nine).[5]

Jolley appeared as the shrewd businessman Phineas Colby in the 1955 episode, "California's First Ice Man" of the western television anthology series, Death Valley Days, hosted by Stanley Andrews. In the story line, Peter Jeffries (Rhodes Reason) turns to the importation of ice from his native Boston, Massachusetts, rather than exploration of gold, to revive his lost family fortune. Meanwhile, Jeffries is courting Colby's niece, Laura Colby (Donna Drew), who acts as a nurse seeking ice to relieve suffering of her patients in the heat of summer.[9]

In 1957, he appeared once on Sugarfoot as "The Nighthawk", in the episode "Reluctant Hero". In 1958, he was cast in the episode "The Horse Nobody Wanted" of the NBC children's western series, Fury, starring Peter Graves and Bobby Diamond. In 1959, he was cast as Beriah Jackson in the episode "Contest at Gold Bottom" of the ABC/Warner Brothers western series, The Alaskans.[5]

In 1960, he guest starred as the Indian named Singing Arrow in the series finale, "The Search," of the syndicated western, Pony Express, with Grant Sullivan.[10] In 1962, he was cast as The Stranger in the episode "Quarantine" of the NBC western series, The Tall Man, starring Barry Sullivan, and Clu Gulager.[5]

In 1965, Jolley appeared as Enos Scoggins in "The Greatest Coward on Earth" of the Chuck Connors series, Branded. He had also appeared with Connors on ABC's The Rifleman in one of the last episodes of the series in 1963 in the role of Joe Fogner in "Hostages to Fortune" (1963). He appeared four times in 1956 in archival footage on the children's western The Gabby Hayes Show.[5]

In 1966, Jolley appeared on the show F Troop as Colonel Ferguson in the episode "Survival of the Fittest". Jolley's last Western roles were in 1976: as (1) a farmer in ABC's The Macahans, the pilot of James Arness's second western series, How the West Was Won,[11] and as (2) a drunkard in the short-lived Tim Matheson and Kurt Russell series The Quest.[5]

Jolley's non-western appearances included The Adventures of Superman (twice), Perry Mason (twice), The Untouchables as Pete Laffey in "The Man in the Cooler", Profiles in Courage in the episode "Andrew Johnson" (with Walter Matthau in the title role), Man with a Camera as Dr. Ben Todd in "The Killer", Mr. and Mrs. North as Harry in "The Ungrateful Killer", and in Johnny Weissmuller's Jungle Jim as Bremer in "Voodoo Drums".[5]

Personal life and legacy

Jolley and his wife, Emily (1901–2003)[12] had two children: Stan Jolley (1926-2012) and Sandra Jolley Carson (1919–1986). Sandra, originally an Earl Carroll showgirl, was married to actors Forrest Tucker (divorced) and Jack Carson (widowed).[7]


Jolley died of emphysema in 1978 at the Motion Picture Country Hospital[1] in Woodland Hills, California. He was survived by his wife, a son, a daughter, and three granddaughters.[13]

His wife died in the same facility in 2003.[7] The Jolleys are interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles, California.[14]

Selected filmography


  1. "Hans J. Wolstein, "I. Stanford Jolley"". movies.amctv.com. Retrieved February 6, 2010.
  2. "Jolley of 'Cheyenne' Born Amid Circus". Courier-Post. New Jersey, Camden. January 3, 1959. p. 22. Retrieved February 20, 2018 via Newspapers.com.
  3. "Clark Pupils Win Roles". The Los Angeles Times. California, Los Angeles. January 29, 1939. p. Part II-a-7. Retrieved February 20, 2018 via Newspapers.com.
  4. "("Stanford Jolley" search results)". Internet Broadway Database. The Broadway League. Archived from the original on 20 February 2018. Retrieved 20 February 2018.
  5. "I. Stanford Jolley". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved February 6, 2010.
  6. "Memories". b-westerns.com. Retrieved February 6, 2010.
  7. "I. Stanford "Stan" Jolley". reelzchannel.com. Archived from the original on November 21, 2008. Retrieved February 6, 2010.
  8. "The Nine Lives of Elfego Baca". Classic Television Archives. Retrieved February 6, 2010.
  9. "California's First Ice Man on Death Valley Days". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved August 20, 2018.
  10. "Pony Express". Classic Television Archives. Retrieved January 30, 2013.
  11. "I. Stanford Jolley". reelzchannel.com. Archived from the original on November 21, 2008. Retrieved February 6, 2010.
  12. "Social Security Death Index". ssdi.rootsweb.ancestry.com. Retrieved February 6, 2010.
  13. "Rites for Actor I.S. Jolley Set". The Los Angeles Times. California, Los Angeles. December 8, 1978. p. Part II-20. Retrieved February 20, 2018 via Newspapers.com.
  14. "I. Stanford Jolley". findagrave.com. Retrieved February 6, 2010.
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