Russell Hayden

Russell "Lucky" Hayden (June 12, 1912 in Chico, California – June 9, 1981 in Palm Springs, California) was an American film and television actor. He is best known for his portrayal as Lucky Jenkins in Paramount's popular Hopalong Cassidy film series.

Russell "Lucky" Hayden
Lobby card for the film Seven Were Saved (1947) with Russell Hayden, Catherine Craig, and Richard Denning
Hayden Michael Lucid

(1912-06-12)June 12, 1912
DiedJune 9, 1981(1981-06-09) (aged 68)
Palm Springs, California, U.S.
Resting placeOakwood Memorial Park Cemetery in Chatsworth, California
Years active19371963
Spouse(s)Jan Clayton (1938–1943) (divorced)
Lillian Porter (1946-1981) (his death)[1]

He was born as Hayden Michael "Pate" Lucid, son of Francis J. Lucid and the former Minnie Harvey. He later took the name Russell Hayden to honor a friend, cameraman Russell Harlan.

Life and career

Hayden worked behind the scenes in films in jobs such as sound recorder, film cutter, and assistant cameraman before he became an actor in the mid-1930s. At the beginning of his acting career, he mainly starred in Westerns and was voted one of the Top Ten cowboy stars.

Hayden's screen debut was in Hills of Old Wyoming (1937), a Hopalong Cassidy film.[2] In 27 films,[3] he played Lucky Jenkins,[2] one of a trio of heroes in the Cassidy westerns starring William Boyd, then co-starred with Charles Starrett in other westerns. In 1947, he played both the main hero and villain in the film Trail of the Mounties.

In 1950, Hayden appeared as "Marshal #1" in several episodes of the live-broadcast and short-lived ABC series The Marshal of Gunsight Pass.

In the 1952–1953 season, Hayden teamed with Jackie Coogan, a former child actor in the 39-episode syndicated series Cowboy G-Men.

In the late 1950s, he produced and directed through his Quintet Productions two syndicated western series, 26 Men,[4] black-and-white program starring Tristram Coffin, and Judge Roy Bean, a color production, with Edgar Buchanan, Jack Buetel, and Jackie Loughery. Hayden also appeared himself as Steve, a Texas Ranger, in twelve episodes of Judge Roy Bean, a family-oriented program considered at odds with the real Roy Bean.[5]

Hayden and fellow western actor Dick Curtis helped to develop Pioneertown, a western movie set near Palm Springs, which has been used in western films and television episodes.

Hayden was married from 1938 to 1943 to actress Jan Clayton, who was later cast as the first mother on the Lassie television series on CBS. The couple had a daughter, Sandra Hayden (1940–1956). In 1946 Hayden wed screen actress Lillian Porter, who retired from pictures. The Haydens remained happily married until his death in 1981.

Hayden is interred at Oakwood Memorial Park Cemetery in Chatsworth, California.


  2. Pando, Leo (2007). An Illustrated History of Trigger: The Lives and Legend of Roy Rogers' Palomino. McFarland. p. 110. ISBN 9780786486649. Retrieved 24 November 2016.
  3. Driscoll, Jim (2008). REFLECTIONS OF A B- MOVIE JUNKIE: A tribute to, and homage of, the B-Movie genre films of the Saturday Matinees, of primarily the '40s and '50s. Xlibris Corporation. p. 90. ISBN 9781462838202. Retrieved 24 November 2016.
  4. Erickson, Hal (1989). Syndicated Television: The First Forty Years, 1947-1987. McFarland & Company, Inc. ISBN 0-7864-1198-8. P. 101.
  5. Billy Hathorn, "Roy Bean, Temple Houston, Bill Longley, Ranald Mackenzie, Buffalo Bill, Jr., and the Texas Rangers: Depictions of West Texans in Series Television, 1955 to 1967", West Texas Historical Review, Vol. 89 (2013), pp. 109–110
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