2/8/2010: Sad news. Bobby Hoy passed away early this morning. He leaves a loving family and a legion of friends and colleagues who will miss him greatly. R.I.P. Here us a link to his obit in the L.A. Times.

It was my distinct privilege to attend the Golden Boot Award ceremony last week that honored Bobby Hoy.

The Golden Boot is the most prestigious Western genre award that recognizes the elite of that special fraternity of actors, stuntmen, writers, directors who contributed significantly to the Western tradition in films and television.

Here’s a link that provides more detail about the legacy of the Golden Boot Award.

It is disheartening to realize that the ranks of this exclusive alliance are becoming increasingly thinned by the inexorable march of time. For those of us who grew up during the 50’s and 60’s, the Western experience, especially on television, was an important part of our lives. I was advised that it was uncertain that there even was going to be another Golden Boot ceremony.

Thanks to the Golden Boot fraternity, rallying round, there was one more . . .  and it was for Bobby Hoy.

For those who are not familiar with Bobby’s work, he is a legendary stuntman and actor with over sixty years in films and television. Bob’s big screen credits include: A Star is Born, Man of a Thousand Faces, The Defiant Ones, Operation Petticoat and Spartacus.

Beginning with Ambush in 1950, Bob performed stunts and/or acted in a plethora of oaters and appeared in just about every Western television series over the last half century, including creating the role of Joe Butler during the four year run of The High Chaparral.

As Robert Fuller (Wagon Train, Laramie) said as he handed the Golden Boot Award to Bobby, “When Bobby was on the set, you knew that there was going to be no problems with the horses or the stunts.”

For more about Bobby’s career, here’s a link to his website

Bobby is also a special pal. I met him during the outset of my Charles McGraw biography odyssey. McGraw’s significant other, Millie Black, told me if I wanted to know more about Charlie: “Go find Bobby. He was like Charlie’s kid brother”. I contacted Bobby and we spent the better part of a day in a Tarzana coffee shop. He regaled me with wonderful stories about McGraw along with numerous anecdotes about the famous (and infamous) who worked in movies and television when Studio City was a tavern-laden hamlet wholly sustained by show biz folk. We subsequently became friends and lunched regularly at Cafe 50’s while taking in some of the vintage films screened at the Egyptian Theatre. There wouldn’t have been much of a Charles McGraw tome without Bobby’s contributions. He’s a prince of a fellow and it was a joy to witness his long-overdue moment of peer recognition.

Here are some pictures from the Golden Boot Award event courtesy of photographer Kelly Chippendale

group photo of golden boot award ceremony for Bobby Hoy 2010

Here’s a group of the Golden Boot Fraternity. Morgan Woodward is in the foreground (in white hat and crutches – remember him as the prison guard who snuffed out Paul Newman in Cool Hand Luke) second from right. A couple people down from Morgan with the white beard is Gregg Palmer (Magnificent Obsession, The Creature Walks Among Us among hundreds of other credits, most of them Westerns).

group photo of golden boot award ceremony for Bobby Hoy

Another group shot with Bobby’s wife, Kiva (one of the all-time Earth bound angels) in the center sitting on the lap of legendary tough guy actor William Smith whose career began as a boy extra in The Ghost of Frankenstein (1942) and, over 275 film and television credits later – according to IMDb – continues working into 2010.  There’s Robert Forster, second from the right.

Here’s the poster that everyone signed for Bobby.

bobby hoy perlmutter

Here’s a still of Bobby from The Legend of The Lone Ranger (1981). Don’t ask me what the flowers are for.

golden boot 4

Finally, here is yours truly flanked by two close friends of Bobby. Shirley – she’s the pretty one on the left – is a jewel. Although I knew Shirley previously, I was surprised to discover that she was the younger sister of the late actress Constance Moore. Beauty runs in the family.