Sunset Carson

Highest Rated: 75% Rio Grande (1950)
Lowest Rated: 75% Rio Grande (1950)
Birthday: Nov 12, 1920
Birthplace: Not Available
At the height of his screen career (1945-1946) American Western star Sunset Carson ranked an impressive eighth in a national B-Western popularity poll, beating out most of the old-timers who had been around since the silent days. Handsome and boasting quite a following among female audience members -- a rarity in the field of action adventures -- Carson, alas, was also perhaps the era's least impressive thespian and his time in the sun proved brief. Born Winifred Maurice Harrison, the future star claimed to have been named "All Around Champion Cowboy of South America" in 1942, but like the earlier Tom Mix, Carson was no stranger to exaggerations. He was billed plain Michael Harrison in his first two films, the all-star Stage Door Canteen (1943) -- in which he figured prominently in the wrap-around story -- and Janie (1944). Signed by genre specialist Republic Pictures, the youngster was given a new moniker, Sunset Carson, and co-starred with former Gene Autry protégé Smiley Burnette in four well-received low-budget Westerns. Despite his lack of acting prowess, Carson looked great on a horse and was awarded his own series, beginning with Sheriff of Cimarron (1945), directed by stunt expert Yakima Canutt. The Sunset Carson vehicles benefited from generally good production values, pretty leading ladies who could also act (Linda Stirling and Peggy Stewart), and such solid character villains as Roy Barcroft and Kenne Duncan. Carson's uneasiness with dialogue, however, did not bode well for longevity and he was summarily fired by company boss Herbert I. Yates after reportedly showing up at a studio function inebriated and with an underage girl on his arm. There would be a very low-budget series released by a company known as Yucca Productions ("Yucca is right!" as Western film historian Don Miller once put it), but Carson was basically a finished man in Hollywood after leaving Republic. He would turn up in a couple of barely released low-budget films -- including the wretched sci-fi opus Alien Outlaw (1985) which also featured his successor at Republic, Lash LaRue -- and was a frequent guest at B-Western fairs. But Carson is today perhaps best remembered as the host of Six Gun Heroes, a series of B-Western revivals broadcast in the early '80s by a South Carolina public television station. A great deal heavier and still having trouble delivering lines, Carson was nevertheless the real McCoy and the show remained successful for years.

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

CREDIT
No Score Yet Seabo Actor 1978
No Score Yet Alien Outlaw Actor 1976
75% Rio Grande Actor 1950
No Score Yet Battling Marshal Actor 1950
No Score Yet Sunset Carson Rides Again Actor 1948
No Score Yet Fighting Mustang Sunset Carson 1948
No Score Yet Alias Billy the Kid Sunset Carson 1946
No Score Yet Bells of Rosarita Sunset Carson 1945
No Score Yet Janie Sgt. Carl 1944
No Score Yet Code of the Prairie Sunset Carson 1944
No Score Yet Call of the Rockies Actor 1944
No Score Yet Stage Door Canteen `Texas' 1943

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