|Tom with Andy Shuford in "A Rider of the Plains"|
William Andrew Shuford on December 16, 1919 in Helena, Arkansas, Andy was best known for his roles in “Law of the North” (1932) and “A Rider of the Plains” (1931). Andy’s first film appearance was in a Little Rascals short, “Ten Years Old” in 1927. Prior to working with Tom Tyler, he was an established child star in his own right, appearing in “The Big Trail” (1930) and “The Great Meadow” (1931). Andy played Tom’s partner Silent Sandy in “A Rider of the Plains” (1931) – so named due to his tendency to talk too much when he was not supposed to. Consequently, his mouth tended to get him into trouble. Tom remained firm with him at all times in bringing him up, for he plays a parental role to Sandy in this movie and is not just a “big pal” to the boy. Andy’s last movie appearance was in “The Mayor of Hell” (1933), which starred James Cagney. When he joined the United States Army Air Corps during World War 2, Andy left his film career behind, becoming a highly decorated pilot and achieving the rank of colonel. Andy Shuford died on May 19, 1995 at the age of 77 in Monteagle, Tennessee.
Robert John Nelson was born on January 17, 1922 in Sana Monica, California. Acting came naturally to Bobby, the son of a silent film star and director, Jack Nelson. Bobby’s first film role came in 1926 at the age of four in the silent film “Beyond the Rockies”. His onscreen personality and charm soon led to further roles in movies, such as “Tarzan the Mighty” (1928), “Oliver Twist” (1933), and the Gene Autry film serial, “The Phantom Empire” (1935). As Danny in “Two Fisted Justice”, nine-year-old Bobby played an orphan who lost his guardians to an Indian attack, taken in by Kentucky Carson (Tom Tyler). Witnessing a murder, Danny risks losing his beloved dog Sagebrush. Very reminiscent of the silent films Tom Tyler made with Frankie Darro, who was sometimes characterized as being an orphan, Bobby’s performance was worthy of a juvenile Oscar, had the award existed in 1931 (it was introduced in 1934). But this was not Bobby’s only appearance with Tom Tyler; he also had a role as Ezra Podge in Chapter 4 of “Battling with Buffalo Bill”, also released in 1931. Bobby’s last film role was in “The Boothill Brigade” (1937), and five years later in 1942, joined the Army during World War 2. His military career lasted four years before he was discharged in 1946. As an adult, he was a public accountant. Sadly, Bobby died at the young age of 52 on December 5, 1974 in Los Angeles.
Honorary mention: the adorable moppet named Bill in “Single Handed Saunders” who brings his broken wagon to Tom the Blacksmith to fix. Bill appears to have either light brown or possibly red hair. Unfortunately this young actor’s name is not credited nor mentioned anywhere on IMDB or elsewhere. If anyone knows his name, please send it to me so I can add it. Thank you!
April 21, 2020 - We have a name for this little boy! Noel Newhard, age 3 in the screencap below. His father Guy Newhard was a film actor and camera man who had a minor role as a cowboy in "Single Handed Saunders". Many thanks to JimmieFan at Nitrateville for helping to identify this young man! Read more about Noel and his father in the article given to me by JimmieFan here.