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I have loved Westerns on television and movies since I was a boy. My grandparents, born in 1883 and 1886, told me about taking my aunt to see The Buffalo Bill Wild West Show when it came to town in 1911. With my toy rifle, I would crawl on my stomach in the pasture to hunt buffalo that looked remarkably like Holsteins.

My favorite television show was Gunsmoke, and I wanted their autographs early on in collecting (while the show was still on the air). There were a lot of Western collectors years ago, and a few of us still survive. Many of these stars in the following collection did horror, science fiction, comedies, dramas, and action movies.

While the Bud Perkins collection might never reach the historical size of a Kuflik, Verzi, Gold, Forrest, Geller, Hanson, Kuster, or Zane collection, it is nonetheless significant. A seller recently listed a large portion of Bud's collection on eBay. Bud lived in Maryland, and most of his collecting was through the mail. 

A friend alerted me to the sale, and I am very grateful to him for that. He sent me a link to a bookseller in the UK that had Bud's book for sale. Seeing that it came back to me, I bought that book probably in 1977 or 1978. I had forgotten all about the book, or a booklet is more precise. I also remembered Bud's name when I saw the title in the online book listing. When I bought the book, I thought it would be a history of Westerns. It was disappointing because it comprised photographs of about 128 Western stars from Silent Days up to the 1960s. They were in alphabetical order, going from Art Alcard to a sinister-looking Morgan Woodward.

I looked it over several times and stuck it in one of my bookcases to gather dust. Except for a brief foreword and acknowledgments, there is no text, only the names of the actors/actresses. Many of them show the autographed inscriptions to Bud. Bud stated in his acknowledgments that over 400 celebrities had helped with the book. Although he wrote to over 400, not all are in the book. His choice of subjects is a bit puzzling, and I imagine they reflect Bud's interest in particular movies or shows. I suspect that he may have intended to do other books but, to the best of my knowledge, did not.

The book was Bud's vision; I will not be too critical of it since it was a labor of love. Most subjects are in Western garb, with a few exceptions like Gregory Peck. There are some non-actors, such as John Ford and A. C. Lyles. One might be surprised to learn that one of the photographs is of Moe Howard, who did some western-related shorts and the movie The Outlaws Is Coming. I would not classify him as a "Western" actor, though. Remarkably, many of the actors were still living when Bud first started collecting them in the 1950s or perhaps a bit before. One actor was amazed he was tracked down (remember, these were pre-internet days) and asked Bud how he managed to do it! All seemed flattered to be considered for his book. The great Ken Maynard even asked where the still Bud sent came from and, since his wife had "taken a fancy to it," if he could get a print of it. Some wrote relatively long letters, and he talked to some on the telephone. An old collector's trick of days gone by was to get a hold of some California telephone books!

The following is the list of actors and actresses who appear in the book those with an ** have autographs that show on the photo. I missed a few because sometimes the autographs in the book are so faint. I now realize I was mistaken in my initial disappointment in the book, and I thank Bud (God rest his soul) for creating it. His book is now a valuable resource for the provenance of the signed photographs.

Art Acord

Philip Ahm**

Rex Allen**

Billy Anderson, aka "Bronco Billy"**

James Arness **

Gene Autry

Jackson Beck**

Spencer Gordon Bennett**

Joe Bonomo**

James Brown**

Johnny Mack Brown**

John Carroll**

Lane Chandler**

Jeanne Cooper**

Tex Cooper**

Buster Crabbe**

Bing Crosby**

Michael Dante**

Gail Davis**

Jack Elam**

Edward Finney (Producer)**

Dick Foran**

John Ford (Director)**

Fred Foy**

Fred Graham**

Dorothy Granger**

Dorothy Gulliver**

Reed Hadley**

John Hart**

Raymond Hatton**

Buzzy Henry**

Riley Hill**

Jennifer Holt**

Moe Howard**

Ben Johnson**

Dick Jones**

A. C. Lyles (Producer)**

Ian MacDonald**

Jock Mahoney**

Ted Mapes**

Christine McIntyre**

Tom Monroe**

Clayton Moore**

Noel Neill**

Dave O'Brien (with Tex Ritter)**

Gregg Palmer **

Gregory Peck**

Jack Perrin**

Mike Ragan**

Rodd Redwing**

Keith Richards**

Tex Ritter**

Roy Rogers

Ceasar Romero**

John "Lawman" Russell**

Syd Saylor

R. G. "Bud" Springstein (Producer)**

Bob Steele (later played Duffy on F-Troop)**

Peggy Stewart**

Linda Stirling**

Hal Taliaferro**

Jim Thorpe

Thundercloud and Lee Powell (From the old Lone Ranger serial 1930s)

Tom Tyler

Jimmy Wakely with Lasses White and John James

Harry Woods with Frank Ellis and Slim Whitaker

Morgan Woodward**

If anyone has any of the Bud Perkins Collection, please feel free to post it here, and I will look to see if it is the one in the book.

Tags: Bud, Movies, Perkins, Television, Western

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Replies to This Discussion

Nice job, Scott......great tribute to one of the "old timers"!


Nicely written and very interesting! You know your stuff, my friend. I'll be watching for more of your posts.


Hey, thank you Dale I appreciate the kind words my friend.

Thank you I appreciate that a lot.

WALTER REED (1916-2001) a character actor in both movies and television.  He was in shows like The Twilight Zone, Batman, The Adventures of Superman, Tales of the Wells Fargo, and many others.  Reed appeared in many westerns and Sci-Fi movies like How to Make a Monster, Superman and the Mole Men, and Flying Disk Man From Mars.  This photograph is one of the hundreds that Bud Perkins collected.  This particular one is not in the book.

LESLIE NIELSEN (1926-2010) began life playing very serious dramatic roles in movies such as the Sci-Fi classic FORBIDDEN PLANET and many television westerns.  Nielson was cast as the doctor in the 1980 comedy AIRPLANE creating a new career as a comic actor.    This is a signed magazine page, one of the later autographs Bud Perkins and his wife Joan received.   Obviously, this is not in Bud's book.

A nice find from Bud's stuff....

BUD PERKINS autograph from his book "Reel Westerns."  I have no idea why I did not have him sign my copy when I ordered it.  I bought this copy because it was signed by Bud.  

Cover to Bud Perkins Autograph book "The Reel Westerns" (1976).   



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