- Birth name:
- Jack Carlton Moore
- Date of Birth:
- 28 December 1914 Chicago, Illinois, USA (some sources say 1908
- 6' 1" (1.85 m)
Clayton Moore grew up in Illinois and was a circus acrobat at the age of eight. He would work his way up to aerialist with two circuses and also appear at the 1934 World's Fair. He then went to New York, where he found work as a male model. Hollywood was his next stop and he entered films in 1938 as a bit player and stuntman. In 1940, at the suggestion of producer Edward Small, he changed his first name to Clayton. He appeared in "B" pictures and serials through 1942, then entered the military. After the war he returned to these supporting roles while concentrating on westerns. By 1949 he was playing the "Masked Man", but that man was Zorro in Ghost of Zorro (1949). In 1949 he was hired to appear in "The Lone Ranger" (1949), the television version of the long-running radio show. One thing he had to do was to work on his voice so that he sounded like the radio Lone Ranger. When he got that right, he became famous, along with Tonto, on the small screen. He was The Lone Ranger from 1949 to 1952, when he was fired in a salary dispute. Along with William Boyd ("Hopalong Cassidy"), Moore was one of the most popular TV western stars of the era. He was replaced by John Hart, but Hart's tenure was terminated after one season. It was during his time away from the TV show that Moore returned to the big screen to continue his movie career with such memorable movies as Radar Men from the Moon (1952) and Jungle Drums of Africa (1953). Hired back to the series, at a higher salary, Moore remained as The Lone Ranger until the series ended in 1957, after 169 episodes. He appeared in two color big-screen movies continuations of that character, in The Lone Ranger (1956) and The Lone Ranger and the Lost City of Gold (1958). After a lifetime of "B" movie parts, Clayton Moore finally found success in a TV series and continued to make commercials and personal appearances as "The Lone Ranger" for the next three decades. At his appearances, he preached the Ranger's Code of good behavior, which he also practiced, and that image was never tarnished by the types of personal scandals that often affected other stars. In 1975 the Wrather Corp., which owned the series and the rights to the title character, got a court order to stop Moore from appearing in public as "The Lone Ranger". The company planned to film a new big-screen movie of the popular hero and did not want the public to confuse its new star with the old one. It would be the only screen appearance for Clinton Spilsbury , this "new Lone Ranger". Although appearing rugged and good looking in the "umasked" sequence , his voice projected so poorly it was overdubbed by a more gifted speaker.The film was one of the biggest flops of the 1980s, however, and Moore was given permission to again appear as "The Lone Ranger". From 1982-1999 Clayton Moore appeared as Jerry Potter, often but not always as a bearded character, as he had done previously in several episodes of " The Lone Ranger" (1949-1957).