Hal Taliaferro

1895 - 1980

American actor who starred in silent Westerns under one name, then moved into character roles and bit parts under another. Born Floyd Taliaferro Alderson in Sheridan, Wyoming, and raised on a ranch in Rosebud County, Montana, he became an expert horseman. He served in World War I, then traveled to California. After getting work as a wrangler for Universal Pictures, he entered films as an extra in 1915. By the 1920s he was starring in silent Westerns under the stage name Wally Wales. His career declined, and in the mid-1930s, he changed to a new stage name, Hal Taliaferro, and worked in supporting roles and even bit parts for the rest of his career, primarily in Westerns. In the 1950s, he retired to his family's property in Montana (then and now known as the Bones Brothers Ranch). He devoted himself to landscape painting until a series of strokes debilitated him. He died in a nursing home in his birthplace, Sheridan, Wyoming, in 1980. His papers are archived at the University of Wyoming

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