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Lane Chandler, 1930s
|Born||Robert Chandler Oakes
June 4, 1901
Culbertson, Montana, U.S.
|Died||September 14, 1972
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
He was born as Robert Chandler Oakes on a ranch near Culbertson, Montana, the son of a horse rancher. At an early age, the family relocated to Helena, Montana, where he graduated from high school. He briefly attended Montana Wesleyan College (which later merged and became part of Rocky Mountain College), but quit to drive a tour bus at Yellowstone National Park.
In the early 1920s he moved to Los Angeles, California, and started working as an auto mechanic. His real-life experiences growing up on a horse ranch landed him bit parts in westerns from 1925, for Paramount Pictures. Studio executives suggested changing his name to Lane Chandler, and as such he began achieving leading roles opposite stars like Clara Bow, Greta Garbo, Betty Bronson and Esther Ralston. His first lead role was in The Legion of the Condemned.
As a silent film star Chandler performed well, but when talkies arrived he was cast more in supporting roles, as in The Great Mike of 1944. He starred in a few low-budget westerns in the 1930s, but was more often cast as the leading man's partner, or saddle pal, or a sheriff or army officer. With the advent of television Chandler began making appearance on numerous series, often making appearances in Westerns such as The Lone Ranger, The Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok, Lawman, Have Gun – Will Travel, Rawhide, Maverick, Cheyenne, and Gunsmoke. He continued acting on TV and in films through 1966, retiring comfortably due to his holdings in both residential and commercial properties.
He died in Los Angeles of heart disease in 1972, aged 73.