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Ted Mapes (November 25, 1901 – September 9, 1984) was an American character actor, who was also a prolific stuntman and body double. Born on November 25, 1901 in St. Edward, Nebraska, he moved to Los Angeles in his mid-20s, and entered the film industry in 1929, first as a grip, and then as a stuntman and actor. He doubled for many famous actors, including Jimmy Stewart and Gary Cooper. His film and television career spanned forty years, during which time he appeared in hundreds of films and television shows, either as an actor, stuntman or body double. After his career in front of the camera ended in 1969, Mapes became an advocate for animal safety in films, working as an observer on sets for the American Humane Association.

Ted Mapes
TedMapesActor.jpg
Born
John Tylor Mapes

(1901-11-25)November 25, 1901
St. Edward, Nebraska, United States
DiedSeptember 9, 1984(1984-09-09) (aged 82)
Burbank, California, United States
OccupationActor, stuntman
Years active1929–69

Early lifeEdit

Born John Tylor Mapes, he grew up on the farm and ranch owned by his father. At some point in his mid-20s, he moved to Los Angeles, where he worked for a moving company. When he was on a job moving John Barrymore's affects off the Samuel Goldwyn studio, he learned that studio grips were making twice his rate of pay. Shortly after he became a grip, working on film crews for the next five years.[1]

Film and television careerEdit

While working as a grip on the 1935 Christy Cabanne film, One Frightened Night, he received his first bit role, that of a masked killer.[2][3] His first official role came later that year, in the drama, The Silent Code.[4] While he would be cast in almost 70 films over the next 25 years, most of those roles were in smaller roles.[5] Mapes spent the rest of the 1930s acting in several film serials, including The Great Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok (for which he also did stunts), which is considered by some as the finest serial ever shot at Columbia Pictures;[6] The Lone Ranger Rides Again, Dick Tracy's G-Men, Zorro's Fighting Legion, Son of Zorro, Adventures of Captain Marvel, and Adventures of Red Ryder. Mapes was up for the lead in Red Ryder, but the role eventually went to Don "Red" Barry.[1]

After being in numerous serials at Republic Pictures, he also found his way into feature films as well, the first of those being The Ranger and the Lady, starring Roy Rogers and Gabby Hayes.[7] Other notable films in which Mapes performed include: Red River Valley, again starring Rogers and Hayes;[8] My Pal Trigger, once more with Rogers and Hayes, but this time also starring Trigger and Dale Evans;[9] the Bob Hope and Jane Russell comedy, The Paleface (1948);[10] Cecil B. DeMille's epic, Samson and Delilah (1949);[11] The Gunfighter (1950), starring Gregory Peck;[12] Winchester '73, starring Jimmy Stewart, Shelley Winters, Dan Duryea, and Stephen McNally;[13] The Far Country, again with Stewart, this time also starring Ruth Roman, Corinne Calvet, and Walter Brennan;[14] and once again in a Stewart film, the classic 1959 romantic comedy, Bell, Book and Candle, also starring Kim Novak.[15]

In addition to his acting, he also became involved as a body double, due to his stunt work. He doubled for many actors, including Charles Starrett, but was more well known for his stand-in work for Jimmy Stewart and Gary Cooper. He was Cooper's stand-in for 17 films (almost half) which Cooper shot between 1943 and Cooper's death in 1961. The first film was 1943's For Whom the Bell Tolls, and the last was The Naked Edge, a thriller released in 1961.[1] Sometimes he would also have a small role in Cooper's film, as in 1948's Unconquered.[16] During this time he also began doubling for Stewart.[17]

With the advent of television, Mapes would appear in dozens of shows, including Hopalong Cassidy, The Cisco Kid, Studio 57, Bat Masterson, Wagon Train, Gunsmoke, and The Virginian. His final performance would be in a small role in the musical, Hello, Dolly!, directed by Gene Kelly.[3]

Later lifeEdit

After retiring from in front of the camera, Mapes worked for the American Humane Association, visiting film sets and overseeing that the animals used in films and television were treated well.[1] Mapes died on September 9, 1984 in Burbank, California.[17]

FilmographyEdit

(Per AFI database)[5]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d "Ted Mapes". Western Clippings. Retrieved May 4, 2015.
  2. ^ "One Frightened Night: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved May 4, 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Ted Mapes". imdb.com. Retrieved May 4, 2015.
  4. ^ "The Silent Code: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved May 4, 2015.
  5. ^ a b "Ted Mapes". American Film Institute. Retrieved May 4, 2015.
  6. ^ Wollstein, Hans J. "Wild Bill Hickok [Serial] (1938)". AllMovie. Retrieved May 4, 2015.
  7. ^ "The Ranger and the Lady: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved May 4, 2015.
  8. ^ "Red River Valley: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved May 4, 2015.
  9. ^ "My Pal Trigger: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved May 4, 2015.
  10. ^ "The Paleface: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved May 4, 2015.
  11. ^ "Samson and Delilah: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved May 4, 2015.
  12. ^ "The Gunfighter: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved May 4, 2015.
  13. ^ "Winchester '73: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved May 4, 2015.
  14. ^ "The Far Country: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved May 4, 2015.
  15. ^ "Bell, Book and Candle: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved May 4, 2015.
  16. ^ "Unconquered: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved May 4, 2015.
  17. ^ a b "The Stunt Men and Women: Ted Mapes". B-Westerns.com. Retrieved May 4, 2015.

External linksEdit