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Western Star Monte Hale Dies

Celluloid cowboy was a familiar face in Newhall canyons and movie ranches.

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Singing cowboy Monte Hale, a 1985/86 honoree in Newhall’s Walk of Western Stars, died at his Studio City home on Sunday after a long illness.

The Western star had a 60-year career in entertainment. His first picture, “The Big Bonanza” (1944) led to a contract with Republic Pictures and a role in Republic’s first color film.

 

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Singing Cowboy Monte Hale

 

He went on to work in features such as “Giant” with James Dean and television series “Gunsmoke” and “Tales of Wells Fargo.”

Hale often filmed in the canyons and on the movie ranches in Newhall, earning him a bronze saddle on the downtown Newhall tribute. Nine years later, he was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Hale worked closely with Gene Autry and the two became close friends. Hale and his wife, Joanne, partnered with Gene and Jackie Autry to establish the Autry Museum of Western Heritage in Griffith Park in 1988, where Autry’s extensive collection of memorabilia and Western artifacts were finally put on display.