Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Tom Mix

“Husked corn in the field this forenoon.  Drew in two loads of corn and one load of pumpkins this afternoon.”

Tom Mix, 1925
Thomas Edwin "Tom" Mix (born Thomas Hezikiah Mix; January 6, 1880 – October 12, 1940) was an American film actor and the star of many early Western movies. He made a reported 336 films between 1910 and 1935, all but nine of which were silent features. He was Hollywood’s first Western megastar and is noted as having helped define the genre for all cowboy actors who followed.
On the afternoon of October 12, 1940, Mix was driving his 1937 Cord 812 Phaeton near Florence, Arizona, (between Tucson and Phoenix) on Arizona State Route 79. Mix had been visiting Pima County Sheriff Ed Nichols in Tucson, and had stopped at The Oracle Junction Inn, a popular gambling and drinking establishment, where he had called and spoken with his agent, when he came upon construction barriers at a bridge previously washed away by a flash flood. A work crew watched as he was unable to brake in time, and his car swerved twice then rolled into a gully, pinning his body beneath. A large polished aluminum suitcase containing a large sum of money, traveler's checks and jewels, which he had placed on the package shelf behind him flew forward and struck Mix in the back of the head, shattering his skull and breaking his neck. The 60-year-old actor was killed almost instantly. Eyewitnesses said Mix was traveling at 80 mph before the accident.
A small stone memorial marks the site of his death on State Route 79, and the nearby gully is named "Tom Mix Wash". The plaque on the marker bears the inscription: "In memory of Tom Mix whose spirit left his body on this spot and whose characterization and portrayals in life served to better fix memories of the old West in the minds of living men." Mix is interred in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California.

Leesah

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