Monday, August 7, 2017


We continue this month-long look at the historical portrayals from 'Death Valley Days' with the stagecoach robber who called himself "the Po8".....


From Wikipedia:
Charles Earl Boles (b. 1829; d. after 1888), also known as Black Bart, was an English-born outlaw noted for the poetic messages he left behind after two of his robberies. Often called Charley by his friends, he was also known as Charles Bolton, C.E. Bolton and Black Bart the Poet.  Considered a gentleman bandit with a reputation for style and sophistication, he was one of the most notorious stagecoach robbers to operate in and around Northern California and southern Oregon during the 1870s and 1880s.

Don Beddoe was a yeoman character actor, always dependable but not always given at least a moment to shine in support.  But here he was the center of attention and made good use of it playing this colorful outlaw.  I would not be surprised to find that the televersion of Black Bart was an inspiration to many in Batman's Rogue's Gallery back in the 1960s.

As a big fan of such character actors, I'm glad to note that Mr. Beddoe can claim to be THE Black Bart for the main Toobworld (despite a few historical inaccuracies).  There have been plenty of portrayals of the poetic outlaw in the Cineverse, (not counting the Sheriff of Rock Ridge - see "Snatch"), but in the greater TV Universe there were only two other actors to assay the role:

Played by Peter J. Brown

But that's the type of program better suited for the alternate dimension of Docu-Toobworld.  And the actor was far too young to be an accurate depiction (or even as close to possible.)

This Black Bart looks like he spent more time watching Spaghetti Westerns than he did writing poetry.....

As for the other one he was to be found in the main Toobworld, not that it helped him much....


He may have claimed to be Black Bart, but just as it was with all of the other members of that gang - Belle Starr, Sam Bass, Billy the Kid and the others - he was an escapee from a local asylum with delusions of ill-gotten grandeur.  (I covered all of this in "The Bubbly Springs Gang".)

So here's to Black Bart, Charles Bolton, also known as "The Po8".

And a tip of the bowler to Don Beddoe as well!

Happy trails to you......

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