➷ RALPH MOODY ➹
Turn on your radios! It's time to be... Moody!
Okay, you AARP goons--you can stop your bullying tactics
and vicious letter writing campaign.
You demanded it, you're finally getting it,
and the world of seniors will never be the same again!
Grab your hearing aids, turn up the radio volume,
turn down the respirator, hold tight to the sofa arms.
Here it is, ready or not--the online prairie's very first ever...
RALPH MOODY PAGE!!!
How young was Ralph Moody when radio Gunsmoke
hit the airwaves in 1952?
Close enough! Yessiree, he was already well beyond
his 50s in the 1950s, having been born in 1887, Dodge time.
So when can you become a charter member
of the Moody Fan Club?
When you can run a gauntlet of Gunsmoke radio shows
and tell the difference each time between the voices
of Ralph Moody and Joseph Kearns!
Moody and Kearns always played the older male characters
(unless John Dehner was again acting up a storm).
John McIntire showed up now & then to moody up the waters,
but he's much easier to tell from the other two.
It is not known whether Ralph Moody
had any Early American blood.
What is undeniable, however, in that in movies and television,
Moody was more Indian than most Indians--he played one at least 31 times,
and chiefly he portrayed chiefs.
In the first season of The Lone Ranger alone, he played three:
Chief Swift Eagle, Chief White Eagle, and Chief Red Hawk.
Hail to the Chief! Hail to Chief Moody, of Moody Lodge!
If you want to take a gander at Ralph Moody on tv Gunsmoke,
his best appearance was as the blackmith in Friend,
his last Gunsmoke episode.
He was also Harvey in The Bobsy Twins,
and the General in Old Comrade.
Did he ever play an Indian in Gunsmoke? Of course!
Are Indians geographically bipolar? Are medicine men moody?
Of course Ralph Moody played Indians in Gunsmoke.
At his age, this most lovable of guest stars in radio Gunsmoke
could not help but be early and American.
Okay, so he wasn't the right age to play the Indian baby in Indian Baby,
but listen to his Hawk Wing, a good example of his patented
than-the-young-warlike-braves. This was a type that he was to play
many more times in Gunsmoke, and half a dozen times in Fort Laramie.
He would continue the tradition on tv Gunsmoke,
playing Long Robe in Cheyennes, and Joseph-Walks-In-Darkness
in 'Honor Before Justice.'
A refreshing breakaway from the pragmatic & pacified Indian
is in the Fort Laramie episode Gold, where Moody plays
a menacingly angry Red Cloud, infuriated by gold-seekers
violating the treaty and invading sacred areas and hunting grounds.
Almost four years later in the Have Gun-Will Travel episode
'They Told Me You Were Dead,' Moody was to play
a furious Red Cloud again, fuming against the corrupt practices
of an Indian agent.
A moody Moody performance can be found
in 'Pucket's New Year.' This one is particularly interesting,
because Moody thins his voice, abandoning the weighty dignified bass
he uses for Chiefs and taking up the high reedy sound
of Ned Glass and Walter Brennan.
His leg frostbitten and amputated after he is abandoned
in a blizzard, buffalo hunter Ira Pucket rails against
"I ain't one of you city people--I live off the country.
I'm a man, not a dude!"
June 24, 2005
Copyright © 2006-2013 E. A. Villafranca, Jr.
All Rights Reserved